New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒10‒13
twenty-one papers chosen by

  1. Agricultural technology choices for poor farmers in less-favored areas of South and East Asia: By Pender, John
  2. Agricultural growth linkages in Ethiopia: estimates using fixed and flexible price models By Diao, Xinshen; Fekadu, Belay; Haggblade, Steven; Seyoum Taffesse, Alemayehu; Wamisho, Kassu; Yu, Bingxin
  3. Policies to promote cereal intensification in Ethiopia: a review of evidence and experience By Byerlee,Derek; Spielman,David J.; Alemu,Dawit; Gautam,Madhur
  4. Cost implications of agricultural land degradation in Ghana: By Diao, Xinshen; Sarpong, Daniel B.
  5. Agricultural growth and investment options for poverty reduction in Rwanda: By Diao, Xinshen; Fan, Shenggen; Yu, Bingxin; Kanyarukiga, Sam
  6. Building public–private partnerships for agricultural innovation in Latin America: lessons from capacity strengthening By Hartwich, Frank; Gottret, Maria Veronica; Babu, Suresh Chandra; Tola, Jaime
  7. Impact of Land Certification on Land Rental Market Participation in Tigray Region, Northern Ethiopia By Holden, Stein T.; Deininger, Klaus; Ghebru, Hosaena
  8. Sharing science, building bridges, and enhancing impact: Public-Private Partnerships in the CGIAR By Spielman,David J.; Hartwich,Frank; von Grebmer, Klaus
  9. Determinants of Iowa Cropland Cash Rental Rates: Testing Ricardian Rent Theory By Xiaodong Du; David A. Hennessy; William M. Edwards
  10. Managing conflict over natural resources in greater Kordofan, Sudan: some recurrent patterns and governance implications By Siddig, El Fatih Ali; El-Harizi, Khalid; Prato, Bettina
  11. The economics of GM food labels: an evaluation of mandatory labeling proposals in India By Bansal, Sangeeta; Ramaswami, Bharat
  12. The Welfare Economics of an Excise-Tax Exemption for Biofuels By de Gorter, Harry; Just, David R.
  13. Multiple-factor adoption of GM Cotton in China: Influence of conventional technology development and rural change in Jiangsu Province By Naiyin Xu; Michel Fok
  14. Contextual appraisal of GM cotton diffusion in South Africa By Michel Fok; Marnus Gouse; Jean-Luc Hofs; Johann Kirsten
  15. The role of clustering in rural industrialization: A Case Study of the Footwear Industry in Wenzhou By Huang, Zuhui; Zhang, Xiaobo; Zhu, Yunwei
  16. Is food insecurity more severe in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa?: a comparative analysis using household expenditure survey data By Smith, Lisa C.; Wiesmann, Doris
  17. GM Cotton in China: Innovation integration and seed market disintegration By Michel Fok; Naiyin Xu
  18. On the Decline of Agriculture.;Evidence from Italian Regions in the Post-WWII Period By Roberto ESPOSTI
  19. Extension of the Traditional Travel Cost Method to a Collective Framework: An Empirical Application By Marcella Veronesi; Martina Menon; Federico Perali
  20. Optimal Control of Locusts in Subsistence Farming Areas By Levy, Amnon; Caputo, Michael
  21. Hedging Strategies in Forest Management By Brunette, Marielle; Couture, Stéphane; Langlais, Eric

  1. By: Pender, John
    Abstract: "During the past several decades dramatic improvement has occurred in agricultural productivity and livelihoods in South and East Asia, stimulated by the Green Revolution and supported by several other factors. Nevertheless, hundreds of millions of rural people in less-favored environments of this region still live in poverty and received limited benefit from the Green Revolution. To address these problems, alternative technological approaches to the conventional Green Revolution technologies are being advocated to address the problems of poor farmers in less-favored areas of Asia, including low external input and sustainable agricultural approaches, organic agriculture and biotechnology. This paper reviews the literature on agricultural technology options in South and East Asia, drawing conclusions concerning technology strategies to reduce poverty among poor farmers in less-favored areas of this region. Among the main conclusions of the review are the following: 1. There is no technology approach that will work in all of the diverse circumstances of South and East Asia. 2. It is difficult, but not impossible, to identify and promote technologies that will substantially improve the livelihoods of poor people in less-favored areas. 3. Key requirements for technologies to be taken up by farmers and to have a substantial impact on reducing poverty are that the technology is profitable in a relatively short period of time; does not substantially increase risks; and is consistent with farmers' endowments of knowledge, management skill, land, labor, and other assets. 