nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒07‒27
five papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Many hands make hard work, or why agriculture is not a puzzle By Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés
  2. The Feasibility of Further Ethanol Expansion By Gagnon, Jeffrey
  3. A Gravity Approach to Assess the Effects of Association Agreements on Euromediterranean Trade of Fruits and Vegetables By Garcia-Alvarez-Coque, Jose Maria; Martí-Selva, Maria-Luis
  4. Trade liberalisation and intra-household poverty in Vietnam: a q2 social impact analysis By Jones, Nicola; Nguyen, Ngoc Anh; Nguyen, Thu Hang
  5. Poverty Reduction by Decentralisation: A Case for Rural Panchyats in Tamil Nadu By Sivagnanam, K. Jothi

  1. By: Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés
    Abstract: The shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, triggered the first demographic explosion in history. Along with population, working time increased, while food consumption remained at the subsistence level. For that reason, most anthropologists regard the adoption of agriculture as an economical puzzle. I show, using a neoclassical economic model, that there is nothing puzzling about the adoption of agriculture. Agriculture brings four technological changes: an increase in total factor productivity, a stabilization of total factor productivity, less interference of children on production, and the possibility of food storage. In my model, each of those changes induces free, rational and self-interested hunter-gatherers to adopt agriculture. As a result, working time increases while consumption remains at the subsistence level, and population begins to grow until diminishing returns to labor bring it to a halt. Welfare, which depends on consumption, leisure, and fertility, rises at first; but after a few generations it falls below its initial level. Still, the adoption of agriculture is irreversible. The latter generations choose to remain farmers because, at their current levels of population, reverting to hunting and gathering would reduce their welfare.
    Keywords: Paleoeconomics; economic anthropology; Neolithic Revolution; hunter-gatherers; agriculture; original affluent society.
    JEL: J22 J13 A12 O13 A14 D1 Z1 D71 I31 D6
    Date: 2007–01–28
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:4148&r=agr
  2. By: Gagnon, Jeffrey
    Abstract: Over the course of the last few years ethanol production has expanded at an incredible pace, putting strain on corn markets and transportation systems throughout the Midwest. Driven by the government subsidy and profit possibilities, firm entry rates have spiked. Previous to 2006-2007 the ethanol industry had been consuming feedstock dedicated to export, so little effect was felt by food markets. After 2007 ethanol’s demand for corn will begin to weigh on food markets as reduced supply drives up prices. Corn supply is fast becoming a binding constraint to the ethanol’s growth rate. The feasibility of its further expansion hinges upon the growth and technological advances of corn production, along with the ability of the industry to function profitably without the subsidy.
    Keywords: ethanol; biofuel; corn
    JEL: Q11 Q42
    Date: 2007–06–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:4066&r=agr
  3. By: Garcia-Alvarez-Coque, Jose Maria; Martí-Selva, Maria-Luis
    Abstract: The paper is intended to draw on a gravity methodology to assess the impact of EuroMediterranean Association Agreement on Fruit and Vegetable trade from Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC) to the EU. The Association Agreements appear to be significant as an explanatory of both fruit and vegetables’ trade flows to the EU. However, while the impact of such arrangements has contributed to boost MPC’s horticultural exports, it has not been sufficient to compensate the export loss related to the nature of MPCs as third countries. MPCs may have obtained gains from the EuroMed Agrements but the Barcelona process is still far to achieve its initial goals, at least concerning crucial products for the MPCs’ export strategy. The presented approach supplies a method to monitor future developments in the EuroMediterranean process.
    Keywords: agricultural trade; Euro-Mediterranean agreements; fruit and vegetables
    JEL: F15 Q18 Q17
    Date: 2006
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:4124&r=agr
  4. By: Jones, Nicola; Nguyen, Ngoc Anh; Nguyen, Thu Hang
    Abstract: Following extensive economic and market reforms and more than a decade of negotiations, Vietnam became the latest country to accede to the World Trade Organization in November 2006. While it is expected that greater liberalisation will boost Vietnam’s economic growth and contribute to the country’s ongoing transition towards a market economy, there are concerns about potentially negative impacts on vulnerable sectors of the population, including remote rural populations, women and children. In order to explore the possible impacts of Vietnam’s trade liberalisation on children in poor communities, this paper examines key mediating factors that impact child welfare and the ways that trade liberalisation could affect these variables. It focuses on three key aspects of child well-being – child work (domestic and extra-household), educational attainment and health status. It applies a mixed methods approach: econometrics analysis using data from the first wave of the Young Lives Vietnam longitudinal survey on childhood poverty combined within in-depth qualitative analysis of two key agricultural commodity sectors, aquaculture and sugarcane, that are expected to be significantly impacted by Vietnam’s integration into the world economy. Our main quantitative findings point to significant differences in child well-being outcomes based on ethnicity, household poverty status and vulnerability to declining living standards, parental (especially maternal) education levels, children’s involvement in work activities, and access to public services. Our qualitative findings highlight the implications of caregivers’ shifting time inputs to productive and care economy work on child well-being, familial coping strategies in the context of economic shocks, the importance of social capital in mediating economic opportunities as well as differences in livelihood patterns among majority and minority ethnic groups. The paper concludes by discussing why mixed methods research can play an important role in focusing greater policy attention on the linkages between economic globalisation and children’s experiences of poverty.
    Keywords: Vietnam; Intrahousehold dynamics; Trade liberalisation; q2 analysis; Young lives;
    JEL: F49 I0
    Date: 2007–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:4206&r=agr
  5. By: Sivagnanam, K. Jothi
    Abstract: An attempt has been made in this paper to study the linkage between decentralisation and poverty reduction with special reference to panchayati raj institutions in Tamil Nadu. The policy implication of the study emphasises that the process of decentralisation should be designed and implemented so as to achieve required reduction in poverty. In the globalised era, decentralization has attracted significant interest in recent years. Decentralization is being seen as one of the missing institutional link between economic growth and distributive justice. Decentralisation is linked to poverty reduction in many ways. While decentralization has become a development strategy of many developing countries, its linkage to poverty reduction in particular has been the subject of recent time. In India, where social and rural sector are still backward and further affected by the ongoing liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation process, even high growth rates and innumerable poverty eradication schemes of the union as well as the state governments have failed to ensure distributive justice and left millions in sustained deprivation. Panchayati raj institutions could be a promising institutional link to combat poverty in terms of efficient designing and effective targeting.
    Keywords: Poverty Reduction; Decentralisation; Rural Panchayats; Tamil Nadu
    JEL: I38 R51 H75
    Date: 2007–07–22
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:3210&r=agr

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