nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒11‒24
eighteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. The Marginal Willingness-to-Pay for Health Related Food Characteristics By Thunström, Linda
  2. Sustainable Practices in Watershed Management: Global Experiences By Menon, Sudha
  3. Essays on Agricultural and Environmental Policy By Jonsson, Thomas
  4. The Growth of Poor Children in China 1991-2000: Why Food Subsidies May Matter By Lars Osberg; Jiaping Shao; Kuan Xu
  5. Willingness to Pay for Drinking Water and Sanitation Availability in Indonesia By Djoni Hartono; Bilang Nauli Harahap
  6. Poverty dynamics in rural Madagascar: regularities and specificities at the regional level\r\n (In French) By Claire GONDARD-DELCROIX (GREThA)
  7. On combining stated preferences and revealed preferences approaches to evaluate environmental resources having a recreational use By Paccagnan, Vania
  8. Liberalization and private sector involvement in the water industry: a review of the economic literature By Antonio, Massarutto
  9. Estimating Consumption Deprivation in India using Survey Data: A State-Level Rural-Urban Analysis before and during Reform Period By T. Krishna Kumar; Sushanta Mallick; Jayarama Holla
  10. The Value of Preserving Nature - Preference Uncertainty and Distributional Effects By Broberg, Thomas
  11. The Housing Boom and Forest Fires By Libertad González Luna
  12. Valuing Changes in the Quality of Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Stated Preference Study of SCUBA Diving in the Bonaire National Marine Park By George R. Parsons; Steven M. Thur
  13. A cluster-based approach for the application of EMAS By Frey , Marco; Iraldo, Fabio Iraldo
  14. Examining the income-effect in contingent valuation -The importance of making the right choices By Broberg, Thomas
  15. The Rural Urban Wage Gap in the Industrialization of Russia, 1884-1910 By Leonid Borodkin,; Brigitte Granville; Carol Scott Leonard
  16. Environmental Policy in a Federal State - A Regional CGE Analysis of the NEC Directive in Belgium By Saveyn Bert; Van Regemorter Denise
  17. Assessing visitor satisfaction with tourism rejuvenation policies: the case of Rimini, Italy By Rinaldo Brau; Antonello E. Scorcu; Laura Vici
  18. Journal Evaluation by Environmental and Resource Economists: A Survey By Rousseau Sandra

  1. By: Thunström, Linda (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: With food, consumers often face a trade-off between taste and nutrition. A priori, it is not obvious which would be more important to the average consumer, so it is an empirical question how consumers value food characteristics that simultaneously affect taste and nutritional value. In this paper, Swedish consumer preferences regarding food characteristics in breakfast cereals, hard bread and potato products are analyzed. In particular, the value consumers attach to fat, fibre, salt and sugar is studied, as well as the value of easily accessible nutritional information provided by a nutrition symbol. The equations estimated are derived from a hedonic price model. The price data originates from a household panel and scanner data, whereas the corresponding data on food characteristics was collected manually in supermarkets or from producers. The value consumers attach to food characteristics are found to vary by product and the results also imply that these values could be sensitive to changes in the combination of characteristics in a product.
