New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒06‒17
seven papers chosen by

  1. "Farm Size, Productivity, and Speculative Motives in Agricultural Land: Why Japanese Farmers are So Small in Scale?" (in Japanese) By Hiroshi Ohashi; Keiji Saito
  2. Governing of Agro-Ecosystem Services By Bachev, Hrabrin
  3. "Land Policy: Founding Choices and Outcomes, 1781-1802" By Farley Grubb
  4. Environmental and technology externalities: policy and investment implications By Kolev, Atanas; Riess, Armin
  5. The Burden of Proof in National Treatment Disputes and the Environment By Horn, Henrik
  6. Designing Climate Mitigation Policy By Joseph E. Aldy; Alan J. Krupnick; Richard G. Newell; Ian W.H. Parry; William A. Pizer
  7. The agricultural and the democratic transitions. Causality and the Roundup model By Erich Gundlach; Martin Paldam

  1. By: Hiroshi Ohashi (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Keiji Saito (National Institute of Science and Technology Policy)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of speculative motives in agricultural land on farm size and labor productivity in Japan, by use of the prefecture- and size-level census panel data in the period from 1990 to 2005. The paper employs a discrete choice model to formulate the farm behavior in the choice of land size (including exit), and then simulates the model to assess the counterfactual situation in the absence of speculative motives. While it identifies the existence of strong increasing returns, the paper finds that speculative motives in agricultural land do account for why Japanese farm size is small in scale. Our simulation result reveals that in the absence of the speculations, farm size would have become larger by 30 percent and labor productivity increased by more than 20 percent.
    Date: 2009–01
  2. By: Bachev, Hrabrin
    Abstract: In this paper we incorporate interdisciplinary New Institutional and Transaction Costs Economics (combining Economics, Organization, Law, Sociology, Behavioral and Political Sciences), and suggest a framework for analysis of mechanisms of governance of agro-ecosystem services. Firstly, we present a new approach for analysis and improvement of governance of agro-ecosystem services. It takes into account the role of specific institutional environment (formal and informal rules, distribution of rights, systems of enforcement); and behavioral characteristics of individual agents (preferences, bounded rationality, opportunism, risk aversion, trust); and transactions costs associated with ecosystem services and their critical factors (uncertainty, frequency, asset specificity, appropriability); and comparative efficiency of market, private, public and hybrid modes of governance. Secondly, we identify spectrum of market and private forms of governance of agro-ecosystem services (voluntary initiatives; market trade with eco-products and services; special contractual arrangements; collective actions; vertical integration), and evaluate their efficiency and potential. Next, we identify needs for public involvement in the governance of agro-ecosystem services, and assess comparative efficiency of alternative modes of public interventions (assistance, regulations, funding, taxing, provision, partnership, property right modernization). Finally, we analyze structure and efficiency of governance of agro-ecosystems services in Zapadna Stara Planina – a mountainous region in North-West Bulgaria. Post-communist transition and EU integration has brought about significant changes in the state and governance of agro-ecosystems services. Newly evolved market, private and public governance has led to significant improvement of part of agro-ecosystems services introducing modern eco-standards and public support, enhancing environmental stewardship, desintensifying production, recovering landscape and traditional productions, diversifying quality, products, and services. At the same time, novel governance is associated with some new challenges such as unsustainable exploitation, lost biodiversity, land degradation, water and air contamination. What is more, implementation of EU common policies would have no desired impact on agro-ecosystem services unless special measures are taken to improve management of public programs, and extend public support to dominating small-scale and subsistence farms.
    Keywords: agro-ecosystem services; market; private; public and hybrid governance; Bulgaria
    JEL: D86 Q28 H41 H23 Q57 L14 Q38 K32 Q13 Q15 D21 D73 D02 K00 O13 Q01 P28 Q12 Q18 D23 Q34 O17 D74 Q56 Q27 L22
    Date: 2009–05–31
  3. By: Farley Grubb (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