4. New technologies, by themselves, are not sufficient to bring about sustainable rural development and elimination of rural poverty, although they can have a major impact. Effective institutions and a stable and supportive policy environment are also critical. 5. Effective farmers' organizations accountable to poor farmers are a critical need for the success of all technologies in reaching the poor. Such organizations are needed to reduce the costs and improve the effectiveness of technical assistance efforts for all technologies, and are particularly important for technologies that require effective collective action and for increasing smallholders' access to markets for organic and other high value products. 6. Improved methods of technology dissemination are needed to reach poor farmers in less-favored areas. Top down technology transfer approaches that worked well with simple technology packages do not work as well with complex technologies that have to be adapted to local circumstances based on agro-ecological principles and local conditions. These lessons should give pause to advocates one particular technological approach as the solution for poor farmers in less favored environments of Asia and elsewhere. What farmers need are not technology dogmas but options that can work in their context, combining what is useful from different approaches. This requires a pragmatic approach to learning what works well where and why. In pursuit of such pragmatic options for farmers, research and development programs should not ignore the potentials of traditional farming practices or intensive Green Revolution type technologies, which are well suited to farmers' needs in many contexts." - from authors' abstract.
    Keywords: Agricultural technology, Low-external input agriculture, Organic farming, biotechnology, Sustainable agriculture, Less favored areas, Rural poverty, Land resources, Poverty reduction,
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Diao, Xinshen; Fekadu, Belay; Haggblade, Steven; Seyoum Taffesse, Alemayehu; Wamisho, Kassu; Yu, Bingxin
    Abstract: "Accelerating growth and poverty reduction, and the ultimate achievement of structural transformation, are the critical policy challenges in present day Ethiopia. This paper examines relevant growth options in terms of their impact on overall growth and poverty reduction in the country. It deploys a fixed-price semi-input-output model and a flexible-price economy-wide multi-market model for that purpose. The paper finds that agricultural growth can induce higher overall growth and faster poverty reduction than non-agricultural growth, although the latter can also have large growth effects in some cases. Among sub-sectors within agriculture, staple crops have stronger growth linkages. Decomposition of these effects also reveals that consumption linkages are much stronger than production linkages, i.e., the impact of increased consumption demand due to growth (agricultural and non-agricultural) is much larger than that of the corresponding expansion in input demand. Moreover, non-agricultural sectors have to grow in order to match growing supply of agricultural products and increasing demand for non-agricultural products. Otherwise, falling relative prices of agricultural products may dampen the realized gains in growth and poverty reduction." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Poverty reduction, Agricultural growth, Linkages, Staple food crops, non-agricultural sector, agricultural products, Prices,
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Byerlee,Derek; Spielman,David J.; Alemu,Dawit; Gautam,Madhur
    Abstract: "Despite more than a decade of policies placing high priority on cereal intensification, backed by one of the highest rates of public expenditures on agricultural in Africa, Ethiopia has yet to see payoffs in terms of higher and more stable cereal yields, reduced dependency on food aid, improved food security, and lower consumer prices for staples. There is understandable concern about the performance, efficiency and sustainability of the agricultural sector, specifically in terms of the current systems for providing extension services, improved seed, fertilizer, and credit. This paper aims to illuminate possible solutions available to improving the prospects for cereal intensification in Ethiopia. The paper traces the largely state-led policies that have been put in place to stimulate increased cereal productivity and examines the extent to which these policies have had their intended impacts. This review indicates that although Ethiopia has an admirable and sustained record of supporting seed-fertilizer technological intensification in cereals, the related state-led policies have outlived their usefulness, suggesting the need for a rethinking of approaches." - from authors' abstract.