    Keywords: hedonic pricing; willingness to pay; food characteristics
    JEL: D10 I10
    Date: 2007–11–16
  2. By: Menon, Sudha
    Abstract: Watershed management is considered by scholars as well as practitioners across the world as the most appropriate approach to ensure the preservation, conservation and sustainability of all land based resources and for improving the living conditions of the people in uplands and low lands. More over watershed management technologies have proven to be effective for mitigating erosion on sloping land, stabilizing landscapes, providing clean water, stabilizing and improving agrarian production systems on small and medium scale. The degree of success of watershed management interventions primarily depends on the will of the people and the scale of activities involved in it. A watershed can be defined as a catchment or drainage basin. It refers to an area which has a ridgeline on three sides and whose surplus run-off is drained from a drainage point. Watershed management is the art and technique of managing watershed resources in way that maximum benefits can be derived from them without affecting the ecological sustainability. Watershed management requires an integration of all scientific knowledge from many disciplines and a combination of technologies, strategies and techniques with the development and use of available tools. Watershed management is a holistic concept, which tries to integrate several components like soil and water conservation, forestry development, agriculture and livestock. It tries to bring about the best possible balance in the environment between natural resources on the one side, and human and other living beings on the other. Recently, participation of people has become a core component of watershed management programmes. As FAO [Food and Agricultural Organization] rightly remarked, “The pendulum appears to be swinging in support of empowerment of people with regard to conservation of natural resources. Application of the integrated participatory approach has created, in some instances, social environments where varied cultures are working together to manage their natural resources on watersheds” . Thus, the process of stakeholder centric watershed management programme has provided a stimulus for the recovery and valuation of traditional practices resulting in a mix of ancient and current natural resource management practices. Against this context the present paper attempts to present certain specific models of sustainable watershed management successfully implemented in different parts of the world. The objective of the paper is to explore the methods, tools and strategies involved in these sustainable models.
    Keywords: watershed Management; Water; Natural Resource
    JEL: Q25
    Date: 2007–09–18
  3. By: Jonsson, Thomas (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This thesis consists of a summary and four papers. The first two papers address political economy and industrial organization aspects of agricultural policy, and the last two international aspects of environmental policy. Paper [1] explains Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies to farmers by the influence of farmer interest-groups with an EU-wide membership. The analysis is based on panel-data for fifteen commodities over the period 1986-2003. Because the CAP is set as an overall EU policy, effective lobbying presents a collective action problem to the farmers of the EU as a whole. Indicators of lobbying, which are based on this perception, are found to explain part of the variation in agricultural support. In Paper [II], the Bresnahan-Lau framework is used to analyze whether policy reforms, i.e. the two-price system (an input quota, 1986-1991) and a general deregulation of dairy policy (1991-1994) had any market power effects on the Swedish butter market. The results show that the null hypothesis of no market power cannot be rejected, for any of the specific policy reforms, at any reasonable significance level. Paper [III] concerns the welfare consequences of environmental policy cooperation. It is assumed that countries finance their public expenditures by using distortionary taxes, and that they differ with respect to competition in the labor market. It is shown how the welfare effect of an increase in the expenditures on abatement depends on changes in environmental damage, employment and work hours. The welfare effect is also related to the strategic interaction among the countries in the prereform equilibrium. In Paper [IV] environmental policy in an economic federation, where each national government faces a mixed tax problem, is addressed. It is assumed that the federal government sets emission targets, which are implemented at the national level. It is also assumed that the economic federation is decentralized. The results highlight a strategic role of income and commodity taxation, i.e. each country uses its policy instruments, at least in part, to influence the emission target.
    Keywords: agricultural policy; political economy; lobbying; cooperatives; market power; policy cooperation; distortionary taxes; labor market; Nash game; Stackelberg game; income and commodity taxation; economic federation; environmental policy
    JEL: D62 H21 H41 H43 H70 J51 J60 L22 L51 L66 Q11 Q18
    Date: 2007–11–16
  4. By: Lars Osberg; Jiaping Shao; Kuan Xu (Department of Economics, Dalhousie University; Department of Economics, Dalhousie University; Department of Economics, Dalhousie University)
    Keywords: height-for-age; child heath; growth; inequality; poverty; food subsidies; China
    Date: 2007–11–19
  5. By: Djoni Hartono (Department of Economics, University of Indonesia); Bilang Nauli Harahap
    Abstract: When sustainability of access and quality, is the primary concern, water and saniatioan should be considered as economic goods. Therefore, we need more accurate information on the amount of people’s willingness to pay. This study attemp to (i) identify the effects of drinking water supply and home sanitation on the rent price of a house, (ii) calculating the value of marginal implicit price (marginal willingness to pay) for drinking water and sanitation, and (iii) examine factors that affects the availability of drinking water supply and sanitation. Using the hedonic price model, we conclude that: (i) the availability of water piped facilities or pump water affect rent price of houses in urban areas, while the availability of toilet facilitated with septic tank influences rent price of houses both in urban and rural areas; (ii) garbage handlings through collection by authorized agency influences rent price of houses both in urban and rural areas, (iii) the WTP for piped facilities or pumped water in urban area is Rp. 6,850 per month, while the WTP for toilet facilitated with septic tank is Rp. 15,800, and the WTP for garbage collection is Rp. 11,950 per month. The logistic model approach revealed that households’ economic and social conditions such as age, number of family members, breadwinner’s education, and expenditure per capita influence the availability of drinking water facilities in the form of piped water or pumped water, sanitation facilities in the form of toilet with septic tank, and garbage handling facilities. Human capital or the level of education is very crucial in the possibilities of ownership of drinking water and sanitation facilities.
