nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒07‒30
eighteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. A Nonlinear Cobweb Model of Agricultural Commodity Price Fluctuations By Sophie Mitra; Jean-Marc Boussard
  2. Impact of Biofuel Production on World Agricultural Markets: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis By Birur, Dileep; Hertel, Thomas; Tyner, Wally
  3. Knocked-down Agriculture After De-industrialization; Another Destructive Influence of Neo-liberalism By Shafaeddin, Mehdi
  4. Distorted Agricultural Incentives and Economic Development: Asia’s Experience By Anderson, Kym
  5. Household Willingness to Pay for Organic Products By Griffith, Rachel; Nesheim, Lars
  6. A review of the German mandatory deposit for one-way drinks packaging and drinks packaging taxes in Europe By Markus Groth
  7. Cereal Supplies in Rural Families of the Senegalese Groundnut Basin. Who is Responsible for Meeting Family Food Needs? By Sakho-Jimbira, M.S.; Benoit-Cattin, M.
  8. Environmental Taxes By Don Fullerton; Andrew Leicester; Stephen Smith
  9. Eliciting Biodiversity and Landscape Trade-off in Landscape Projects: Pilot Study in the Anciens Marais des Baux, Provence, France By Robert Lifran; Vanja Westerberg
  10. Carbon sequestration and the forest sector: Implementing an additional project based on wood products in the construction sector By Jean-Jacques MALFAIT (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113); Guillaume PAJOT (Macaulay Institute)
  11. Carbon sequestration in forestry: rotation lengths, wood products and carbon storage optimisation (In French) By Jean-Jacques MALFAIT (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113); Guillaume PAJOT (Macaulay Institute)
  12. Social Protection and Migration in China: What Can Protect Migrants from Economic Uncertainty? By Song, Lina; Appleton, Simon
  13. Better than their reputation - A case for mail surveys in contingent valuation By Michael Ahlheim; Benchaphun Ekasingh; Oliver Frör; Jirawan Kitchaicharoen; Andreas Neef; Chapika Sangkapitux; Nopasom Sinphurmsukskul
  14. Equity and Aggregation in Environmental Valuation By Michael Ahlheim; Ulrike Lehr
  15. The Ghost of Extinction: Preservation Values and Minimum Viable Population in Wildlife Models By G. Cornelis van Kooten; Mark Eiswerth
  16. Rural Craftsmanship, Employment Creation and Poverty Alleviation: The Case of the Bamboo Craftsmanship in Bangladesh By Mottaleb, Khondoker Abdul
  17. Corruption, Development and the Curse of Natural Resources By Shannon Pendergast; Judith Clarke; G. Cornelis van Kooten
  18. Réformes de politique agricole et dynamique de la pauvreté alimentaire en Côte d'Ivoire By Arsène Kouadio; Vincent Monsan; Mamadou Gbongue

  1. By: Sophie Mitra (Fordham University, Department of Economics); Jean-Marc Boussard (Institut National de Recherche en Agronomie (INRA))
    Abstract: Recent developments in world food markets stress the importance of identifying the sources of food price volatility. This paper develops a nonlinear Cobweb model with endogenous volatility which accounts for several characteristics of agricultural commodity markets (seasonality, storage) and leads to price series with positive skewness and autocorrelation, as in actual commodity prices. Practical consequences may imply a rethinking of the current methods of world food market regulation.
