nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒08‒08
twenty-one papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. India’s Agrarian Crisis and Smallholder Producers’ Participation in New Farm Supply Chain Initiatives: A Case Study of Contract Farming By Sharma Vijay Paul
  2. A Comprehensive Assessment of the Agricultural Extension System in the Philippines: Case Study of LGU Extension in Ubay, Bohol By Saz, Efren B.
  3. Customs Mapping and Analysis of South Asian Agricultural Trade Liberalization Effort By Parakrama Samaratunga; Manoj Thibbotuwawa
  4. Environmental Policy, Innovation and Performance : New Insights on the Porter Hypothesis By Paul Lanoie; Daniel Llerena
  5. Tree Cover Loss in El Salvador's Shade Coffee Areas By Blackman, Allen; Ávalos Sartorio, Beatriz; Chow, Jeffrey
  6. The LGU Extension Services in a Major Rice-Growing Area: The Case of Hagonoy, Davao del Sur By Hondrade, Rosa Fe D.
  7. Potential Infrastructure Constraints on Current Corn-Based and Future Biomass Based U.S. Ethanol Production By Ginder, Roger
  8. Putting Payments for Environmental Services in the Context of Economic Development By David Zilberman; Leslie Lipper; Nancy McCarthy
  9. The Effects of Agricultural Trade Liberalisation under the Doha Development Agenda with Special Reference to the Asia Pacific Region: A Brief Survey By Jayatilleke S. Bandara
  10. Quality, Coordination and Collective Reputation in the San Severo Wine Production System By Roberta Sisto; Emilio De Meo; Antonio Lopolito
  11. Nutrient Trading in Lake Rotorua: Goals and Trading Caps By Suzi Kerr; Kit Rutherford; Kelly Lock
  12. The Role of Customary Institutions in Managing Conflict on Grazing Land - A Case Study from Mieso District, Eastern Ethiopia By Fekadu Beyene
  13. The Trade-off between Private Lots and Public Open Space in Subdivisions at the Urban-Rural Fringe By Kopits, Elizabeth A.; McConnell, Virginia D.; Walls, Margaret A.
  14. Rural Poverty in China: Problem and Policy By Gregory C. Chow
  15. Emerging Markets for GM Foods: An Indian Perspective on Consumer Understanding and Willingness to Pay By Deodhar Satish Y.; Ganesh Sankar; Chern Wen S.
  16. Evaluating the Effects of Asymmetric Information in a Model of Crop Insurance By Hoy, M.; Esuola, A.; Islam, Z.; Turvey, C.
  17. Linkage Between foreign Direct Investment, Trade and Trade Policy: An Economic Analysis with Application to the Food Sector in OECD Countries and Case Studies in Ghana, Mozambique, Tunisia and Uganda By Norbert Wilson; Joyce Cacho
  18. Tea Industry of India: The Cup that Cheers has Tears By Asopa V.N.
  19. Comparative Analysis of the Development of the United States and European Union Biodiesel Industries, A By Carriquiry, Miguel A.
  20. Indigenous Knowledge and Innovations for Managing Resources, Institutions and Technologies Sustainably: A Case of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Biotechnology By Gupta Anil K.
  21. Limited Self-Control, Obesity and the Loss of Happiness By Alois Stutzer

  1. By: Sharma Vijay Paul
    Abstract: Indian agriculture is at crossroads and one of the major challenges is to reverse deceleration in agricultural growth. Main reason for deceleration in agricultural growth is declining investment particularly public investment in agriculture research and development and irrigation, combined with inefficiency of institutions providing inputs and services including rural credit and extension. Other factors such as land fragmentation, out-dated tenancy laws, lack of modern market and rural infrastructure, inappropriate input pricing policies, etc. are also responsible for agrarian and ecological crisis in the country. The crisis of stagnation in agriculture needs urgent attention. The government has renewed focus on agriculture and promoting public-private partnership to accelerate growth in the rural economy. Many Indian and multi-national agribusiness companies have entered Indian agribusiness sector. The central government has also initiated reforms in outdated laws such as Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act, Essential Commodities Act (ECA), and given some incentives like waiver of market fee, rural development tax, etc. for companies making investment in agribusiness sector. The central as well as state governments are promoting involvement of corporate sector in agriculture through contract farming with a view to enable farmer to have access to better inputs, extension services and credit from agribusiness companies. Contract farming is also supposed to eliminate and/or reduce markets and price risks, which farmers face. However, it all depends on the nature of contracts, legislation for regulation of contract farming, enforcement, dispute resolution mechanisms, etc. This paper tries to understand socio-economic implications of corporate-led initiatives in agriculture (mainly contract farming) in the state of Punjab, which has more experience in contract farming compared to other states. The results indicate that contract farming is a good initiative for medium and large-scale farmers producing for the market but the long-term success of such initiatives will depend on how a large number of small and marginal farmers can be linked to restructured markets under changing market and policy environment. The study points out that it is important to provide an integrated set of services including credit and not just seed and limited extension services. Partnership between public and private sector companies/organizations is needed in order to provide these integrated services. More important is to improve bargaining power of smallholder producers while also reducing transaction costs for companies through promotion of producers’ groups/association/cooperatives. Small farmers will be able to effectively participate in the changing markets and establish links with new market chains (supermarkets, agribusiness companies, processors, exporters, etc.) only if they have access to basic infrastructure, quality inputs and services and are organized.
