New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒05
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. Productivity of Pesticides in Vegetable Farming in Nepal By Ratna Kumar Jha
  2. Regional production adjustment to import competition: evidence from the French agro-industry By Corinne Bagoulla; Emmanuelle Chevassus-Lozza; Karine Daniel; Carl Gaigné
  3. Food Spending Declined and Food Insecurity Increased for Middle-Income and Low-Income Households From 2000 to 2007 By Nord, Mark
  4. South African Agricultural Research and Development: A Century of Change By Liebenberg, Frikkie; Pardey, Philip G.; Kahn, Michael
  5. The Post-Buyout Experience: Peanut and Tobacco Sectors Adapt to Policy Reform By Dohlman, Erik; Foreman, Linda; Da Pra, Michelle
  6. Soaring Food Prices: A Threat or Opportunity in Asia? By Ganesh Thapa; Raghav Gaiha; Katsushi S. Imai; Varsha S. Kulkarni
  7. The Nature of the Diversified Farm Household By Mann, Stefan
  8. Market prospects of meat and meat products in Russia By Sidorchuk, Roman
  9. Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants By Bollinger, Bryan; Leslie, Phillip; Sorensen, Alan
  10. Behavioral Economic Concepts To Encourage Healthy Eating in School Cafeterias: Experiments and Lessons From College Students By Just, David R.; Wansink, Brian; Mancino, Lisa; Guthrie, Joanne
  11. Framework for Analysis of Agrarian Contracts By Bachev, Hrabrin
  12. Concepts of price fairness: Empirical research into the Dutch coffee market By Gielessen, R.; Graafland, J.J.
  13. Final Estimates of Arkansas Crop Losses from Poor Harvest Conditions in 2009--December 10, 2009 By Hignight, Jeffrey; Stiles, Scott; Wailes, Eric; Watkins, Brad; Miller, Wayne
  14. Eco-label Adoption in an Interdependent World By Monteiro, Jose-Antonio

  1. By: Ratna Kumar Jha
    Abstract: This paper examines the effectiveness of damage control mechanisms to reduce crop losses from agricultural pests. It uses data from a sample of Cole crop (Cauliflower and Cabbage) growing households in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal to study the impact of pesticides on agriculture production.
    Keywords: Marginal productivity, crop, Pesticide Productivity, Cole Crop, Damage Control, FFS, farmers, field, school, vegetable, farming, developing countries, agriculture production, nepal, agricultural pests, households, pesticide, profit-maximizing, India, education,
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Corinne Bagoulla; Emmanuelle Chevassus-Lozza; Karine Daniel; Carl Gaigné
    Abstract: This paper aims at evaluating the impact of increasing imports on the reallocation of agrifood production across regions within countries. From French data for the period 1995-2002, we show that regional agri-food production adjusts differently to increasing imports according to the region where the agri-food firms are located. More precisely, even though proximity to consumers significantly shapes the spatial distribution of agri-food production, an increase in agri-food imports does not make regions with a high demand more attractive but makes low-wage regions more attractive. In addition, an increase in imports of agricultural products processed by agri-food firms leads to the reallocation of agri-food production from regions with good access to agricultural products towards those withlimited access.
    Keywords: trade openness, location, agri-food
    JEL: R12 F12
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Nord, Mark
    Abstract: From 2000 to 2007, median spending on food by U.S. households declined by 12 percent relative to the (rising) cost of USDAâs Thrifty Food Plan, and by 6 percent relative to the (rising) Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Food and Beverages. Over the same period, the national prevalence of very low food security increased by about one-third, from 3.1 percent of households in 2000 to 4.1 percent in 2007. The deterioration in food security was greatest in the second-lowest income quintile, in which the prevalence of very low food security increased by about half. These estimates, based on data from the nationally representative Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement, are corroborated by corresponding declines in food expenditures by middle- and low-income households in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsâ Consumer Expenditure Survey. The decline was largest in the second-lowest income quintile, in which average CPI-infl ation-adjusted spending for food declined by 16 percent. The declines in food spending by middle- and low-income households were accompanied by increases in spending for housing and, in the two lowest income quintiles, by declines in income and total spending.