    Keywords: access to drinking water and sanitation, Willingness to pay, hedonic price model, logistic model
    JEL: Q51 D12 C21 C25
    Date: 2007–11
    Abstract: Poverty is a temporal phenomenon and its evolutions have to be studied. Nevertheless, it is overall important to understand the working process which explains trajectories of poverty, at both levels of households and regional under-groups. Carrying out an applied study on rural Madagascar, the article shows that poverty dynamics can not be properly understood without a territorial approach.
    Keywords: Chronic poverty, transitory poverty, regional dynamics, rural Madagascar
    JEL: I3 R11
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Paccagnan, Vania
    Abstract: This work aims at analysing the value of recreational water uses for the Idro Lake (Lombardy, Northern Italy), which has been experiencing dramatic fluctuations in its levels in recent years, due to excessive productive withdrawal that affected recreational uses. It estimates the economic benefits deriving from recreational uses, by considering the current recreational demand and the hypothetical one obtained by considering an “improved quality” scenario. Through an on-site survey, we built a panel dataset. Following Whitehead et al. (2000) and Hanley et al. (2003) we get welfare estimates by combining SP and RP responses. The present CS is estimated in €134 per individual, whilst the increase in CS is estimated in €173 per individual. These figures can be confronted with the economic value of competitive uses and with the clean up costs, respectively, to infer some policy indications.
    Keywords: Recreational water uses, Water Framework Directive, Poisson and Negative binomial econometric models
    JEL: Q26 D61 Q25
    Date: 2007–05
  8. By: Antonio, Massarutto
    Abstract: The theoretical and empirical literature on water supply and sewerage liberalization is reviewed in this paper in order to discuss the potential for market creation and private sector involvement in this sector. The analysis is framed in the “policy roadmap” developed by regulatory economics and discusses opportunities for competition in the market, unbundling, competition for the market and yardstick competition. A review of studies comparing privately and publicly managed water utilities is finally provided.
    Keywords: Water supply and sewerage; liberalization; private sector involvement; water infrastructure; economic regulation
    JEL: H54 L51 L95 L33
    Date: 2007–09
  9. By: T. Krishna Kumar; Sushanta Mallick; Jayarama Holla
    Abstract: This paper assesses deprivation in India employing a measure proposed by Sitaramam and using consumption data at the household level. As cereals constitute a staple food and form a major portion of expenditure on food, the deprivation measure considered here is deprivation in cereal consumption. The total expenditure at which the Engel curve for cereals turns from concave to convex is taken as the cut-off to determine the deprived households. It is shown that cereal deprivation at the all-India level exhibits a declining trend over the period 1987-88 and 1999-2000, in the rural sector, while there is little change in the urban sector. Further, this decline in cereal deprivation seems to have been slowing down during the reform period. The estimates of deprivation are poorly correlated with the HCI and PGI at state level, both in rural and urban sectors. They, however, have better temporal correlations with those poverty measures. We offer some explanation for these observed differences in alternate deprivation indices. The trends in cereal deprivation are accompanied in some cases by a decline, in real terms, in maximum cereal consumption of each group of consumers. Whether this is an improvement or otherwise of the living standards of the poor, must await further analysis of per capita food consumption in general, with an analysis of prices and quantities of various food items. It is hoped that this kind of study on deprivation of essential commodities may increase our understanding of poverty, and even suggest direct intervention strategies.