    Keywords: Agrarian crisis, smallholder participation, contract farming, agribusiness, land tenancy, public-private partnership
    Date: 2007–08–03
  2. By: Saz, Efren B.
    Abstract: Using intensive interviews and observations and secondary data, the study looked at a local government agricultural extension service. It situated the context by describing the agroclimatic, social, and economic conditions of the area including its problems, potentials, and prospects. It also took a closer look at two promising industries in the locality—rice and mango production. The study further took a closer look at the local government agriculture extension service in terms of the nature of services offered vis a vis the needs of the clientele specially of the two industries in focus. An assessment of the service’s resources, competencies, adequacy, timeliness, and quality was also done. Lastly, the study looked at knowledge management using a framework suggested by Dalkir and provided suggestions as to how a poorly equipped agriculture extension service provider such as the Ubay LGU may introduce the concept of knowledge management to make the service more effective and responsive to the peculiarities of the area and people.
    Keywords: rice industry, knowledge management, Ubay, mango industry, Municipal Agriculture Office, local agriculture extension service
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Parakrama Samaratunga; Manoj Thibbotuwawa (Institute of Policy Studies)
    Abstract: This paper maps the agricultural trade liberalization effort of the South Asian Economies(SAEs) and it consists of four sections. The second section presents the nature of agricultural trade in the SAEs. The third section presents the agricultural policy changes and employs various approaches to measure the levels of agricultural trade liberalization. The forth section presents institutional development that has led to agricultural trade liberalization of SAEs and the final section presents conclusions, based on the findings of the previous sections.
    Keywords: South Asia, Agricultural Trade Liberalization
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: Paul Lanoie (IEA, HEC Montréal); Daniel Llerena
    Abstract: The conventional wisdom about environmental protection is that it comes at an additional cost on farmers imposed by the government, which may erode their global competitiveness. However, during the last decade, this paradigm has been challenged by a number of analysts. In particular, Porter (Porter, 1991; Porter and van der Linde, 1995) argues that pollution is often associated with a waste of resources (material, energy, etc.), and that more stringent environmental policies can stimulate innovations that may compensate for the costs of complying with these policies. In fact, there are many ways through which improving the environmental performance of a farm can lead to a better economic or financial performance, and not necessarily to an increase in cost. To be systematic, it is important to look at both sides of the balance sheet. Following the framework developed by Reinhardt (2000), Lankoski (2000, 2006), and Lanoie and Ambec (2007), we can argue, first, that a better environmental performance can lead to an increase in revenues through the following channels: i) a better access to certain markets; ii) the possibility to differentiate products and iii) the possibility to sell pollution-control technology. Second, a better environmental performance can lead to cost reductions in the following categories: iv) regulatory cost; v) cost of material, energy and services; vi) cost of capital, and vii) cost of labour. In this article, we want to evaluate how this framework is relevant for the agricultural sector. In other words, for each of the seven channels identified above [i) to vii)], we want to see how it can be applied to the agricultural sector, while presenting concrete illustrations under the form of short case studies. Although other authors have discussed the profitability of different new agro- environmental practices; to our knowledge, nobody has done it in such a systematic way as that presented here. Moreover, the concrete examples from France and Quebec that we present may inspire farmers who are still debating as to, whether or not, they should “green” their activities. We conclude that there are many opportunities to improve at the same time the environmental and the financial performance in the agricultural sector, but maybe less than in other sectors.
