nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒10‒06
ten papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Unforeseen effects of the agrarian legislation in Mexico, 1992-2005 By Acosta Reveles, Irma Lorena
  2. Growth, Poverty and Inequality in Mozambique By Pekka Virtanen; Dag Ehrenpreis
  3. Flexibility in the implementation of intellectual property rights in agricultural biotechnology By Trommetter, M.
  4. Eliciting environmental preferences of Ghanaians: An experimental approach By Yael Meroz; Andrea Morone; Piergiuseppe Morone
  5. Patterns of rainfall insurance participation in rural India By Xavier Giné; Robert Townsend; James Vickery
  7. Eco-driving? A discrete choice experiment on valuation of car attributes By Högberg, Martina
  8. Cotas Tarifárias e o Impacto Sobre as Exportações Agrícolas Brasileiras na União Européia By Honorio Kume; Guida Piani; Pedro Miranda
  9. When and Why Does It Pay To Be Green? By Stefan Ambec; Paul Lanoie
  10. Public Policies against Global Warming By Hans-Werner Sinn

  1. By: Acosta Reveles, Irma Lorena
    Abstract: Under the pressure of NAFTA negotiations Mexican government changed the agrarian legislation at the beginning of the 1990. This reform meant turning away from the former leitmotiv of social justice brought up in the revolution towards the neoliberal paradigm of economic efficiency. The old system of subsedies and and institutional support was replaced by a market- and export orientation, the priority of community land was replaced by the primacy of private property rights in order to capitalize the Mexican agriculture. This paper analyses whether the goals of increasing productivity and changing the production structure where achieved. There are three basic outcomes from the reforms: small scale farmers have los market shares and depend on non-agricultural incomes. Secondly, the trading of land is marginal, as export goods are produced on a small share of productive land and the agricultural corporations have many alternative to the purchase Hof land. The capitalization of agricultural enterprises has also been minimal. These results cause a regional concentration of agricultural corporations and lead to a further marginalization Hof small scale farmers.
    Keywords: Agrarian legislation; Mexico;
    JEL: Q15 R14 K11
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Pekka Virtanen (University of Tampere, Finland); Dag Ehrenpreis (International Poverty Centre)
    Abstract: Mozambique has experienced more than a decade of sustained economic growth based on two sectors, agriculture and industry. Absolute poverty has fallen rapidly. The main factor in the reduction of poverty since the mid 1990s has been increased production in agriculture, the main source by far of livelihoods in the country. However, this growth represents only a ?bounce-back? to pre-war levels of agricultural production, without any substantial improvement in productivity, which remains very low even when compared regionally. Growth in industrial production has been the main driving force behind Mozambique?s rapidly growing exports. Based on a few mega-projects, this growth has, however, created few jobs while its contribution to public revenue has been marginal when compared to its value of production. Due to the enclave character of such projects, the spillover effect in terms of technology transfer or skills development has been minimal. External aid provides a major part of all foreign exchange available to Mozambique, and it has thus far had a positive effect on growth without major negative impact on the real exchange rate. Aid must be allocated now to crucial services for creating globally competitive agricultural production capacity, including rural infrastructure, in order to promote sustainable livelihoods and enhance labour productivity.
    Keywords: Growth; Poverty; Inequality; Mozambique
    Date: 2007–09
  3. By: Trommetter, M.
    Abstract: In this paper I discuss the fact that economists define optimal IP rights as a continuum of options in three dimensions: height, breadth and length. At the operational level we see the impossibility of multiplying rights indefinitely (due to prohibitive transaction costs), as well as the use of a limited number of IP tools which have led to the implementation of flexibilities. These flexibilities are designed to limit certain perverse effects of rights ill-adjusted to the characteristics of some economic sectors (agricultural biotechnologies, pharmacy, etc.). In this context, I analyse how these flexibilities are implemented in TRIPS and TRIPS+ agreements and I study the consequences for Developing Countries.
    JEL: K11 O31 L65
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Yael Meroz (University of Foggia); Andrea Morone (University of Bari); Piergiuseppe Morone (University of Foggia)
    Abstract: In this paper we aim - through an 'experimentally-adapted' Contingent Valuation survey - to look into the attributes of Ghanaians' willingness-to-pay for green products. This would help us addressing two main issues: first, from a theoretical point of view, we shall assess whether Ghanaians show a preference towards environmental goods - hence, countering the 'too poor to be green' argument. Secondly, from a methodological point of view, we shall try to see if the incentive compatible CV analysis provides a good measurement of subjects' willingness-to-pay for environmental premium. Our investigation provides an answer to both issues, showing how using an incentive compatible experiment produces, in the case of Ghana, reliable results and that Ghanaians consistently show that they are willing to pay an extra premium for green products.
