New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒09‒20
eight papers chosen by

  1. A note on sustainable agricultural intensification through agro-biodiversity conservation By Amani Omer; Unai Pascual; Noel Russell
  2. Likelihood of Succession and Farmers’ Attitudes: Evidence from a Survey in Germany, the United Kingdom and Portugal By Miguel Sottomayor; Richard Tranter; Leonardo Costa
  3. The impact of human capital on firm-level input use: Argentine agriculture By Marcos Gallacher
  4. Industrial Upgrade, Employment Shock and Land Centralization in China By Shunfeng Song; Chengsi Wang; Jianghuai Zheng
  5. A Framed Field Experiment on Collective Enforcement Mechanisms with Ethiopian Farmers By Reichhuber, Anke; Camacho, Eva; Requate, Till
  6. Poverty among Cotton Producers: Evidence from West and Central Africa By Tsimpo, Clarence; Wodon, Quentin
  7. Mapping Poverty in Rural China: How Much Does the Environment Matter? By Susan Olivia; John Gibson; Scott Rozelle; Jikun Huang; Xiangzheng Deng
  8. Dairying in the Waikato Region of New Zealand: An Overview of Historical Statistics By Michael Cameron; Kendon Bell

  1. By: Amani Omer; Unai Pascual; Noel Russell
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Miguel Sottomayor (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão - Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); Richard Tranter (Centre for Agricultural Stratey - The University of Reading); Leonardo Costa (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão - Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto))
    Abstract: The likelihood of succession in the family farm is referred to in the literature as an influential variable for several family farm management decisions. In this paper, we investigate this relationship for a selection of farm management variables, such as the timing of farmer’s retirement, the willingness of farmers to change the current mix of activities, their readiness to adopt new farm activities, and aim their readiness to intensify production. The categorical data analyzed, mostly Likert scales, comes from a mail survey carried out in 2002 to a sample of German, British and Portuguese farmers, amounting to approximately 4500 valid responses. Statistical association between the variables was studied computing the Chi2 statistic and testing the null hypothesis of no association between pairs of variables. The main conclusions were that the likelihood of succession was positively related to the length of active farmers’ live, to the farmer’s adoption of new activities (only for the Portuguese respondents), and to farmer’s willingness to intensify production. It was also found that the likelihood of succession was negatively related to the intention of leaving farmland idle. On the other hand, no empirical evidence was found of a statistical significant relationship between likelihood of succession and readiness to change the mix of farm activities.
    Keywords: Family Farming; Succession; Agricultural Policy
    JEL: Q15 Q18
    Date: 2008–09
  3. By: Marcos Gallacher
    Abstract: This paper attempts to understand the linkages between human capital and input choice in agricultural firms. The hypothesis to be tested is that better educated managers choose different input combinations than managers with a lower educational level. In particular, the hypothesis is that the ratio between non-land and land input increases as education increases. Non-land inputs include fertilizers, machinery services, herbicides, animal stocks and others. An increase in the non-land/land input ratio results in increased output (and costs) per unit of land. Given the fixity of land at the aggregate level, the non-land/land input ratio is an important determinant of total sector output. Este trabajo tiene como objetivo entender los vínculos que existen entre capital humano y uso de insumos en empresas agropecuarias. La hipótesis a ser sometida a prueba es que los productores con mayor nivel de educación eligen combinaciones de insumos distintas que las elegidas por aquellos que cuentan con un nivel de educación mas bajo. En particular, que el ratio entre insumos de capital y el insumo tierra aumenta a medida que la educación de los productores aumenta. Los insumos de capital incluyen fertilizantes, servicios de maquinaria, herbicidas, capital biológico (animales) y otros. Un aumento en el ratio entre insumos de capital por unidad de recurso tierra resulta en mayor producto (y costos) por unidad de tierra. Dado que a nivel agregado la tierra es un insumo fijo, el ratio entre capital y tierra es un importante determinante de la producción total lograda. El nivel educativo de los productores, al impactar sobre la intensidad de uso de la tierra, resulta entonces un importante determinante del nivel total de producción logrado.
    Keywords: human capital, agriculture, input use
    JEL: Q12 D24