    Date: 2007–10
  10. By: Broberg, Thomas (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This thesis deals with valuation of nonmarket goods using contingent valuation and consists of four papers and an introduction to the research area. Paper [I] examines the public benefits from preserving old-growth forest in the submountainous region in Sweden. Specifically, it analyzes a preservation program suggested by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The results show that people value preservation for different reasons, not necessarily related to physical use. The paper finds that the estimated public benefits of the program exceed the estimated opportunity cost of forgone timber revenues and it should therefore be implemented. The paper also finds that there is no regional imbalance in the distribution of the benefits. Paper [II] examines the public benefits from preserving the four large predators in the Swedish fauna. Specifically, the paper focuses on the differences in attitudes and willingness to pay between people in wolf areas and other regions. We find that a clear majority of people in wolf areas are against preserving predators and that many of them need to be economically compensated in order to accept implementation of the predator policy package. The public in Sweden is, by a narrow margin, against implementation. The overall mean WTP is approximately SEK 300. It cannot be ruled out that the public benefits may be outweighed by the public costs following implementation. Paper [III] presents a new approach for treating preference uncertainty in contingent valuation. Specifically, it studies how data elicited from a multiple bounded question should be modelled. The new approach is compared to one of the conventional approaches and we find that: (1) it is more intuitive; (2) it better fits the data; (3) it gives more precise estimates of mean and median WTP; (4) it is less sensitive to distributional assumptions; and (5) it is better suited for policy analysis. Paper [IV] examines the income-effect in contingent valuation. Specifically three issues are analyzed: (1) the choice of income measure; (2) the choice of modelling assumptions; and (3) the social context. The results show that the estimated income-elasticity of WTP is fairly sensitive to different choices. The most statistically precise estimate is produced using household income and controlling for household characteristics. The third issue (social context) is approached by studying the answers to a WTP question conditioning respondents on a change in (1) their personal income and (2) the average income in Sweden. The results suggest that not only the income level per se influences WTP, but also its relation to the income of others.
    Keywords: contingent valuation; nonuse values; preference uncertainty; income-effect
    JEL: C81 Q20 Q23 Q26 Q28 Q38
    Date: 2007–11–16
  11. By: Libertad González Luna
    Keywords: Forest fires, housing prices, land-use change
    JEL: Q15 Q23 R21
    Date: 2007–10
  12. By: George R. Parsons (Graduate College of Marine Studies and Department of Economics,University of Delaware); Steven M. Thur (NOAA Office of Response and Restoration)
    Abstract: We estimated the economic value of changes in the quality of a coral reef ecosystem to SCUBA divers in the Caribbean using a stated preference mail survey. Our sampling frame was all divers with U.S. home addresses who purchased a tag required for diving in the Bonaire National Marine Park in 2001. Divers were asked how they might have altered their trip choice had the quality of the coral reef system been different from what they experienced. From these responses we inferred the value of three different levels of quality defined by visibility, species diversity, and percent coral cover. We used random utility theory and mixed logit to analyze the choice questions. Our sample size was 211, and our survey response rate is 75%. For modest changes in quality we estimate per person annual losses at $45. For larger losses the value is $192.
    Keywords: coral reef, marine protected area, non-market valuation
  13. By: Frey , Marco; Iraldo, Fabio Iraldo
    Abstract: This paper analyses the benefits of the cluster approach in adopting EMAS (the EC Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) by some companies operating in the territorial area of Lucca. The cluster approach proves to be effective in stimulating and supporting the adoption of EMAS and, more in general, to provide a better environmental management by the interested companies. In order to start up and maintain this particular networking approach, there is to be a strong motivation by one or more actors in the cluster that are able to take the initiative and make shared resources and common tools available for the involved organisations. This motivation could be an EMAS related recognition or award for the Promotion Committee. In addition to that, it has to be stressed that accredited verifiers must be fully involved in the application of this kind of approaches, in order to really enable (and promote) the use of shared resources and common tools by all the organisations of a cluster.