    Keywords: Agricultural prices, nonlinear Cobweb model, endogenous fluctuations, storage
    JEL: Q11 E39 D84
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Birur, Dileep; Hertel, Thomas; Tyner, Wally
    Abstract: This paper introduces biofuels sectors as energy inputs into the GTAP data base and to the production and consumption structures of the GTAP-Energy model developed by Burniaux and Truong (2002), and further modified by McDougall and Golub (2008). We also incorporate Agro-ecological Zones (AEZs) for each of the land using sectors in line with Lee et al. (2005). The GTAP-E model with biofuels and AEZs offers a useful framework for analyzing the growing importance of biofuels for global changes in crop production, utilization, commodity prices, factor use, trade, land use change etc. We begin by validating the model over the 2001-2006 period. We focus on six main drivers of the biofuel boom: the hike in crude oil prices, replacement of MTBE by ethanol as a gasoline additive in the US, and subsidies for ethanol and biodiesel in the US and EU. Using this historical simulation, we calibrate the key elasticities of energy substitution between biofuels and petroleum products in each region. With these parameter settings in place, the model does a reasonably good job of predicting the share of feedstock in biofuels and related sectors in accordance with the historical evidence between 2001 and 2006 in the three major biofuel producing regions: US, EU, and Brazil. The results from the historical simulation reveal an increased production of feedstock with the replacement of acreage under other agricultural crops. As expected, the trade balance in oil sector improves for all the oil exporting regions, but it deteriorates at the aggregate for the agricultural sectors.
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Shafaeddin, Mehdi
    Abstract: Knocked-down Agriculture After De-industrialization; Another Destructive Influence of Neo-liberalism M. Shafaeddin* Abstract The author shows that although some short term factors have contributed to the recent food crisis in developing countries, the crisis is rooted mainly in agricultural support policies of developed countries, liberalization of the agricultural sector by developing countries and contradictions in the design and implementation of GATT/WTO rules. Agricultural liberalization has been imposed on lower-income countries by International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and through bilateral trade agreements between developed and developing countries. The Neo-liberal economic philosophies, as well as unequal power relations between developing and developed countries, have been main contributory factors. There is a danger that further pressure on developing countries during the Doha Round may result in an outcome undermining development of the agricultural sector of developing countries further. The result would be intensification of dependence of lower-income countries on food imports, knocked-down agriculture and economic and political dependence on developed countries. A radical change in the trading system, practices of IFIs and policies of developed countries is required. Developing countries have little power to bring about such changes, but they can try to change their own policies. To do so it is not easy to resist pressure from developed countries and IFIs, but it is absolutely necessary if they do not wish to sacrifice their long-term development and well being of their population. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*. The author is a development economist affiliated to the Economic Research Institute, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and international consultant in trade and industrial policies and management of competitiveness. He is the author of Trade Policy at the Crossroads; Recent Experience of Developing Countries, Palgrave, Macmillan and numerous articles on development policy issues in international journals Comments are welcome and can be sent to him through:
    Keywords: Food; WTO; trade liberalization; food supply; international financial institutions
    JEL: F13 O10 Q18 N50 F10 Q17 B13 Q10
    Date: 2008–07–22
  4. By: Anderson, Kym
    Abstract: Earnings from farming in many low-income countries have been depressed by a pro-urban bias in own-country policies, as well as by governments of richer countries favoring their farmers with import barriers and subsidies. Both sets of policies reduce national and global economic welfare. The rapid development of many Asian emerging economies has been accompanied by a gradual reduction in their anti-agricultural policies, but many distortions remain and some countries have moved from negative to positive assistance for farmers, following the earlier examples of first Japan and then Korea and Taiwan. Drawing on results from a new multi-country research project, this paper examines the extent of these changes relative to those of other developing countries over the past five decades. It concludes by pointing to prospects for further policy reform in Asia.
    Keywords: agricultural and trade policy reforms; Asian agricultural development; Distorted incentives
    JEL: F13 F14 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2008–07
  5. By: Griffith, Rachel; Nesheim, Lars
    Abstract: We use hedonic prices and purchase quantities to consider what can be learned about household willingness to pay for baskets of organic products and how this varies across households. We use rich scanner data on food purchases by a large number of households to compute household specific lower and upper bounds on willingness to pay for various baskets of organic products. These bounds provide information about willingness to pay for organic without imposing restrictive assumptions on preferences. We show that the reasons households are willing to pay vary, with quality being the most important, health concerns coming second, and environmental concerns lagging far behind. We also show how these methods can be used for example by stores to provide robust upper bounds on the revenue implication of introducing a new line of organic products.