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: Shunfeng Song (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno); Chengsi Wang (Department of Economics, University of New South Wales); Jianghuai Zheng (Department of Economics, Nanjing University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationships among industrial upgrading, mid-aged peasants’ non-farm employment, and land conversion systems. We prove that China’s efforts to upgrade its industries generate a negative employment shock on mid-aged peasant workers, forcing some of them to return to their home villages. The current lump-sum land acquisition system, however, will neither help peasant workers deal with the adverse employment shock nor promote land centralization for industrial and urban uses. On contrary, land cooperation, an emerging land centralization system, will help peasant workers mitigate the adverse employment shock and centralize rural land for nonagricultural purposes.
    Keywords: Peasant workers; Industrial upgrade; Employment; Land centralization
    JEL: Q15 J43
    Date: 2008–09
  5. By: Reichhuber, Anke; Camacho, Eva; Requate, Till
    Abstract: We present the results of a framed field experiment with Ethiopian farmers that use the mountain rain forest as a common pool resource. Harvesting honey causes damage to the forest, and open access leads to overharvesting. We test different mechanisms for mitigating excessive harvesting: a collective tax with low and high tax rates, and a tax/subsidy system. We find that the high-tax scheme works best in inducing the desired level of harvesting while the tax-subsidy scheme may trigger tacit collusion. Via a panel data analysis we further investigate which variables influence the subjects’ decisions during the treatments.
    Keywords: common pool resources, collective tax, framed field experiment
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Tsimpo, Clarence; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: World cotton prices have been declining in the past decade and farmers in West and Central Africa have been especially hard hit. This has led to heated policy debates and difficult trade-offs for governments, as their desire to help producers is constrained by the need to avoid large subsidies that could lead to important budget deficits and ultimately threaten macro-economic stability and future growth. Using very simple statistical analysis, this short dissemination note shows how newly available household surveys have permitted the estimation of measures of poverty among cotton producers in West and Central Africa, as well as simulations of the impact that changes in producer prices may have on poverty.
    Keywords: cotton; poverty; producer prices; Africa
    JEL: Q12 I32
    Date: 2007–10
  7. By: Susan Olivia (University of California, Davis); John Gibson (University of Waikato); Scott Rozelle (Stanford University); Jikun Huang (Chinese Academy of Sciences); Xiangzheng Deng (Chinese Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: In this paper, we apply a recently developed small-area estimation technique to derive geographically detailed estimates of consumption-based poverty and inequality in rural Shaanxi, China. We also investigate whether using environmental variables derived mainly from satellite remote sensing improves upon traditional approaches that only use household survey and census data. According to our results, ignoring environmental variables in statistical analyses that predict small-area poverty rates leads to targeting errors. In other words, using environmental variables both helps more accurately identify poor areas (so they should be able to receive more transfers of poor area funds) and identify non-poor areas (which would allow policy makers to reduce poverty funds in these better off areas and redirect them to poor areas). Using area-based targeting may be an efficient way to reach the poor since many counties and townships in rural Shaanxi have low levels of inequality, even though, on average, there is more within-group than between-group inequality. Using information on locations that are, in fact, receiving poverty assistance, our analysis also produces evidence that official poverty policy in Shaanxi targets particular areas which in reality are no poorer than other areas that do not get targeted.
    Keywords: China; environment; poverty; small area estimation
    JEL: O15 O53 P36 Q56
    Date: 2008–09–12
  8. By: Michael Cameron (University of Waikato); Kendon Bell (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: The dairy industry is an important contributor to the economy of the Waikato region of New Zealand. An understanding of the history and development of the dairy sector in the different districts of the Waikato region is important in terms of informing future policy. Unfortunately there are currently no consistent long-run spatially disaggregated data sets available for the districts of the Waikato region that extend any further back than 1990. In this paper, we present the current state of dairy farming data available for the territorial local authorities within the Waikato region, and briefly discuss a set of methods that will be employed to develop consistent long-run spatially disaggregated data series for (i) milk production; (ii) total number of productive dairy cattle; (iii) total number of dairy farms; and (iv) total effective hectares devoted to dairy production.
    Keywords: dairy; statistics; Waikato; New Zealand
    JEL: Q10 Q15
    Date: 2008–09–10

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