New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒08‒02
nine papers chosen by

  1. Development Dimensions of High Food Prices By Philippe Abbott
  2. What shapes farmers’ attitudes towards agri-environmental payments : A case study in Lozere By Sandra Saïd; Sophie Thoyer
  3. Prioritising Biosecurity Investment between Protecting Agricultural and Environmental Systems By David C. Cook; Rob W. Fraser; Jeffrey K. Waage; Matthew B. Thomas
  4. The impact of the increase in food prices on child poverty and the policy response in Mali By Sami Bibi; John Cockburn; Luca Tiberti; Massa Coulibaly
  5. Livestock as insurance and social status. Evidence from reindeer herding in Norway By Anne Borge Johannesen and Anders Skonhoft
  6. An Econometric Model for Deforestation in Indonesia By Muhammad Zikri
  7. The economic insurance value of ecosystem resilience By Stefan Baumgärtner; Sebastian Strunz
  8. Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space By J. Vernon Henderson; Adam Storeygard; David N. Weil
  9. The ‘Transaction Cost Approach’ and the Performance of the Belgian Dairy Co-operatives Before 1940 By Peter Van Der Hallen

  1. By: Philippe Abbott
    Abstract: Measures were taken by many developing country governments to mitigate consequences of high international agricultural commodity prices from mid 2006 until mid 2008, and to block their transmission to domestic markets, with varying degrees of success and cost. A significant international response has focused on emergency relief and renewed efforts to invest in agricultural development. This paper describes and contrasts the approaches taken by national governments versus international organizations and donors to respond to this food crisis, and their consequences. It also explores approaches already underway to enhance aid effectiveness and achieve more rapid agricultural development for smallholder farmers, identifying potential and past roadblocks.
    Keywords: agricultural trade policy, emergency relief, food inflation, international commodity prices, price transmission, safety nets, agricultural development, aid effectiveness
    JEL: O13 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2009–07
  2. By: Sandra Saïd; Sophie Thoyer
    Date: 2009–07
  3. By: David C. Cook; Rob W. Fraser; Jeffrey K. Waage; Matthew B. Thomas
    Abstract: This paper is motivated by the observation that there is a difference between the time paths of damage valuations for invasions which affect agricultural compared with environmental systems. In particular, unlike agricultural systems, studies have shown that the social valuation of an environmental system is likely to be exponentially positively related to the extent of its deterioration. This paper explores the implications of this difference in determining biosecurity investment priorities. It is concluded that because of this difference an environmental system will often not be prioritised for such protection over an agricultural system even though its ultimate social value exceeds that of the agricultural system.
    Keywords: Biosecurity; invasive species
    JEL: Q51 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2009–07
  4. By: Sami Bibi; John Cockburn; Luca Tiberti; Massa Coulibaly
    Abstract: Since 2006, Mali has experienced the full effects of the global food crisis, with price increases of up to 67%. This study presents simulations of the impacts of this crisis and a number of policy responses with respect to the welfare of children. The impacts are analyzed in terms of monetary (food) poverty, nutrition, education, child labor and access to health services of children. According to simulations, food poverty among children would have increased from 41% to 51%, with a corresponding rise in caloric insufficiency from 32% to 40%, while the impacts on school participation, work and access to health services would have been relatively weak.
    Keywords: child education; child health; child labour; child poverty; economic crisis; food crises; nutrition;
    JEL: E39
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Anne Borge Johannesen and Anders Skonhoft (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: The theory of livestock as a buffer stock predicts that agropastoralists facing substantial risks typically will use liquid assets, such as livestock, for self-insurance to smooth consumption. This paper examines this hypothesis for reindeer herders in Norway where the herders, in contrast to pastoralists in, say, Sub-Saharan Africa, face well functioning credit markets. Using survey data including slaughtering responses to a hypothetical meat price increase, we test whether keeping reindeer as insurance against risks affects the slaughter response. Furthermore, we study whether status motives for keeping large herds affect the harvest response to a changing slaughter price. As a background for the empirical analysis, a stochastic bioeconomic model describing Saami reindeer herding is formulated
    Date: 2009–07–10
  6. By: Muhammad Zikri (International and Development Economics Program Australian National University)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to develop an econometric model of deforestation in Indonesia using time series analysis based on the annual data from 1961 to 2000. From the model, we should be able: (i) To examine the forces of agricultural and timber sectors to forest decline; (ii) To distinguish the sources, direct and underlying causes of deforestation; and (iii) To identify macro-level economic factors that give pressures on deforestation. In order to achieve these purposes, a two-stage methods for the recursive system is chosen. The robustness of the estimation is checked to ensure there are no serial correlation and heteroskedasticity in all our equations. The main findings of model estimation show that, the forest product exports and the change in cereal cropland are the main sources of deforestation in Indonesia. Therefore, the factors determining the two sources become important to be taken into consideration. However, further examination on the underlying factors of deforestation in Indonesia are adversely affected by poor estimators given by the model.
    Keywords: Deforestation, econometric model, Indonesian forest
    JEL: Q23 C32
    Date: 2009–07
  7. By: Stefan Baumgärtner (Sustainability Economics Group, Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany); Sebastian Strunz (Sustainability Economics Group, Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: Ecosystem resilience, i.e. an ecosystem’s ability to maintain its basic functions and controls under disturbances, is often interpreted as insurance: by decreasing the probability of future drops in the provision of ecosystem services, resilience insures risk-averse ecosystem users against potential welfare losses. Using a general and stringent definition of “insurance” and a simple ecological-economic model, we derive the economic insurance value of ecosystem resilience and study how it depends on ecosystem properties, economic context, and the ecosystem user’s risk preferences. We show that (i) the insurance value of resilience is negative (positive) for low (high) levels of resilience, (ii) it increases with the level of resilience, and (iii) it is one additive component of the total economic value of resilience.
    Keywords: ecosystem, economic value, insurance, resilience, risk, risk preferences
    JEL: Q57 Q56 D81 G22
    Date: 2009–07
  8. By: J. Vernon Henderson; Adam Storeygard; David N. Weil
    Abstract: GDP growth is often measured poorly for countries and rarely measured at all for cities. We propose a readily available proxy: satellite data on lights at night. Our statistical framework uses light growth to supplement existing income growth measures. The framework is applied to countries with the lowest quality income data, resulting in estimates of growth that differ substantially from established estimates. We then consider a longstanding debate: do increases in local agricultural productivity increase city incomes? For African cities, we find that exogenous gricultural productivity shocks (high rainfall years) have substantial effects on local urban economic activity.
    JEL: E01 O47 Q1 R11
    Date: 2009–07
  9. By: Peter Van Der Hallen (Catholic University of Leuven)
    Abstract: We see that Belgian industrial dairy production before World War II lagged the developments of other countries in the same region and of the same size such as Denmark and The Netherlands. The share of home production remained remarkably high, while within the industrial segment the number of private to co-operative creameries was high compared to the more successful countries. We argue that this is no coincidence. Co-operative creameries were better suited to deal with the problems posed by the organisation and technology of dairy production at the time. The lacklustre performance of the Belgian dairy industry was therefore connected to the underdevelopment of the co-operative sector. The co-operative spirit of Belgian farmers suffered due to some historical events such as the large scale introduction of farm cream separators and especially the outbreak of World War I. This erosion of co-operative spirit diminished the attractiveness and binding power of the co-operative creameries.
    Keywords: Dairy Industry, Co-operatives, Creameries
    JEL: L14 N53 N54 Q13
    Date: 2009–02

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