    Keywords: Cereal crops, Agricultural development, Agricultural extension work, Fertilizers, Seed industry and trade Developing countries,
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Diao, Xinshen; Sarpong, Daniel B.
    Abstract: "An economywide, multimarket model is constructed for Ghana and the effects of agricultural soil erosion on crop yields are explicitly modeled at the subnational regional level for eight main staple crops. The model is used to evaluate the aggregate economic costs of soil erosion by taking into account economywide linkages between production and consumption, across sectors and agricultural subsectors. To fill a gap in the literature regarding economic cost analysis of soil erosion, this paper also analyzes the poverty implications of land degradation. The model predicts that land degradation reduces agricultural income in Ghana by a total of US$4.2 billion over the period 2006–2015, which is approximately five percent of total agricultural GDP in these ten years. The effect of soil loss on poverty is also significant at the national level, equivalent to a 5.4 percentage point increase in the poverty rate in 2015 compared to the case of no soil loss. Moreover, soil loss causes a slowing of poverty reduction over time in the three northern regions, which currently have the highest poverty rates in the country. Sustainable land management (SLM) is the key to reducing agricultural soil loss. The present findings indicate that through the adoption of conventional SLM practices, the declining trend in land productivity can be reversed, and that use of a combination of conventional and modern SLM practices would generate an aggregate economic benefit of US$6.4 billion over the period 2006–2015. SLM practices would therefore significantly reduce poverty in Ghana, particularly in the three northern regions." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Land degradation, Costs, Agricultural soil loss, Economywide modeling, Modeling cost of land degradation,
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Diao, Xinshen; Fan, Shenggen; Yu, Bingxin; Kanyarukiga, Sam
    Abstract: "An economywide, multimarket (EMM) model was developed for Rwanda to analyze the linkages and trade-offs between growth and poverty reduction goals at both macro- and micro-economic levels. The model includes 30 agricultural commodities or commodity groups from eight broad agricultural subsectors, along with two aggregated nonagricultural sectors. The analysis compares the economic, income, and poverty effects of a variety of growth scenarios based on existing national subsector growth targets. The analysis shows 6 percent of CAADP's agricultural GDP growth target is achievable if growth reaches its target at the agricultural subsectoral level. But it is not enough for the country to achieve the MDG One, although the national poverty rate in 2015 will be 17 percent lower than that in 2005. Moreover, the household groups with the smallest landholding size, female-headed, or with few opportunities to participate cash crop production seem to benefit less from such growth. The study also examines the different growth-poverty linkages at agricultural subsector level, and shows that growth driven by productivity increases in staple crops and livestock production can reduce the poverty more than in the case where growth is driven by export crops or by the nonagricultural sector. The analysis also shows that to achieve growth required by CAADP and MDG One, the country needs to substantially beef up its public investment in agriculture. The share of agricultural spending in total government spending is required to increase from the current level of 5 percent to 10-35 percent in 2015." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Agricultural growth, Poverty reduction, Growth dynamics, Public investment,
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Hartwich, Frank; Gottret, Maria Veronica; Babu, Suresh Chandra; Tola, Jaime
    Abstract: "The International Service for National Agricultural Research¾on its own from 2002 until 2003, and as a division of the International Food Policy Research Institute thereafter has studied 124 public–private partnerships in agriculture in nine Latin American countries through its initiative on public–private partnerships for Agro-Industrial Research in Latin America...This paper cases of public–private partnership building in which private- sector companies, producer associations, and research organizations engage in collaboration for the purpose of developing innovations in agricultural production and value chains. The paper considers different points of entry to partnership building, emulating best practices. The paper describes (a) how common interests among multiple stakeholders have been identified; (b) how partners have been motivated to participate in partnerships; (c) how the roles of different brokers within or outside the partnerships have fostered partnership development; and (d) how the contributions of partners have been negotiated to ensure that partnership arrangements are in alignment with the interests of the partners, their capacities, and the prevailing technological and market opportunities. The paper targets policymakers and administrators in agricultural development, and collaborators in research and innovation projects who are interested in issues of how best to build partnerships among public and private agents. from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Public-private partnerships, Agricultural innovations, Capacity strengthening, Agricultural research,
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Holden, Stein T.; Deininger, Klaus; Ghebru, Hosaena
    Abstract: There is a renewed interest in whether land reforms can contribute to market development in Africa and whether land reforms can be pro-poor. This paper uses unique household panel data from Tigray region in Ethiopia to assess the impact of the 1998 low-cost land registration and certification reform on land rental market participation over a period of eight years after the reform, using random effects probit and tobit panel data models for land leased out and leased in, while correcting for unobservable heterogeneity and endogeneity of having certificate. The analysis revealed that the land reform contributed to increased land rental market participation. Female-headed households became more willing to rent out land and making land available for more efficient producers. Average areas leased out and leased in increased after certification. The land rental market remained characterised with significant and non-convex transaction costs also after the reform as evidenced by significant state dependence, a low response to own holding size and a high share of non-participation in the land market, leaving room for further improvement.