    Keywords: environmental management; cluster approach; paper production
    JEL: Q56 M42 L60
    Date: 2007–05
  14. By: Broberg, Thomas (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on three important issues in estimating the relationship between WTP and income using contingent valuation: 1) the choice of income measure; 2) the modelling choice; and 3) the social context. Addressing the first two issues, a sensitivity analysis is performed. The results show that the estimated income-elasticity of WTP is fairly sensitive to different income measures and modelling assumptions and varies between 0.07 and 0.49 for the specific models estimated. The main conclusion drawn from the analysis is that inclusion of control variables for household characteristics is important for finding a significant income-effect, when the household income measure is used. No significant difference is found between gross or net income. The results further indicate that the relevant income measure may not only be the income level per se, but also the income level relative to others. The latter result is based on an experimental valuation question, conditioning the respondents on hypothetical changes in their absolute and relative income. The conclusion is that the social context read into the valuation situation influences the responses and, therefore, the estimated welfare measure.
    Keywords: contingent valuation; income-effect; income-elasticity of WTP; income measure; social context; relative income; multiple bounded; payment card.
    JEL: C81 Q20 Q26 Q28
    Date: 2007–11–16
  15. By: Leonid Borodkin,; Brigitte Granville; Carol Scott Leonard
    Abstract: This paper presents econometric evidence of integration in rural and urban wages in Russia’s Northwest in the late tsarist era. Using the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) approach to co-integration and error correction modelling, we show the flexibility of the rural wage in response to the lagged rural/urban wage ratio. Applying the model developed by Boyer and Hatton (1994) and Hatton and Williamson (1991a, 1991b, 1992), we show the similarity of the wage gap in northwest Russia in the late tsarist era to that during industrialization in the US, England and Western Europe. Although our evidence does not necessarily describe country-wide trends, it does support for an industrializing region the more positive view of the degree and nature of late tsarist economic growth. Growth was not slowing down, and there is little evidence of constraints on migration by traditional agrarian institutions.
    Date: 2007–09
  16. By: Saveyn Bert (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies); Van Regemorter Denise (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies)
    Date: 2007–03
  17. By: Rinaldo Brau; Antonello E. Scorcu; Laura Vici
    Abstract: In this paper we assess the appeal of potential interventions on the tourism offer of Rimini, a popular Italian seaside holiday destination, by means of a choice modelling analysis. Tourism can be viewed as a composite good, its overall utility depending on the arrangement of the component characteristics. Our discrete choice experiments incorporate as attributes a number of possible changes to current tourist activities (the subject of public debate), including them in hypothetical alternative holiday packages. The conditional logit analysis indicates that tourists show lesser preference for interventions aimed at protecting the environmental integrity of the beach and greater preference for those, such as the creation of a pedestrianised seafront with late-night opening of amenities and facilities, that are likely to diminish the role of the traditional sea, sun and sand component of the overall holiday experience.
    Keywords: Destination planning; Tourism demand, Stated preference methods
    JEL: L83 C25
    Date: 2007
  18. By: Rousseau Sandra (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies)
    Abstract: Using an online survey, we have asked the researchers in the field of environmental and resource economics how they themselves would rank a representative list of journals in their field. The results of this ranking are then compared to the ordering based on the journals’ impact factors as published by Thomson Scientific. The two sets of rankings seem to be positively correlated, but statistically the null hypothesis that the two rankings are uncorrelated cannot be rejected. This observation suggests that researchers interpret the current quality of journals based on other factors in addition to the impact factors.
    Date: 2007–11

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