New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒10‒27
seven papers chosen by

  2. Information Deficiencies in Agricultural Policy Design, Implementation and Monitoring By David Blandford
  4. Economic Implications of an Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America By Luis Rivera; Hugo Rojas-Romagosa
  5. Are Pollution Permits a Cure for Unregulated Growth Diseases ? By Alain Jean-Marie; Philippe Fabien Prieur; Philippe Mabel Tidball
  6. Acceptable regulations to reduce common resource extraction By AMBEC Stefan; SEBI Carine
  7. Network Economics and the Digital Divide in Rural India By Jake Kendall; Nirvikar Singh; Kristin Williams; Yan Zhou; P.D. Kaushik

  1. By: George Grantham
    Abstract: Owing to the high cost of transporting farm produce before the railway age, the land-intensiveness of European mixed farming caused both production and consumption of foodstuffs and intermediate farm inputs in the steady state to be highly dispersed, a spatial configuration offering weak inducement to reorganize farm structure or to invest available labour and capital with a view to increasing output. In such conditions the most common cause of rising agricultural productivity was spatial concentration of demand, which raised the demand price of farm produce and farm inputs within the privileged space bounded by discontinuities in the cost of land transport. The ultimate cause of observed changes in agricultural productivity before the nineteenth century must therefore be sought outside the farming sector in the development of markets for tradable manufactures, tradable services, and the economies of scale in their provision that supported spatial concentration of population.
    JEL: B10 N53 N74 N93 O18 Q13 R12 R14 R40
    Date: 2007–09
  2. By: David Blandford
    Abstract: Accurate and complete information is needed to guide the formation, implementation, monitoring and assessment of agricultural policy. Obtaining both qualitative and quantitative information is vital for ensuring that policy measures are targeted, efficient and cost effective. Quantification of impact and benefit-cost analysis are only possible if information of sufficient quantity and quality is available. Meeting this requirement is increasingly challenging due to an expansion in the range and complexity of policy concerns associated with agriculture. Problems can be posed by a lack of knowledge about technical relationships that underlie key processes, by the inherent uncertainty of outcomes or difficulties in monitoring these, and by information asymmetry (i.e. situations in which the information necessary to inform policymaking exists but it is difficult or costly to obtain). This study examines information needs to guide the formation, implementation, monitoring and assessment of policies for agriculture, outlines deficiencies, argues for selective improvements in data availability, quality and relevance in order to satisfy policy priorities, and suggests ways to achieve these. Methods for dealing with remaining deficiencies when designing and implementing policies are also outlined...
    Date: 2007–10
  3. By: Jim Engle-Warnick; Javier Escobal; Sonia Laszlo
    Abstract: The lack of adoption of new farming technologies despite known benefits is a well-documented phenomenon in development economics. In addition to a number of market constraints, risk aversion predominates the discussion of behavioral determinants of technology adoption. We hypothesize that ambiguity aversion may also be a determinant, since farmers may have less information about the distribution of yield outcomes from new technologies compared with traditional technologies. We test this hypothesis with a laboratory experiment in the field in which we measure risk and ambiguity preferences. We combine our experiment with a survey in which we collect information on farm decisions and identify market constraints. We find that ambiguity aversion does indeed predict actual technology choices on the farm.
    JEL: O33 O18 C91
    Date: 2007–05
  4. By: Luis Rivera (CLACDS-INCAE); Hugo Rojas-Romagosa (CPB (the Hague))
    Abstract: Using a global CGE model, we assess the potential macro-economic effects of a future European Union - Central American Association Agreement (EU-CAAA). Currently, many agricultural products from Central America (CA) enter duty-free to the European Union (EU); with two notable exceptions: bananas and sugar. We find that liberalizing the access to both products will bring significant gains to CA, while excluding them from the negotiations will bring no static gains. If trade facilitation mechanisms are implemented and we allow for the expected increase in FDI inflows to CA, welfare gains improve for all scenarios but are conditions on the level of EU agricultural liberalization.
    Keywords: EU-CAAA FTA, trade policy, free trade agreement, CGE models, bananas, sugar
    JEL: F13 F15 C68
    Date: 2007–10
  5. By: Alain Jean-Marie; Philippe Fabien Prieur; Philippe Mabel Tidball
    Abstract: We consider an OLG model with emissions arising from production and potential irreversible pollution. Pollution control goes through a system of permits and private agents can also maintain the environment. In this setting, we prove that there exist multiple equilibria. Due to the possible irreversibility of pollution, the economy can be dragged into both environmental and poverty traps. First, we show that choosing a global quota on emissions at the lowest level beyond a critical threshold is a means to avoid the two types of traps. Next, we analyze the impact of a political reform on other equilibria. When the agents do not engage in maintenance, a fall in the quota implies a reduction of pollution but is detrimental to capital accumulation while, in the other case, it procures a double dividend.
    Date: 2007–10
  6. By: AMBEC Stefan (LERNA, TSE); SEBI Carine
    Date: 2007–10
  7. By: Jake Kendall (University of California Santa Cruz); Nirvikar Singh (University of California Santa Cruz); Kristin Williams (University of California Santa Cruz); Yan Zhou (California State University, Sacramento); P.D. Kaushik (Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies)
    Abstract: The idea of a ‘global digital divide’ is well accepted, and cross-country studies of determinants of differences in computer and Internet penetration have identified income, telecommunications infrastructure, and regulatory quality as key influencing factors. The policy implications from these studies are relatively blunt: get richer, have more telephones, and regulate telecommunications better. In this paper, we examine an alternative policy approach to bridging the digital divide, through organizational innovations that provide low cost Internet access in developing countries, within the existing levels of income, telecommunications infrastructure and regulatory environment. We use survey data from 500 individuals in four states of India: Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, to examine factors influencing patterns of computer and Internet use. The situations in which data was collected were ones where computer and Internet access was being provided by a developmental agency (government or non-government). We estimate logit and multinomial logit models, using explanatory variables such as income, household size, education, and occupation, as well as infrastructure factors such as quality of electricity supply, and availability of telephones and televisions. Thus we are able to go beyond simple analyses of penetration at the country level, to understand the microeconomics of computer and Internet use in rural India. In particular, by examining patterns of use, we are able to comment on the importance of network externalities for diffusion of computers and the Internet in these local rural contexts.
    Keywords: IT, ITC, Internet, India, Development, Digital Divide
    JEL: L86 O1
    Date: 2007–09

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