    Date: 2007–06
  5. By: Blackman, Allen (Resources for the Future); Ávalos Sartorio, Beatriz; Chow, Jeffrey (Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: Shade coffee farms in Central America provide important ecological services. But because international coffee prices have fallen since 1990, many have been cleared to make way for more remunerative land uses. This problem is of particular concern in heavily deforested El Salvador, where a large share of the remaining tree cover is associated with shade coffee. We use satellite images, stakeholder interviews, and secondary data to analyze the magnitude, characteristics, and drivers of clearing in El Salvador’s shade coffee areas during the 1990s. We find that 13 percent of these areas was cleared, mostly in middle- and high-altitude regions. Falling coffee prices were not the only drivers of this phenomenon, however: a downward spiral of on-farm investment and yields, debt, poverty, urbanization, migration, and weak land use regulation also contributed. Our findings suggest that stricter enforcement of land use and land cover regulations is urgently needed to prevent further clearing.
    Keywords: shade coffee, land use, land cover, deforestation, El Salvador
    JEL: Q15 Q17 Q18 Q23
    Date: 2007–05–15
  6. By: Hondrade, Rosa Fe D.
    Abstract: The province of Davao del Sur is considered one of the major rice-producing provinces of Region XI. It has been regarded as Mindanao’s top rice-yielding province because of its municipality’s (Hagonoy) high yield performance. The study shows that farmers have multiple sources of information within a given farming system. In addition to formal institutions like the national and regional agencies, the provincial and municipal agriculture services of the local government units, farmers seek out or exchange information and knowledge with input suppliers, traders and other private individuals who have stakes in rice production and marketing. Much of the information travels freely but some may also come with a fee. Such stakeholders (public or private) in rice may interact either to fulfill their needs or to pursue their interests. And as they interact with one another, information on prices, market opportunities, new technologies and practices as well as policy changes is also exchanged.
    Keywords: agriculture extension, rice-growing area, municipal agriculture services, knowledge management
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Ginder, Roger
    Abstract: Rapid growth in fuel ethanol production in the U.S. will create pressure on infrastructure both in the near term and the longer term. Currently the vast majority of fuel ethanol produced is grain based with corn based feedstocks dwarfing the quantity of all other grain feedstocks. In the future it is expected that biomass based ethanol production will also develop using crop residues and other cellulosic feedstocks including switchgrass, woody plants and woodchip by-products from lumbering activities. Public and private investments are now being made in research and development for both crop residue and other biomass based feedstocks for ethanol production. Several pilot projects for plant scale production are already in progress. This paper will: (a) Summarize some of the major impacts rapid growth in the corn based ethanol (CE) production is now having on infrastructure in the Midwestern corn producing states. (b) Examine some of the likely infrastructure needs that might be expected to occur as a consequence of the future development of biomass based ethanol (BE) production.
    Date: 2007–07–27
  8. By: David Zilberman (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California at Berkeley); Leslie Lipper (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization); Nancy McCarthy (International Food Policy Research Institute Washington, D. C.)
    Abstract: Paying for the provision of environmental services is a recent policy innovation that is attracting much attention in both developed and developing countries. The innovation involves a move away from command and control environmental policies, harnessing market forces to obtain more efficient environmental outcomes. Linking payments for environmental services (PES) to economic development and poverty reduction is an issue of importance since they may represent a new source of finance to developing countries, and developing countries are potentially important suppliers of global environmental services. The objective of this paper is to apply economic concepts, particularly those from natural resource and environmental economics, to a wide range of issues associated with the introduction of ES programs in the context of economic development. We introduce a typology of ES based upon economic reasoning, showing that payments for ES provide a solution to externalities and public good problems within the bounds of political economic constraints. Secondly, we focus on the problem of who should pay for ES: to what extent are payments likely to be covered within a global framework rather within a national or regional framework? Third, we will turn to issues of program design. We present some answers to the questions of how to target payments to achieve their objectives efficiently, and what the implications of alternative design schemes are. In particular, we focus upon the equity implications of ES programs and how can they affect poverty alleviation. The final section addresses issues of monitoring and enforcement of ES contracts, and we summarize the key findings in the conclusion.
    Keywords: Environmental Services, Agricultural Development, Poverty Reduction, Natural Resource Management.