    Keywords: Land certification; land rental market; panel data analysis; unobserved heterogeneity; household response; female-headed households
    JEL: Q15 Q24 O13
    Date: 2007–10–10
  8. By: Spielman,David J.; Hartwich,Frank; von Grebmer, Klaus
    Abstract: "This study, which examines the role of public–private partnerships in international agricultural research, is intended to provide policymakers, research managers, and business decisionmakers with an understanding of how such partnerships operate and how they potentially contribute to food security and poverty reduction in developing countries. The study examines public–private partnerships in light of persistent market failure, institutional constraints, and systemic weaknesses, which impede the exchange of potentially pro-poor knowledge and technology. The study focuses on three key issues: whether public–private partnerships contribute to reducing the cost of research, whether they add value to research by facilitating innovation, and whether they enhance the impact of research on smallholders and other marginalized groups in developing-country agriculture. The study examines 75 projects undertaken by the research centers and programs of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in partnership with various types of private firms. Data and information were obtained through document analysis, semi-structured interviews with key informants, and an email survey of CGIAR centers. The resulting analysis provides a characterization of public–private partnerships in the CGIAR and describes the factors that contribute to their success. These finding are important to improving both public policy and organizational practices in the international agricultural research system." - from authors' abstract.
    Keywords: Agricultural R&D, CGIAR, Innovation, Public-private partnerships,
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Xiaodong Du; David A. Hennessy (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); William M. Edwards
    Abstract: Based on the Ricardian rent theory, this study employs the variable profit function to analyze the determinants of Iowa cropland cash rental rates using county-level panel data from 1987 to 2005. Accounting for spatial and temporal autocorrelations, responses of local cash rental rates to changes in output prices and other exogenous variables are estimated. We find that Iowa cash rental rates are largely determined by output/input prices, soil quality, relative location, and other county-specific factors. Cash rents go up by $79 for a $1 increase in corn price in the short run. The marginal value of cropland quality, as represented by row-crop corn suitability rating index, is about $1.05. Ethanol plants are not found to have a significant local effect on cash rental rates, impacting local rental markets mainly through the national futures price. Scale of the local livestock industry and adoption of genetically engineered crops have significant impacts on local cash rental rates. In addition, changes in crop output prices are found to have long-run effects on cash rental rates. The long-run change in cash rents is approximately $109-$114 for a $1 change in corn price and is reached in about four years. Our research may be viewed as a test of the Ricardian rent theory. We find limited support for the theory. Key words: bargaining, basis, ethanol, land quality shadow price, rate of adjustment, spatial autocorrelation. Classification-JEL: C5, G1, Q1. 1
    Date: 2007–10
  10. By: Siddig, El Fatih Ali; El-Harizi, Khalid; Prato, Bettina
    Abstract: "Despite the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which brought to an end 20 years of civil war in the Sudan, this country continues to experience smaller-scale conflicts, particularly around access to and control of natural resources. Some observers lay the blame for this on ethnopolitical or tribal divisions. However, this paper argues that there are a variety of factors at play behind these conflicts, notably the combination of resource scarcity with a crisis of governance that is particularly evident in transitional areas like the Kordofan region. To gain a sense of the range of conflicts around natural resources in Kordofan, the authors reviewed existing records such as government archives; conducted interviews with politicians, federal and state government officials, farmers, pastoralists, and Native Administration leaders; and investigated findings in the field. Interviews also served to examine people's knowledge about government natural resource policies and their perceptions of the roles played by government and the Native Administration in conflict management and resolution. The paper presents 20 cases of