    Abstract: Victory in the War for Independence brought a vast amount of land within the grasp of the new American nation—territory stretching from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River between the southern shores of the Great Lakes and Spanish Florida. These lands were initially claimed by several states. Pressure from states without land claims led to these lands being transferred to the national government. The land so transferred was to be used to pay for the revolution. By 1802 this national public domain totaled roughly 220 million acres of saleable land that was worth about $215 million dollars at constant-dollar long-run equilibrium land prices. A public finance approach is used to explain the choices facing the government regarding how to use its lands to pay for the revolution. The first choice—directly swapping land for war debt—was superseded by the second choice, namely “backing” the national debt with its land assets and pledging future proceeds from land sales to be used by law only to redeem the principal of the national debt and nothing else. This land policy helped stabilize the national government’s financial position and put the U.S. on a sound credit footing by the mid-1790s.
    Keywords: land policy; national debt, national net worth, national public finance, land history, land prices, public domain, early U.S. republic.
    JEL: E61 E62 F34 G18 H60 H77 N21 N41 O13 O16 O23
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Kolev, Atanas (European Investment Bank, Economic and Financial Studies); Riess, Armin (European Investment Bank, Economic and Financial Studies)
    Abstract: Recognising that environmental and technology externalities affect the development of renewable energy technologies, this paper illustrates how environmental policies induce technological change and how market failures that hinder technological progress weaken the impact of environmental policies on technological change; examines the rationale for and type of policies in support of renewables at an early stage of their commercialisation; analyses to what extent so-called experience curves enlighten the debate on the rationale of such policies; and - assuming that early-stage renewables cannot establish themselves in the market - develops a method for assessing the economics of renewable energy projects based on new technologies.
    Keywords: Environmental externalities; learning; renewables
    JEL: L52 O38 Q40 Q48
    Date: 2007–06–25
  5. By: Horn, Henrik
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of the burden of proof (BoP) in National Treatment (NT) disputes under trade agreements. In the situation under study, imports may cause environmental damage, in which case less favorable treatment of imported products may be globally desirable from an international efficiency point of view. But adjudicators do not with full certainty know the motives for policies that are allegedly pursued to protect the environment, but that also give commercial advantages to domestic products. The paper points to a tension between NT and environmental concerns, in that NT will primarily target countries exposed to environmental shocks. But contrary to what might be expected, this tension is not likely to arise when the environmental threats are very severe. The paper also shows why a shift of the BoP in environmental disputes toward complaining (exporting) countries will not necessarily reduce the environmental damage in importing countries.
    Keywords: burden of proof; environment; National Treatment; trade agreements; WTO
    JEL: F13 Q56
    Date: 2009–06
  6. By: Joseph E. Aldy; Alan J. Krupnick; Richard G. Newell; Ian W.H. Parry; William A. Pizer
    Abstract: This paper provides an exhaustive review of critical issues in the design of climate mitigation policy by pulling together key findings and controversies from diverse literatures on mitigation costs, damage valuation, policy instrument choice, technological innovation, and international climate policy. We begin with the broadest issue of how high assessments suggest the near and medium term price on greenhouse gases would need to be, both under cost-effective stabilization of global climate and under net benefit maximization or Pigouvian emissions pricing. The remainder of the paper focuses on the appropriate scope of regulation, issues in policy instrument choice, complementary technology policy, and international policy architectures.
    JEL: H23 Q48 Q54
    Date: 2009–06
  7. By: Erich Gundlach; Martin Paldam
    Abstract: Long-run development (in income) causes a large fall in the share of agriculture commonly known as the agricultural transition. We confirm that this conventional wisdom is strongly supported by the data. Long-run development (in income) also causes a large increase in democracy known as the democratic transition. Elsewhere we have shown that it is almost as strong as the agricultural transition. Recently, a method has been presented to weed out spuriousness. It makes the democratic transition go away by turning income insignificant, when it is supplemented by a set of formal controls. We show that the same method makes the agricultural transition go away as well. Hence, it seems to be a method that kills far too much, as suggested by the subtitle. This suggestion leads to a discussion of the very meaning of long-run causality
    Keywords: Long-run growth, transitions, causality and spuriousness
    JEL: O1 P5 Q1
    Date: 2009–05

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