    JEL: Q01 Q24 O1 O13
    Date: 2006
  9. By: Jayatilleke S. Bandara (Griffith Business School, Australia)
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to survey the results of recent quantitative studies on the effects of Agricultural Trade Liberalization with special reference to the Asia-Pacific region under the July Framework Agreement or the “July Package” of the Doha Development Agenda, DDA (the decision adopted by the General Council of the WTO on 1 August 2004, see WTO, 2004, WT/L/579).
    Keywords: Agricultural Trade Liberalization, Doha Development
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2007–02
  10. By: Roberta Sisto; Emilio De Meo; Antonio Lopolito
    Abstract: The relevance of quality and typical food as strength for Rural Local Systems (RLS) is widely recognized in literature (Antonioli Corigliano, 1999; Brunori, 1999; Pacciani et al., 2001; Cecchi, 2002). Generally speaking, the chance of a RLS to build a competitive advantage often depends on the specificities of food-products that the system as a whole is able to supply.) The commercialization of such products represents a crucial step in the valorization process. Several studies (Klein and Leffler 1981; Shapiro, 1983) find in the reputation of products the element which makes possible suitable levels of returns on resources used in the production process. For typical food, the reputation has public goods characteristics, indeed, it can generate a territorial quality surplus and so it is known as collective reputation. Such surplus is based on two elements: 1) the specific quality of products and 2) the level of coordination of the production system. In order to face the risk of opportunistic use of collective reputation, States have generated a series of laws for formal protection of denominations. Among these normative tools, an important role is played by the Origin Denomination (O.D.). The main function of such tool is to give juridical protection to the name that a product has got in the market by its typicalness and its link with the territory. Therefore the O.D. can be considered as an institutional process whose goal is the reproduction and the conservation of collective reputation of a typical product. In the light of these considerations, the aim of this paper is twofold: verify the contribution of a specific O.D., the San Severo wine, in generating the reputation surplus for its production system and investigate on its determinants. In particular, the study of the product’s quality and coordination level leads to define the production system as a whole in terms of collective reputation. Then we compare such characteristic with the currently level of reputation enjoyed by the San Severo wine denomination. The data have been collected through a direct survey by the means of questionnaires submitted to local actors and interviews to important witnesses in order to have better grip on the historical and characterizing aspects of the system. In the section 2 we show the theoretical approaches to individual and collective reputation and their relation with O.D.. Then (section 3) we pass to illustrate the study case and the research outcomes. We dedicate the section 4 to some conclusive observations and suggest for further research.
    Keywords: Collective Reputation; Quality; Coordination; Origin Denomination.
    JEL: L14 L15 Q13
    Date: 2006–12
  11. By: Suzi Kerr (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Kit Rutherford (NIWA); Kelly Lock (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: For a nutrient trading system to achieve the desired environmental outcome, or goal, this outcome needs to be translated into nutrient flows and allowances. To connect the nutrient loss provided for under the allowances with the environmental goal, a number of decisions need to be made. These decisions will shape the nutrient trading system. This paper looks at the information and analysis needed to ultimately define allowances and set trading caps for a nutrient trading system.
    Keywords: Water quality, nutrients, trading, Lake Rotorua
    JEL: Q53 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2007–07
  12. By: Fekadu Beyene (Humboldt University of Berlin, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences Division of Resource Economics, Luisenstr. 56, 10099, Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper examines interethnic conflict on grazing land previously accessed as common property. The study was undertaken in Mieso District of eastern Ethiopia where two ethnic groups experience different production systems – pastoral and agropastoral. Game theoretic approach and analytic narratives have been used as analytical tools. Results show that the historical change in land use by one of the ethnic groups, resource scarcity, violation of customary norms, power asymmetry and livestock raids are some of the factors that have contributed to the recurrence of the conflict. The role of raids in triggering conflict and restricting access to grazing area becomes particularly important. Socio-economic and political factors are responsible for power asymmetry and increasing scale of raids. The joint effect of an increase in trend of violence and a decline in capacity of customary authority in conflict management advances state role in establishing enforceable property rights institutions. This would be successful only if policies and intervention efforts are redirected at: 1) suppressing incentives for violence, 2) establishing new institutional structures, in consultation with clan elders of both parties and 3) building internal capacity to monitor conflict-escalating events.