    Keywords: hedonic prices; organic; willingness to pay
    JEL: D12 L81 Q51
    Date: 2008–07
  6. By: Markus Groth (Centre for Sustainability Management, Leuphana University of Lüneburg)
    Abstract: The mandatory deposit for one-way drinks packaging, embodied in the German Packaging Ordinance of 1991, entered into force in January 2003, after the condition for its implementation was given by the fall of the market share of reusable drinks packaging under 72% in 1997. In this context the author doubts that the German mandatory deposit is an effective instrument to stabilise the market share of ecologically advantageous drinks packaging. Rather it is to be expected that the environmental policy objectives can be accomplished more effectively by a reorientation of the specific environmental policy. Hence it needs to be considered that – even eleven years after the first time decrease of the relevant market share of reusable drinks packaging – an urgent need for action exists in Germany. This practise based analysis therefore deals with packaging-taxes as an alternative environmental policy instrument and points out recommendations against the background of a further amending of the German Packaging Ordinance as well as experiences from the use of packaging taxes in Europe.
    Keywords: agri-environmental policy, biodiversity conservation auctions, transaction costs, ecological services, plant biodiversity, experimental economics, EAFRD-Regulation
    JEL: C93 D44 D82 H41 L14 Q24 Q28 Q57 R52
  7. By: Sakho-Jimbira, M.S.; Benoit-Cattin, M.
    Abstract: In the traditional operation of production-consumption groups in rural areas of Senegal, the group chief, or Borom njël, has a social duty to make sure family food needs are met. His ability to do this is supported by certain social rules governing these groups, and by a favourable environment. However, various changes have now adversely affected the environment. These changes prompted us to assess the Borom njël's current ability to go on playing his social rule as a food provider. From data collected in two villages of the Senegalese Groundnut Basin, using multivariate analysis, we identified three production-consumption group profiles according to how the Borom njël ensured main cereal supplies: (i°) market purchase with migrants' remittances; (ii°) home production and (iii°) market purchase with own resources. The ability of the Borom njël to ensure cereal supplies differed according to the profile. We used a multivariate logit model to study the determinants affecting the Borom njël's ability to ensure cereal supplies for the production-consumption group. We found that physical assets and wage labour employment increased this ability. We also found that agricultural income, including livestock, was positively correlated to the likelihood of the Borom njël successfully ensuring cereal supplies, particularly those depending heavily on own production. Additional income earned by the Borom njël from non-agricultural activity had the same positive effect, particularly when ensuring cereals provision through market purchase. We end with some thoughts on the increasing reliance of Borom njëls on migrants' remittances to ensure that family cereal needs are met. ...French Abstract : Dans le passé, le fonctionnement traditionnel des populations rurales du Bassin arachidier Sénégalais regroupées au sein de groupes de production-consommation, reposait sur un système de droits et obligations gouvernant l'allocation des ressources en terre, en travail et en nourriture entre les différents membres de groupes familiaux. Ainsi, le chef du groupe familial de production-consommation, encore appelé Borom njël en wolof, avait l'obligation de satisfaire les besoins alimentaires des autres membres essentiellement, grâce à sa production agricole. En contrepartie ceux-ci travaillaient sur ses parcelles alors que chaque adulte dépendant avait un droit de culture sur une parcelle d'arachide dont il gardait les revenus. Vu tous les changements qui ont affecté le contexte socio-économique de ces populations rurales, il est devenu plus difficile pour les Borom njël d'honorer leurs obligations. Et, nous nous sommes plus particulièrement intéressés à la capacité du Borom njël à assurer l'approvisionnement en céréales et satisfaire les besoins alimentaires des différents membres. A partir de données collectées dans deux villages du Bassin Arachidier, nous avons procédé à une analyse multivariée qui nous a permis d'identifier trois profils de groupes de production-consommation, suivant que les besoins alimentaires sont principalement assurés avec: i°) les achats sur le marché grâce aux transferts d'argent des migrants ; ii°) la production agricole du Borom njël permettant ainsi l'autoconsommation ; iii°) les achats sur le marché grâce aux revenus du Borom njël. Ensuite, nous avons utilisé un modèle de logit multivarié pour étudier les déterminants qui affectent la capacité du Borom njël à assurer l'approvisionnement en céréales du groupe de production-consommation. Les résultats montrent que la possession d'actifs physiques ainsi que l'emploi de salariés agricoles augmentent cette capacité à assurer l'approvisionnement en céréales. En outre, le revenu agricole -y compris celui de l'élevage- est positivement corrélé à la probabilité du Borom njël à assurer l'approvisionnement en céréales, particulièrement pour ceux qui dépendent de leurs propres productions agricoles. Quant aux revenus non agricoles obtenus grâce à la diversification locale, ils augmentent aussi cette probabilité, mais uniquement à l'intérieur des groupes où l'approvisionnement en céréales est assuré grâce aux achats sur le marché avec les revenus du Borom njël.
