New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒09‒05
eight papers chosen by

  1. Higher Food Prices: A Blessing in Disguise For Africa? By Denise Wolter
  2. Un approccio di governance multilivello per le politiche agricole [A multi-level governance approach for agricultural policies] By Franco Baraldi
  3. The effects of rising food prices on poverty in Mexico By Valero-Gil, Jorge; Valero, Magali
  4. Public or Private Production of Food Safety: What Do U.S. Consumers Want? By V. Kerry Smith; Carol Mansfield; Aaron Strong
  5. Impact of climate change and bioenergy on nutrition: By Cohen, Marc J.; Tirado, Cristina; Aberman, Noora-Lisa; Thompson, Brian
  6. Model Uncertainty, Ambiguity and the Precautionary Principle: Implications for Biodiversity Management By Vardas, Giannis; XEPAPADEAS, Anastasios
  7. Girl Farm Labour And Double-Shift Schooling In The Gambia: The Paradox Of Development Intervention By Pamela Kea
  8. Total Factor Productivity Growth when Factors of Production Generate Environmental Externalities By Vouvaki, Dimitra; XEPAPADEAS, Anastasios

  1. By: Denise Wolter
    Abstract: Higher food prices are likely to stay; emergency aid can only be a short-term solution. Making African agriculture a profitable business could turn a food-price curse into a blessing. African governments and donors should promote the commercialisation of food crops.
    Date: 2008–05
  2. By: Franco Baraldi (Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna)
    Abstract: The world of agriculture which is defined as primary sector is almost unknown to most of the citizens and consumers and to all the scientists who are involved in social sciences. However agriculture provides interesting research questions to analyse in many multidisciplinary fields. Our study is focussed on the public and “semi-public” institutions at local, national and international level. The analysis of the agricultural policies involves the study of complex actors and actions in the context of the relationships between Italy and the European Union, and between the State and the Italian Regions (viz. The federalism reform). Within this institutional framework, agricultural policy plays a crucial role: the CAP (Community Agricultural Policy) for long time represented the main pillar of the European Union policy and matter of conflict between the State and some Regions since 1970. The study of public policies determinants for agriculture requires an appropriate approach. Therefore our choice is to adopt the Multi-Level Governance (MLG) tool. Previous scientific literature (Scharpf, 2002; Hooghe, 2001; Hooghe and Marks, 2001) identified MLG as the most promising research approach to highlight the main features of the agricultural sector. The history of the agricultural policies can be analysed by three levels of analysis: the national, the European and the local ones. Moreover we can consider a global level represented by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Our study adopts the multi-level policy approach for the agricultural sector to underline the main novelties provided by the Political Sciences disciplines and to be a contribution for innovative interdisciplinary research directions.
    Keywords: Multi-level governance, agriculture, policy, polity
    JEL: Q18 H77
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: Valero-Gil, Jorge; Valero, Magali
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of the rise in food prices during 2006-2008 on the poverty and extreme poverty rates in Mexico. We concentrate on the poor’s consumption of staple foods, and analyze the change in their consumption brought about by changed prices. We also allow households receiving income from the farming and livestock sector to benefit from increases in prices of food products. We find a modest increase in poverty using 2006-2007 prices, however, there is a daunting effect on the poor once the 2008 prices are taken into account. After considering the positive effects of public policies announced in 2008, such as reduced taxes and tariffs on food products and greater subsidies to the extremely poor, the poverty rate measured through consumption increases from 25% to 33.5%, and the extreme poverty rate from 10.58% to 16%, given the increase in food prices. Further analysis using the theory of optimal taxes suggests policies oriented towards relieving the food price pressure on the Mexican poor should aim at lowering the prices of eggs, vegetable oil, milk, and chicken.
    Keywords: Food price changes; Poverty; Mexico
    JEL: H21 Q11 I38 I32 Q18
    Date: 2008–08–22
  4. By: V. Kerry Smith; Carol Mansfield; Aaron Strong
    Abstract: This paper reports estimates of consumers' preferences for plans to improve food safety. The plans are distinguished based on whether they address the ex ante risk of food borne illness or the ex post effects of the illness. They are also distinguished based on whether they focus on a public good -- reducing risk of illness for all consumers or allowing individual households to reduce their private risks of contracting a food borne pathogen. Based on a National Survey conducted in 2007 using the Knowledge Network internet panel our findings indicate consumers favor ex ante risk reductions and are willing to pay approximately $250 annually to reduce the risk of food borne illness. Moreover, they prefer private to public approaches and would not support efforts to reduce the severity of cases of illness over risk reductions.
    JEL: H42 Q18
    Date: 2008–08
  5. By: Cohen, Marc J.; Tirado, Cristina; Aberman, Noora-Lisa; Thompson, Brian
    Keywords: Climate change, Bioenergy, Nutrition, food security, Food prices, Sustainable development,
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Vardas, Giannis; XEPAPADEAS, Anastasios
    Abstract: We analyze ecosystem management under `unmeasurable' Knightian uncertainty or ambiguity which, given the uncertainties characterizing ecosystems, might be a more appropriate framework relative to the classic risk case (measurable uncertainty). This approach is used as a formal way of modelling the precautionary principle in the context of least favorable priors and maxmin criteria. We provide biodiversity management rules which incorporate the precautionary principle. These rules take the form of either safety margins and minimum safety standards or optimal harvesting under precautionary approaches.
    Keywords: Knightian uncertainty; ambiguity; risk; precautionary principle; biodiversity management; optimal harvesting; robust control.
    JEL: D81 Q20
    Date: 2008–08–10
  7. By: Pamela Kea (Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, Department of Economics, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This article examines the intensification of Gambian girls’ domestic and farm labour contributions as a result of the introduction of double-shift schooling. Drawing on fieldwork among female farmers and their daughters in Brikama the article puts forth the following arguments: double shift schooling facilitates the intensification and increased appropriation of surplus value from girls’ household and farm labour because girls are more readily able to meet gendered labour obligations that are central to the moral economy of the household and to the demands of agrarian production; secondly, double shift schooling highlights the paradoxical nature of development intervention where, on the one hand, legislation and policy call for a reduction in child labour by increasing access to school and, on the other, neo-liberal educational policy serves to facilitate the intensification of girls’ domestic and farm labour. It maintains that the intensification of girls’ work must be placed within a wider context where children’s, particularly girls’ cheap, flexible and/or unremunerated labour is central to the functioning of local and global processes of accumulation.
    Keywords: Inequality, Poverty, Labour, Schooling
    Date: 2007–10
  8. By: Vouvaki, Dimitra; XEPAPADEAS, Anastasios
    Abstract: Total factor productivity growth (TFPG) has been traditionally associated with technological change. We show that when a factor of production, such as energy, generates an environmental externality in the form of CO₂ emissions which is not internalized because of lack of environmental policy, then TFPG estimates could be biased. This is because the contribution of environment as a factor of production is not accounted for in the growth accounting framework. Empirical estimates confirm this hypothesis and suggest that part of what is regarded as technology's contribution to growth could be attributed to the use of environment in output production.
    Keywords: Total Factor Productivity; Sources of Growth; Environmental Externalities; Energy; Environmental Policy
    JEL: Q56 O4
    Date: 2008–08–28

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