    Keywords: contingent valuation, experiment, incentive-compatible, Ghana, organic products, willingness to pay.
    JEL: C9 Q5
    Date: 2007–09–25
  5. By: Xavier Giné; Robert Townsend; James Vickery
    Abstract: This paper describes the contract design and institutional features of an innovative rainfall insurance policy offered to smallholder farmers in rural India and presents preliminary evidence on the determinants of insurance participation. Insurance take-up is found to be decreasing in basis risk between insurance payouts and income fluctuations, higher among wealthy households, and lower among households that are credit constrained. These results match predictions of a simple neoclassical model appended with borrowing constraints. Other patterns are less consistent with the benchmark model. Namely, participation in village networks and measures of familiarity with the insurance vendor are strongly correlated with insurance take-up decisions, and risk averse households are found to be less, not more, likely to purchase insurance. We present evidence suggesting that these results reflect uncertainty about the product itself, given households' limited experience with it.
    Keywords: Insurance, Casualty ; Insurance, Disaster ; Households ; Rural areas ; Human behavior
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Antony Chapoto; T.S. Jayne; N. Mason
    Abstract: The view that widows and their dependents face greater livelihood risks in the era of HIV/AIDS is indeed supported by nationally-representative survey results from Zambia. Efforts to safeguard widows’ rights to land through land tenure innovations involving community authorities may be an important component of social protection, poverty alleviation, and HIV/AIDS mitigation strategies. Several of the findings reported show the influence of local traditional authorities in affecting the extent to which widows are able to retain land. Increased government commitment to ensure security of widows’ access to land is another approach, but initial evaluations of government efforts provide mixed evidence (see Izumi, 2006). Government decrees appear to have little impact if local community authorities are not part of the agreement. But certainly, national governments, donors, and NGOS have an important role to play in developing programs to work with local authorities to protect widows and children against property grabbing by relatives of the deceased as well as to institute property rights that are more compatible with social protection and anti-poverty objectives in the era of AIDS.
    Keywords: food security, policy, HIV/AIDS, land, Zambia., Africa
    JEL: Q18
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Högberg, Martina (Swedish Energy Agency)
    Abstract: To elicit the value that car consumers place upon environmental concerns when purchasing a car, a certain type of Discrete Choice Modelling called Choice Experiment was used. The Choice Experiment includes the four car attributes safety, carbon dioxide emissions, acceleration and annual cost. The survey was sent to a random sample of 1500 people in Sweden between 25 and 50 years of age in October 2006. The data collected was incorporated in a binomial logit model from which the coefficients of the utility function for cars were estimated. Both the estimated values of Willingness to Pay and the Marginal Rates of Substitution gave indications that the private goods safety and acceleration are higher valued than a genuine public bad such as carbon dioxide emissions. The result also showed that the design of the Choice Experiment can have impact on the values obtained.
    Keywords: Willingness to Pay; Discrete Choice Experiment; Environmental Valuation
    JEL: C42 Q50
    Date: 2007–09–27
  8. By: Honorio Kume; Guida Piani; Pedro Miranda
    Abstract: The use of tariff-rate quotas as a protectionist device has not yet been quite well understood. There is a widespread understanding that the offer of an additional tariff quota will generate a growth in the volume exported equivalent to the extra amount yielded. However, this may not happen, due to the characteristics of the tariff-quota system. Given the demand curve for a certain product, only one of the three components of the tariff-quota mechanism is determinant in restraining imports: the volume of the quota, the in-quota or the extra-quota. In addition, the estimate of gains in the value exported must include the increase in the ?quota-rent? allowed by the additional quota. This paper aims to point out the importance of an accurate assessment of the effects of additional tariff quotas for some Brazilian agricultural exports. The study focuses on the case of the offer made by the European Union in the negotiations for a Mercosur-EU free trade agreement.