stalemate competition or open conflict over natural resources in Kordofan. The cases center on (1) conflicts between farmers and herders over stock routes, gum arabic forests, gardens, watering points, and the use of dars (tribal homelands); (2) conflicts between herders and small farmers and government agents or large private investors over mechanized farming areas, oil infrastructure, and other private investments. In their analysis of natural resource governance in Sudan, the authors find that natural resources policies have often been weak foundations for sustainable resource use, and in some cases they have actually contributed to conflict. In addition, the volatile path of government devolution efforts concerning natural resources has undermined governance of these resources. While conflicts between farmers and herders were managed relatively successful in the past through customary land tenure systems, this is less and less the case today as a result of larger herds, reduced water and pasture, instability and prejudices stirred up by the war, and a proliferation of arms among herders. In addition, patron–client politics, weak natural resource management and development policies, and top-down government institutions have encouraged ethnic polarization and social divisions. The authors find that measures are needed to reform the process of natural resource management, making land use planning more comprehensive, building on local livelihood systems, and increasing public spending on infrastructure. In addition, sustainable property rights on farmland and on mobile resources should be redefined, and informal conflict management mechanisms restored to the extent that this is possible." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Conflict management, Natural resource management, Small farmers, Land use, Livelihoods, Public spending, infrastructure, Property rights, Governance, Sustainability,
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Bansal, Sangeeta; Ramaswami, Bharat
    Abstract: "Labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods is a contentious issue and internationally, there is sharp division whether such labeling ought to be mandatory. This debate has reached India where the government has proposed mandatory labeling. In this context, this paper evaluates the optimal regulatory approach to GM food labels. Mandatory labeling aims to provide greater information and correspondingly more informed consumer choice. However, even without such laws, markets have incentives to supply labeling. So can mandatory labeling achieve outcomes different from voluntary labeling? The paper shows that this is not the case in most situations. The paper goes on to explore the special set of circumstances, where mandatory labeling makes a difference to outcomes. If these outcomes are intended, mandatory labeling is justified; otherwise not." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Biotechnology Economic aspects, Genetically modified food Developing countries, Biosafety, Food labelling,
    Date: 2007
  12. By: de Gorter, Harry; Just, David R.
    Abstract: A general theory is developed to analyze the efficiency and income distribution effects of a biofuel consumer tax credit and the interaction effects with a price contingent farm subsidy. Using the U.S. ethanol market as a stylized example, ethanol prices rise above the gasoline price by the amount of the tax credit. Corn farmers therefore gain directly while gasoline consumers only gain from any reduction in world oil prices due to the extra ethanol production and domestic oil producers lose. Because increased ethanol production improves the terms of trade in both the export of corn and the import of oil, we determine the optimal tax credit and the conditions affecting it. Historically, the intercept of the ethanol supply curve is above the gasoline price. Hence, part of the tax credit is redundant and represents ‘rectangular’ deadweight costs. The tax credit reduces the tax costs of price supports but incurs tax costs itself and increases consumer costs of corn. Price supports eliminate, create, have no effect or have an ambiguous effect on rectangular deadweight costs, depending on whether there is ex ante or ex post water in the tax credit. There are situations where ethanol production occurs only because of price supports. A stylized empirical model of the U.S. corn market is calibrated to illustrate the welfare effects of a tax credit. Net social costs of the tax credit averaged $683 million. Rectangular deadweight costs averaged $1,056 mil., more than offsetting the improved terms of trade and reduced price contingent farm subsidies, and representing over 50 percent of the tax cost of the tax credit.