    JEL: Q12 O55 D10
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Don Fullerton; Andrew Leicester; Stephen Smith
    Abstract: This chapter provides an overview of key economic issues in the use of taxation as an instrument of environmental policy in the UK. It first reviews economic arguments for using taxes and other market mechanisms in environmental policy, discusses the choice of tax base, and considers the value of the revenue from environmental taxes. It is argued that environmental tax revenues do not significantly alter economic constraints on tax policy, and that environmental taxes need to be justified primarily by the cost-effective achievement of environmental goals. The chapter then assesses key areas where environmental taxes appear to have significant potential – including taxes on energy used by industry and households, road transport, aviation, and waste. In some of these areas, efficient environmental tax design needs to make use of a number of taxes in combination – a "multi-part instrument".
    JEL: H23 Q28
    Date: 2008–07
  9. By: Robert Lifran; Vanja Westerberg
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to elicit social preferences for various organizational and managerial changes in the landscape of the agricultural area called “Ancien Marais des Baux”, at the foothill of the Alpilles Mountain, in Provence. We present preliminaries results from a pilot survey conducted in the area in the winter of 2008. In our research, the environmental resource is the landscape, defined in terms of its attributes and levels these attributes would take with and without various management options. We use the Choice Experiment to determine what the preferred landscape is, and under wetland restoration, the most desired features that the wetland should provide. The random parameter logit model is employed to take into account variances in unobserved preference heterogeneity. Consistent with expectations, we observed that respondents who are neither green, have little attachment to wetlands, have poor understanding of wetland services, are WTP less ceteris paribus for all the attributes in question, compared to the respondents that have green behaviour, knows about wetlands or cares about their existence in Marais des Baux. Not surprisingly, the respondents considering the wetland in Marais des Baux, part of their cultural heritage, wants to visit it in the future, and preserve it for future generations, have the greatest WTP for any combination of attributes. We also observed the importance of mosquito control in any support of wetland restoration among respondents. Indeed, restoration on an advanced scale is only accepted in the presence of biological mosquito control. Distinct landscape features, such as tree hedges which still allows for the view of the massif of the Alpilles are valued equally high as the recreational opportunites related to the wetland. Biodiversity is low on the priority list compared to other attributes, but still positively valued.
    Date: 2008–07
  10. By: Jean-Jacques MALFAIT (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113); Guillaume PAJOT (Macaulay Institute)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to analyse the implementation of a climate change mitigation strategy for the forest sector. We suggest a strategy based on an increased storage capacity in wood products. An additional resource is provided by recycling and a reallocation of timber usages. In the first part of the paper, the additionality notion (“Kyoto meaning”) is discussed (environmental and economic aspects). Then a case study is conducted on the “Landes de Gascogne forest”. The project is assessed on the basis of additional carbon storage and on the basis of avoided emissions, as wood can replace CO2 intensive materials (concrete, steel). Results will be useful in view of the discussions dealing with the post 2012 Kyoto period and the possible inclusion of wood products in the carbon stocks.