    Keywords: Property rights, conflict, grazing land, power asymmetry, access rights, customary institutions, Mieso, Ethiopia, Africa
    JEL: O17 Z13 Q15
    Date: 2007–03
  13. By: Kopits, Elizabeth A.; McConnell, Virginia D. (Resources for the Future); Walls, Margaret A. (Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: In many communities on the urban–rural fringe, subdivisions are subject to “clustering” rules, in which houses must be located on a portion of the total land area and the remainder of the land is left as open space. This open space may be undisturbed forest or pastureland, or it may include recreation facilities and trails. In some communities, the open space may remain in agricultural use as pasture or cropland. Although the open space may provide benefits to subdivision residents, it means that those residents are living in a higher-density setting than people living in conventional subdivisions. It is unclear whether the benefits offset the loss experienced by smaller lots and higher density. This trade-off is the focus of our study. We use data on subdivision house sales occurring between 1981 and 2001 in a county on the fringe of the Washington, DC, metropolitan area to estimate a hedonic price model. We examine how households value being adjacent to open space and having more open space in the subdivision, and how they may be willing to trade off those amenities with their own private lot space. We find that private acreage matters to households—a 10 percent larger lot leads to about a 0.6 percent higher house price, all else being equal. Subdivision open space is also valuable to households, but the marginal effect is much smaller than the marginal effect of private lot space. We also find that subdivision open space does substitute for private land, but the extent of the trade-off is small. We use the results of the estimated hedonic model to simulate the effects on prices of jointly increasing open space and reducing average lot size, holding the size of the subdivision constant. We find that average house prices are lower with clustering, particularly for interior lots that are not adjacent to open space.
    Keywords: subdivisions, clustering, hedonic property values, open space
    JEL: Q51 Q24 R14 H41
    Date: 2007–07–10
  14. By: Gregory C. Chow (Princeton University)
    Abstract: This paper describes the economic conditions of rural China regarding poverty. By dividing the problem of rural poverty into three components it explains why rural poverty is China’s No. 1 economic problem in spite of the significant improvement in the living standard of the rural population. After discussing the solution proposed by the Chinese government it raises two policy questions, one concerning a proposal to eliminate the operational functions of township governments in the streamlining of the local government structure and the second on the possibility of controlling the abuse of power by local party officials that infringes on the rights of the farmers. A comparison with the conditions in India is provided.
    Date: 2006–09
  15. By: Deodhar Satish Y.; Ganesh Sankar; Chern Wen S.
    Abstract: This paper addresses the issues of consumer awareness, opinion, acceptance and willingness to pay for GM foods in the Indian market. A random utility approach is used to estimate a logit equation which indicates what factors affect the likelihood of consumption of non-GM and GM foods and whether or not consumers are willing to pay a premium for non-GM/GM foods. Data was generated through questionnaire survey which was administered to 602 respondents in the city of Ahmedabad and 110 respondents on internet. More than 90% of the respondents from the city survey did not know about GM foods. However, after informing them about the pros and cons of GM foods, more than 70% were willing to consume even if GM and non-GM foods were available for the same price. Ceteris paribus as the price difference between non-GM and GM food rose, people were more likely to consume GM foods. Likelihood of GM food consumption seemed to increase as one moved from very poor and not-so-poor income brackets to higher income brackets. Being a female or a joint family member increased the likelihood of choosing non-GM rice and edible oil. On an average, consumers were willing to pay 19.5% and 16.12% premiums for golden rice and GM edible oil, respectively. Overall, it appears that GM foods will be acceptable in the Indian market. However, consumer education societies, government ministries, and food companies may have to create awareness about the GM foods among Indian consumers.