    Keywords: biofuels; tax exemption; rectangular deadweight costs; price subsidies; welfare economics
    JEL: Q18 Q42 Q17 F13
    Date: 2007–09
  13. By: Naiyin Xu (RIIC - Research Institute of Industrial Crops - [Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences]); Michel Fok (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - [CIRAD])
    Abstract: La grande diffusion du coton génétiquement modifié (CGM) en Chine, plus précisément du coton-Bt, est bien reconnue même si les craintes sur la durabilité de ce succès ont émergé récemment. Ce papier vise à indiquer que l'adoption du coton-Bt en Chine n'a pas dépendu seulement de ses avantages pour contrôler les ravageurs. Il évoque le cas spécifique de la Province du Jiangsu, dans la Vallée du Yangse, pour laquelle l'utilisation du CGM est peu rapportée dans les publications accessibles à la communauté internationale. Le papier synthétise les analyses récentes publiées en chinois par des auteurs relevant de la recherche ou du développement et il s'appuie sur les résultats d'une enquête réalisée en 2005 et sur ceux du réseau multi-local d'expérimentations variétales de la Vallée du Yangse. Il ressort que dans la Province du Jiangsu, la diffusion du CGM a beaucoup bénéficié d'une modernisation du secteur des semences qui a intégré le caractère Bt dans les variétés hybrides très adaptées à la technique de production par transplantation. En dépit d'une réduction plutôt limitée du coût de contrôle des ravageurs, les paysans ne devraient pas abandonner l'usage du coton-Bt car l'évolution de l'agriculture chinoise ne pousse plus les paysans à être aussi vigilants pour optimiser les coûts de production, à moins que les prix des semences continuent à croître de manière phénoménale. La poursuite d'une utilisation rentable du CGM requiert des initiatives pour mieux réguler le secteur des semences.
    Keywords: coton-Bt; Chine, agriculture; industrie semencière; transplantation
    Date: 2007–09–11
  14. By: Michel Fok (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - [CIRAD]); Marnus Gouse (Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development - [University of Pretoria]); Jean-Luc Hofs (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - [CIRAD]); Johann Kirsten (Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development - [University of Pretoria])
    Abstract: L'essentiel de la production de coton en Afrique du Sud provient des fermiers à production commerciale, il est donc erroné de considérer l'adoption impressionnante de Coton Génétiquement Modifié (CGM) comme un exemple d'utilisation réussie par les petits producteurs. Le secteur coton sud-africain évolue dans un environnement instable de production et de commercialisation, et les petits producteurs en souffrent le plus en raison de leurs ressources financières limitées, de la faiblesse de leur production, de leurs faibles capacités de gestion et de commercialisation et de l'absence de choix de production alternative. La superficie totale en coton et le nombre de producteurs a diminué de manière drastique depuis l'introduction du CGM, ce phénomène amène les observateurs à remettre en cause le soi-disant "success story" du CGM en Afrique du Sud. L'expérience des petits producteurs dans ce pays montre que la seule introduction d'une technologie ne peut accroître durablement une production, les facteurs tels que les arrangements institutionnels jouent un rôle crucial. Les études antérieures avaient mis l'accent exclusivement sur la performance d'une technologie nouvelle en minimisant le rôle l'aspect institutionnel. Les résultats de notre recherche complète les études existantes en indiquant que la rentabilité de l'utilisation du CGM est faible dans un contexte défavorable sur le plan climatique et institutionnel. Ceci nous rappelle que l'agriculture pluviale est sensible aux aléas climatiques et que l'adoption d'une technologie nouvelle dans ces conditions peut accroître le risque financier lié à la production cotonnière.