    Keywords: Kyoto Protocol, carbon sequestration, additionality, avoided emissions, life lengths, modelling, wood products, forest sector
    JEL: L73 Q23 Q54
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Jean-Jacques MALFAIT (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113); Guillaume PAJOT (Macaulay Institute)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to analyse the impact of rotation lengths on carbon storage in the forest, but also on carbon storage in wood products. The software Co2Fix has been used to undertake the simulations. A case study has been conducted on the “Landes de Gascogne” forest. On a long time scale, the analysis shows that carbon storage in wood products is significant. The study also shows that the implementation of long rotations although it allows to increase forests carbon stocks reduces timber production, and is not finally the best strategy. Results will be useful in view of the discussions dealing with the post 2012 Kyoto period and the possible inclusion of wood products in the carbon stocks.
    Keywords: Kyoto Protocol, wood products, carbon sequestration, modelling, rotation lengths, forest sector
    JEL: L73 Q23 Q54
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Song, Lina (University of Nottingham); Appleton, Simon (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Job-related welfare entitlements are common in China. Migrants who do not hold urban registration are, in principle, not entitled to job-related welfare even if they are employees in the State sector. The official explanation is that rural-urban migrants are allocated access to farm land in their rural origins, and hence their welfare rights and security are covered by this entitlement to the use of land. In this paper, we look at whether migrants still benefited from these opportunities. Second, we investigate whether it is the poor, the unentitled and the vulnerable that are excluded from public protection programs. Chinese official social protection programs are, like in most western countries, officially designated as being for poverty alleviation. However would such programs still be targeted in ways that limit their coverage, curtail the range of basic needs provided for and allocate benefits very unequally? Thirdly, we explore whether households with favourable productive characteristics are more likely to get into social protection programs. Here, the ongoing debate concerning equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes has some relevance. Finally, we examine the roles social networks or Guanxi (the Chinese term for social connections) may play in dealing with economic shocks.
    Keywords: migration, social protection, entitlement, China
    JEL: H41 H42 D63
    Date: 2008–07
  13. By: Michael Ahlheim; Benchaphun Ekasingh; Oliver Frör; Jirawan Kitchaicharoen; Andreas Neef; Chapika Sangkapitux; Nopasom Sinphurmsukskul
    Abstract: Though contingent valuation is the dominant technique for the valuation of public projects, especially in the environmental sector, the high costs of contingent valuation surveys prevent the use of this method for the assessment of relatively small projects. The reason for this cost problem is that typically only contingent valuation studies which are based on face-to-face interviews are accepted as leading to valid results. Especially in countries with high wages face-to-face surveys are extremely costly considering that for a valid contingent valuation study a minimum of 1,000 completed face-to-face interviews is required. In this paper we try a rehabilitation of mail surveys as low-budget substitutes for costly face-to-face surveys. Based on an empirical contingent valuation study in Northern Thailand we show that the validity of mail surveys can be improved significantly if so-called citizen expert groups are employed for a thorough survey design.
    Keywords: contingent valuation; Environmental Valuation; Equity
    JEL: D6 H4 L3 Q25 Q51
    Date: 2008–07
  14. By: Michael Ahlheim; Ulrike Lehr
    Abstract: Environmental valuation studies aim at the assessment of the social benefits or the social costs caused by some change in environmental quality (in the broadest sense). The most popular field of application of environmental valuation studies is project appraisal where the benefits arising from some environmental project (measured in terms of people's willingness to pay for that project) are assessed and confronted with the costs of the project or with the benefits from some alternative project if a choice has to be made between different projects. A closer look at the results of empirical valuation studies shows that in many surveys a negative correlation between the number auf household members and the willingness to pay (WTP) stated by a household for a project can be observed. These results are rather puzzling because in larger households more people are going to benefit from an environmental improvement than in small households. A plausible explanation for these results is that household budgets are tighter for large households than for smaller households with the same household income. Therefore, large households must state a smaller WTP for a project than smaller households with the same income and the same preferences. This might have consequences for the allocation of public funds in all cases where the realization of a specific environmental project depends on the absolute value of the aggregate social benefits it generates. In order to calculate the social benefits typically the WTPs of the different households affected by that project are added up. In this aggregation process the members of larger households have a lower weight and, therefore, their WTP has a smaller impact on the decision if a certain project is realized or not. The reason for this violation of the principle of horizontal equity is that for the computation of the social benefits not individual but household WTPs are aggregated. In this paper we suggest to use household equivalence scales for the evaluation of WTP data in order to reduce this discrimination of the members of large families. We demonstrate the effects of equivalence scales on the results of environmental valuation surveys using an empirical study carried out in Eastern Germany.