    Date: 2006–12
  9. By: Stefan Ambec; Paul Lanoie
    Abstract: The conventional wisdom about environmental protection is that it comes at an additional cost on firms 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. This is known as the Porter hypothesis. In fact, there are many ways through which improving the environmental performance of a company 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. <p> First, 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 (this refers mainly to the Porter hypothesis); vi) cost of capital, and vii) cost of labour. <p> Although these different possibilities have been identified from a conceptual or theoretical point of view for some time (Reinhardt, 2000; Lankoski, 2000, 2006), to our knowledge, there was no systematic effort to provide empirical evidences supporting the existence of these opportunities and assessing their “magnitude”. This is the objective of this paper. For each of the seven possibilities identified above [i) through vii)], we present the mechanisms involved, a systematic view of the empirical evidence available, and a discussion of the gaps in the empirical literature. The objective of the paper is not to show that a reduction of pollution is always accompanied by a better financial performance, it is rather to argue that the expenses incurred to reduce pollution can sometime be partly or completely compensated by gains made elsewhere. Through a systematic examination of all the possibilities, we also want to identify the circumstances most likely to lead to a “win-win” situation, i.e., better environmental and financial performance. <P>La vision traditionnelle au sujet de la réglementation de l’environnement est qu'elle représente un coût additionnel pour des firmes, ce qui peut éroder leur compétitivité globale. Cependant, pendant la dernière décennie, ce paradigme a été remis en cause par un certain nombre d'analystes. En particulier, Porter (Porter, 1991, Porter et van der Linde, 1995) argue du fait que la pollution est souvent associée à un gaspillage des ressources (matériel, énergie, etc.), et que des politiques environnementales plus strictes peuvent stimuler les innovations, ce qui peut compenser les coûts entraînés par ces politiques. Ceci est connu comme l’hypothèse de Porter. En fait, il existe plusieurs raisons pour lesquelles l'amélioration de la performance environnementale d'une firme peut s’accompagner d’une meilleure performance économique ou financière, et pas nécessairement d’une augmentation de coût. Pour être systématique, il est important de regarder les deux côtés de l’état des produits et des charges. <p> Tout d’abord, une meilleure performance environnementale peut mener à une augmentation des revenus par les canaux suivants : i) un meilleur accès à certains marchés, ii) la possibilité de différencier des produits et iii) la possibilité de vendre la technologie de dépollution. En second lieu, une meilleure performance environnementale peut mener à des réductions de coûts dans les catégories suivantes : iv) coût réglementaire, v) coût en ressources, énergie et services (ceci se réfère principalement à l'hypothèse de Porter), vi) coût en capitaux, et vii) coût du travail. <p> Bien que ces différentes possibilités aient été identifiées d'un point de vue conceptuel ou théorique depuis un certain temps (Reinhardt, 2000 ; Lankoski, 2000, 2006), à notre connaissance, aucun effort systématique n’a été fait pour fournir des évidences empiriques soutenant l'existence de ces opportunités et évaluant leur importance. C'est l'objectif de cet article. Pour chacune des sept possibilités identifiées ci-dessus [de i) à vii)], nous présentons les mécanismes impliqués, une description des évidences empiriques disponibles, et une discussion des lacunes de la littérature empirique. L'objectif du texte n'est pas de prouver qu'une réduction de pollution est toujours accompagnée d'une meilleure performance financière, il est plutôt de montrer que les coûts encourus pour réduire la pollution peuvent parfois être compensés, en partie ou complètement, par des gains effectués ailleurs. Par un examen systématique de toutes possibilités, nous voulons également identifier les circonstances pouvant mener à une situation « gagnant-gagnant », c’est-à-dire, une meilleure performance environnementale et financière.
    Keywords: environmental performance, environmental regulation, environmental innovation, capital cost, Porter hypothesis., performance environnementale, réglementation environnementale, innovation environnementale, coût du capital, hypothèse de Porter.
    Date: 2007–09–01
  10. By: Hans-Werner Sinn
    Abstract: Judged by the principle of intertemporal Pareto optimality, insecure property rights and the greenhouse effect both imply overly rapid extraction of fossil carbon resources. A gradual expansion of demand-reducing public policies -- such as increasing ad-valorem taxes on carbon consumption or increasing subsidies for replacement technologies -- may exacerbate the problem as it gives resource owners the incentive to avoid future price reductions by anticipating their sales. Useful policies instead involve sequestration, afforestation, stabilization of property rights and emissions trading. Among the public finance measures, constant unit carbon taxes and source taxes on capital income for resource owners stand out.
    JEL: H23 O13 Q32 Q54
    Date: 2007–09

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