    Date: 2007–06–27
  16. By: Hoy, M.; Esuola, A.; Islam, Z.; Turvey, C.
    Date: 2007
  17. By: Norbert Wilson; Joyce Cacho
    Abstract: Through empirical analysis and case studies, this document explores the relationships amongst foreign direct investment (FDI), trade and trade-related policies in OECD and four African countries (Ghana, Mozambique, Tunisia and Uganda). In OECD countries, tariffs and market price support may have an effect on how FDI is distributed geographically. FDI may be used to avoid or "jump" tariffs. Also, investors in a home country may invest in a host country to exploit the preferential tariffs that the host has with a third country. Participation in a regional trading agreement or customs union, e.g. NAFTA or the EU, may create investment opportunities. Market price support to agriculture may encourage outward investment and discourage inward investment. In aggregate, FDI and trade appear to complement one another. The four case studies in Africa highlight the interactions amongst regulations, foreign investment and trade. For example, FDI is useful in helping the firm develop the resources to meet the standards of OECD markets. Investment promotion agencies and export processing zones appear to prepare countries to attract FDI. Preferential trading agreements like the Everything but Arms with EU and the African Growth Opportunity Act with the US may have an impact on trade and investment. Beyond trade policies, other policies and factors contribute substantially to the location and distribution of FDI. As seen amongst OECD countries, factors like the GDP of a country (i.e. market size) and cost of production and transport can have an effect on FDI. Another factor that influences FDI is the degree of market competitiveness. For the four African countries, the country risk and the level of infrastructure can influence the volume of FDI attracted.
    Keywords: academic libraries
    Date: 2007–03–02
  18. By: Asopa V.N.
    Abstract: Indian tea has virtually lost all global markets because it continues to be traded as a commodity. The much talked about value addition is limited and rather late. Only the markets that have consumers with shallow pockets buy tea as a commodity and that share is fast depleting. The industry needs to be competitive in production, marketing, logistics and product forms. India, despite being a large producer of tea, lacks properly organized production systems in which small tea producers find a respectable place. The industry must have access to capital at globally competitive rates. The subsidies in any form are undesirable. The Indian tea industry must face the market realities, redefine its business strategies and reposition its products. The first step in that direction is a complete restructuring of the tea industry, redefining the roles of various agencies like the Tea Board and Producers’ organizations, and developing a healthy partnership with the labour. There are the problems of market access and discriminatory treatments through non-tariff trade barriers such as maximum residual limits (MRL) and social clause.
    Keywords: Tea, Global, Markets, Commodity, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Competitive, Tea Board
    Date: 2007–07–10
  19. By: Carriquiry, Miguel A.
    Abstract: Worldwide production of biodiesel is growing at a rapid pace. Arguably, the European Union (EU) is the global leader in biodiesel production, but the United States has recently expanded its production. The growth of the biodiesel industry in both regions has been fueled by a series of government-provided financial incentives. However, the timing of the growth and incentive provisions, the nature of the main incentives, and the market conditions differ across regions. This article provides a comparative analysis of the EU and U.S. biodiesel industries, highlighting market and policy aspects that are leading to a rapid but distinct growth.
    Keywords: biodiesel, biodiesel industry, biodiesel quality, biofuels, energy security, rapeseed oil, rapeseed methyl ester, soybean oil, soydiesel, ultra low sulfur diesel.
    Date: 2007–07–27
  20. By: Gupta Anil K.
    Abstract: Communities living close to nature invariably evolve a language to understand and interpret the variations and discontinuities in nature. A flower of new colour, an unusually tall plant, an unseasonal germination or an extraordinary fruiting have attracted human attention in every part of the world. Some of these odd plants got selected either for curiosity or for a purposive characteristic and became a local crop variety. Some got analysed for their therapeutic property and became a medicinal plant. Some were combined with other plants, insects, fungi or other materials such as animal urine, milk, minerals or other compounds to develop various kinds of biotechnological products useful as drugs, dyes or derivatives. It is not surprising therefore that civilizational societies whether in Latin America or Asia or Africa have had a tremendously rich knowledge base drawing upon local resources. In this paper, I first discuss the framework in which indigenous knowledge systems for agriculture, medicinal plants and biotechnology can be analysed. In second part, I suggest ways in which policy makers can try to blend the formal and the informal institutional contexts of technological knowledge. Lastly, I suggest some areas for further research, action and policy interventions through cooperative Indo-Brazilian and S African dialogue.
    Date: 2007–07–18
  21. By: Alois Stutzer (University of Basel and IZA)
    Abstract: Obesity has become a major health issue. Research in economics has provided important insights as to how technological progress reduced the relative price of food and contributed to the increase in obesity. However, the increased availability of food might well have overstrained will power and led to suboptimal consumption decisions relative to people’s own standards. We propose the economics of happiness as an approach to study the phenomenon. Based on proxy measures for experienced utility, it is possible to directly address whether certain observed behavior is suboptimal and therefore reduces a person’s well-being. It is found that obesity decreases the well-being of individuals who report limited self-control, but not otherwise.
    Keywords: obesity, revealed preference, self-control problem, subjective well-being
    JEL: D12 D91 I12 I31
    Date: 2007–07

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