    Keywords: coton; Afrique du Sud; OGM; Bt; évaluation d'impact; rentabilité
    Date: 2007–10–01
  15. By: Huang, Zuhui; Zhang, Xiaobo; Zhu, Yunwei
    Abstract: "Wenzhou used to be one of the poorest regions in eastern China. With limited arable land, poor road access to major cities, and little support from the upper level governments, this region seemed to lack all the conditions necessary for economic growth. However, over the past several decades Wenzhou has developed the most dynamic private sector in China, and has accordingly achieved one of the fastest growth rates. In particular, the footwear industry in Wenzhou has grown from a negligible market share to the largest in China. Here, we report a survey of 140 Wenzhou-based footwear enterprises of various scales, and use this information to examine the driving forces behind the dramatic rural industrial growth seen in this region. Our results show that clustering deepens the division of labor in the production process and makes it possible for small entrepreneurial firms to enter the industry by focusing on a narrowly defined stage of production. Therefore, Wenzhou represents an example of how clustering plays a significant role in helping fledgling rural industries overcome the growth constraints of capital and technology in the incipient stage of industrialization." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Cluster analysis, Industrialization, Finance, Economic development, Nonfarm economy,
    Date: 2007
  16. By: Smith, Lisa C.; Wiesmann, Doris
    Abstract: "This paper uses data from national household expenditure surveys to explore whether food insecurity is more severe in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa. It employs two indicators of the diet quantity dimension of food insecurity, or the inability to access sufficient food: the prevalence of food energy deficiency and the prevalence of severe food energy deficiency. It also employs two indicators of the diet quality dimension, indicating lack of access to nutritious food: the prevalence of low diet diversity and the percent of energy from staple foods. It finds the regions' food energy deficiency prevalences to be quite close (51 percent in South Asia, 57 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa). However, the prevalence of severe food energy deficiency, which is more life threatening, is higher in Sub-Saharan Africa (51 percent versus 35 percent in South Asia). From a diet quality standpoint, the regions appear to suffer from a comparable and high reliance on staple foods in the diet to the neglect of foods rich in protein and micronutrients, but that Sub-Saharan Africa may be doing worse, as reflected in less diverse diets. The results confirm that both regions suffer from deep food insecurity problems but point to Sub-Saharan Africa as the region with the more severe problem, particularly when it comes to the diet quantity dimension of food insecurity. In deciding which region should be given greater emphasis in the international allocation of scarce development resources, the fact that the numbers of people affected by food insecurity are higher in South Asia should be taken into consideration." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: food security, Food energy deficiency, Diet quality,
    Date: 2007
  17. By: Michel Fok (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - [CIRAD]); Naiyin Xu (RIIC - Research Institute of Industrial Crops - [Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences])
    Abstract: L'idée prévaut que ce sont les avantages spécifiques du coton-Bt qui ont permis la diffusion réussie du coton génétiquement modifié en Chine. L'efficience du coton-Bt varie cependant entre les régions de production. Dans la Province du Jiangsu, le long de la Vallée du Yangse, il n'y a pas vraiment gain de rendement, la réduction du contrôle chimique des ravageurs est limitée et globalement, il n'y a d'amélioration de la rentabilité liée spécifiquement à l'utilisation du coton-Bt.<br />L'utilisation du coton-Bt est pourtant quasi généralisée en Chine. Une approche plus globale, au-delà de la focalisation exclusive sur les effets spécifiques du coton-Bt, permet de comprendre ce paradoxe apparent. Dans la Province du Jiangsu, la diffusion du coton-Bt a bénéficié de son intégration dans les variétés hybrides qui sont parfaitement adaptées à la technique de production par transplantation. Le cas chinois indique que l'évaluation de l'utilisation du coton-By dans d'autres pays devrait considérer la mesure dans laquelle cette utilisation est compatible (ou non) avec les techniques existantes de production.<br />En Chine, la commercialisation du coton-Bt a entraîné la désintégration du marché des semences jusqu'alors dirigé par l'Etat. Les paysans ont d'abord bénéficié de la modernisation du marché des semences mais ils souffrent maintenant de la désintégration excessive par le secteur privé. Un ajustement de la régulation par l'Etat est nécessaire pour assurer la réussite de la restructuration du marché des semences.