    Keywords: contingent valuation; Environmental Valuation; Equity
    JEL: D61 D63 H43 Q51
    Date: 2008–04
  15. By: G. Cornelis van Kooten; Mark Eiswerth
    Keywords: marginal willingness to pay; endangered species and extinction; minimum viable population
    JEL: Q20 Q24 C61
    Date: 2008–07
  16. By: Mottaleb, Khondoker Abdul
    Abstract: Abstract: More than 30 percent of total population in Bangladesh is extremely poor. Halving the existing poverty level as per the millennium development goals of the UN by 2015 is the major challenge of the country. The question arises as to how to eradicate extreme poverty quickly? Successful experience of the East Asian countries reveals that creation of employment opportunities in the non-farm industrial sector for the rural poor is instrumental to eradicate poverty. Due to stagnant large and medium scales industrial sector and sole dependence on agriculture sector for employment and income, Bangladesh suffers from huge unemployment and disguised unemployment, which has been further worsening due to high population growth rate. Since the long past, rural informal income generating activities, such as traditional bamboo craftsmanship, however, has created enormous employment and income opportunities in the country especially for the rural poor and distress women. Empirical studies though recognize the contribution of rural informal activities to poverty alleviation, seldom focuses on who are the craftsmen, how they produce and market their products. Using primary data collected from more than 200 bamboo craftsmen from four districts in Bangladesh, this study tries to examine the role of rural informal activities and characterizes who are the craftsmen. The study finds that bamboo craftsmen are mostly uneducated and inherited the skills and businesses from their parents. The study also finds that all of the workers in the bamboo industry are family members and nearly 50 percent of total workers in the bamboo sector are female. Thus, the traditional bamboo sector contributes enormously to the creation of employment opportunities for the rural women. Finally, based on the opinions of the craftsmen, the study recommends some suggestions for the development of the bamboo industry in Bangladesh.
    Keywords: industrial cluster; industrial development; craftsmanship; bamboo
    JEL: O15 J24 E26 M13 O14
    Date: 2008–04–14
  17. By: Shannon Pendergast; Judith Clarke; G. Cornelis van Kooten
    Keywords: natural resource curse, petroleum resources, unbalanced panels and GMM estimation
    JEL: O12 Q32 Q34 O43 O47
    Date: 2008–07
  18. By: Arsène Kouadio; Vincent Monsan; Mamadou Gbongue
    Abstract: L'objectif principal de cette étude est de montrer l'importance des politiques d'incitation à l'investissement agricole dans la stratégie de réduction de la pauvreté alimentaire en milieu agricole. Les données sont tirées des enquêtes CILSS-LSMS "Côte d'Ivoire Living Standard Survey" ou enquêtes ménages (ENVM) réalisées par l'Institut National de la Statistique (INS), respectivement de 1985 à 1988 et en 1998. Un modèle de régressions de données de panel avec "rotation" a été utilisé pour établir le rôle de l'intervention de l'État dans la réduction de la pauvreté alimentaire, à travers l'incitation à l'investissement privé agricole. L'analyse de l'itinéraire des ménages classés pauvres alimentaire ou non pauvres alimentaire selon les seuils caloriques nécessaires et conseillés, a permis de suivre l'évolution du niveau de vie des ménages agricoles sur la période 1985-1988. Les résultats montrent que l'intervention de l'État contribue à améliorer le niveau de la consommation calorique des ménages agricoles à travers l'incitation à l'investissement privé. En revanche, son retrait progressif vers la fin de 1986 a fait basculer la consommation calorique journalière en dessous du seuil conseillé. Il y a donc intérêt à revisiter le débat sur la suppression ou non des subventions agricoles de l'État dans les pays pauvres.
    Keywords: Investissement, subvention agricole, panel avec rotation, consommation calorique
    JEL: E2 Q18 C23 I32
    Date: 2008

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