    Keywords: coton; biotechnologies; Chine; industrie semencière; concurrence; stratégies; marketing
    Date: 2007–07–22
  18. By: Roberto ESPOSTI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)
    Abstract: This article investigates the long-run decline of the agricultural sector during economic development and its contribution to this process. A two-sector model is proposed where the share of agriculture, relative prices and capital accumulation are simultaneously determined within the economy. Under this general equilibrium framework, short-run adjustments with respect to long-run equilibria are admitted through a set of alternative dynamic specifications. The model is then applied to;the panel dataset of 20 Italian regions observed over the period 1951-2002 of dramatic economic development but still persistent disparities between Southern and Northern regions.
    Keywords: Panel data, SVAR Models, Structural change, agriculture
    JEL: C33 O10 O11
    Date: 2007–10
  19. By: Marcella Veronesi (Corresponding author, Università di Verona and University of Maryland; Dipartimento di Scienze economiche (Università di Verona) and Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (University of Maryland)); Martina Menon (Università di Verona; Dipartimento di Scienze economiche (Università di Verona)); Federico Perali (Università di Verona; Dipartimento di Scienze economiche (Università di Verona))
    Abstract: This study proposes a novel approach to estimating a travel cost model that accounts for intrahousehold resource allocation. We define it ‘Collective Travel Cost Method’ (CTCM). The technique is based on an analogy borrowed from the literature of collective household behavior and adapted to the recreational setting. Knowledge of the travel cost to the recreational site of each household member allows us to identify the sharing rule within the household and to estimate a collective Almost Ideal Demand System that takes into account the role of each member’s preferences for consumption choices and how resources are allocated within the household. We show how to identify and estimate welfare measures, such as the equivalent variation (EV), to infer the Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) to access a natural park of each household member. Moreover, the development and estimation of the CTCM allows: (1) to test whether the WTP estimated by the traditional unitary TCM is significantly different from the WTP estimated by the CTCM; (2) to test whether two spouses have equal or different WTP to access the recreational site, and (3) whether the individual WTP estimated by the CTCM is significantly different from the WTP derived by applying the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) on the same sample of individuals.
    Keywords: collective model, compensating variation, equivalent variation, revealed preferences, travel cost method, Willingness-To-Pay.
    JEL: D13 Q26 Q51
    Date: 2007–10
  20. By: Levy, Amnon (University of Wollongong); Caputo, Michael (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: Locust swarms hit subsistence-staple-crop-growing households at random and are not privately controllable. An aerial-spraying optimal control model that supports the said households’ liveli-hood at least expected cost is therefore developed. The qualitative properties of the model are analysed under economically plausible but mild assumptions. The steady state comparative stat-ics reveal that the locust swarm size and the probability of a household’s crop being destroyed by a swarm decrease with the number of households, yield per household, and the staple crop’s replacement price, and increase with the marginal cost of spraying and the planner’s discount rate. A local comparative dynamics analysis is also conducted, as it provides the necessary eco-nomic intuition behind other ostensibly anomalous steady state comparative statics results.
    Keywords: Optimal control, local stability, steady state comparative statics, local comparative dynamics
    Date: 2007
  21. By: Brunette, Marielle; Couture, Stéphane; Langlais, Eric
    Abstract: The paper focuses on forests management strategies for natural hazards of nonindustrial owners, in the case where the forest provides nontimber services. We introduce a basic two-period model where the private owner manages natural hazards on his forest thanks to the accumulation of savings on his individual income, or to the adoption of sylvicultural practices. We show that: 1/ the harvesting rule, in the presence of amenity services and a random growth rate for forest, is smaller than the one predicted under the Faustmann's rule; 2/ savings and sylvicultural pratices may be seen as perfectly substitutable tools for the management of natural hazards. However, our analysis predicts that the harvesting rule displays a specific sensibility to price effects and/or changes in the distribution of natural hazards, depending on whether forest owners opt for the financial strategy or undertake sylvicultural practices.
    Keywords: Risk; Forest; Amenities; Savings and Sylvicultural Practices
    JEL: D20 Q0 Q19 Q14 Q10
    Date: 2007–09–29

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.