    Keywords: Food spending, food expenditures, food security, food insecurity, consumer expenditure survey, current population survey food security supplement, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Liebenberg, Frikkie; Pardey, Philip G.; Kahn, Michael
    Abstract: The 20th Century saw substantive shifts in the structure of agriculture and agricultural production in South Africa. Farm size grew, farm numbers eventually declined, and production increasingly emphasized higher-valued commodities, notably a range of horticultural crops. The real gross value of agricultural output grew steadily (by 3.32 percent per year) from 1910-1981, but declined thereafter (by 0.21 percent per year from 1982-2008). These long-run sectoral changes provide a context to present and assess an entirely new data series on public agricultural R&D (and related regulatory and extension) spending and associated scientist trends. South African agricultural R&D has been affected by a series of major policy changes. These are also documented and discussed here, along with the associated institutional changes regarding the conduct and funding of public agricultural R&D in South Africa. We reveal a number of disturbing trends, including an effective flat lining of the long-run growth in total agricultural R&D spending that took hold in the 1970s, an erratic path of funding per scientist, and a loss of scientific personnel in recent decades. Moreover, South Africa has lost ground relative to its competitors in international commodity markets such as the United States and Australia in terms of the intensity of investment in agricultural R&D. These developments are likely to have long-term, and detrimental, consequences for the productivity performance and competiveness of South African agriculture. They deserve serious policy attention as the 21st Century unfolds, with a firm eye to the long-run given the long lags (often many decades) that typify the relationship between agricultural R&D spending and productivity growth.
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2010–01
  5. By: Dohlman, Erik; Foreman, Linda; Da Pra, Michelle
    Abstract: Marketing quota and price support programs for peanuts and tobacco were a longstanding feature of U.S. farm policy, from the 1930s until the Government enacted quota buyouts, in 2002 for peanuts and 2004 for tobacco. Quota owners were compensated with temporary payments, but elimination of the quota programs exposed producers more to market risks and brought about structural changes at farm, regional, and marketwide levels. Since the buyouts, many peanut and tobacco farms have exited production. The farms that remain are mostly larger and have adopted new risk management strategies, such as contracting. Freed of the planting restrictions in the quota programs, production of peanuts, and to a lesser extent of tobacco, has been relocated to regions better suited to their growth. While total acreage and prices for peanuts and tobacco have remained below pre-buyout levels, the lower pricesâalong with increased production efficiencyâ have supported renewed growth in demand, particularly in export markets.
    Keywords: Policy reform, farm policy, buyouts, marketing quotas, peanuts, tobacco, adjustment, structural change, Agricultural and Food Policy, Industrial Organization, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Marketing,
    Date: 2009–11
  6. By: Ganesh Thapa; Raghav Gaiha; Katsushi S. Imai; Varsha S. Kulkarni
    Abstract: Rising food prices played an important role in the acceleration of inflation across Asia and the Pacific region during 2007 and the early months of 2008. Not only is food price inflation the most regressive of all taxes, it also leads to lower growth and accentuation of income inequality. Although the index of domestic food prices in Asia has exhibited an upward trend, it is not as pronounced as that of the global index. Yet the looming food crisis has the potential of slowing down the momentum of growth and poverty reduction in this region in the short and medium run. The surge in prices of foodgrains cannot be satisfactorily explained in terms of the fundamentals of supply and demand alone. Analysis suggests that a large part of the surge is attributable to speculation. Further, many countries resorted to protective measures without realising that such measures would force more drastic adjustments and higher prices in global markets. While global foodgrain supply shrank through export restrictions and prices rose faster, food importers escalated demand by bidding aggressively for larger imports to dampen domestic inflation. A vicious circle of spiralling food prices was thus sustained by policies designed to protect domestic consumers, but likely to deepen the food crisis. Even if this bout of food price inflation persists for some time, it would be pessimistic to conclude that the threat to the poor and vulnerable sections is inevitable. Much will depend on what the government and development agencies do – especially to strengthen support to smallholders. Given market imperfections, it is imperative that the benefits of more remunerative producer prices accrue in equal measure to smallholders. Expansion of marketable surplus may thus dampen foodgrain price inflation, as well as help to reduce rural poverty.
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Mann, Stefan
    Abstract: This paper presents a theoretical approach that explains farm household diversification decisions by the relative attractiveness of both food production and family businesses. The empirical analysis of diversified activities of Swiss farm households shows that a low household income leads to diversification by off-farm activities, while a high income leads to diversification by on-farm activities. It is also shown that arable farms, mountain farms and farm households with a non-agricultural education are more likely to enter off-farm activities.
    Keywords: diversification, Switzerland, household, Consumer/Household Economics, Industrial Organization, Labor and Human Capital, P42, Q12,
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Sidorchuk, Roman (Milagro M; RSconsult; Russian Economical Plehanov's Academy)
    Abstract: This is a brief overview of the market of meat and meat products in Russia. Food products account for a significant portion of the costs residents of Russia. In 2000, these costs amount to more than 50% of all household expenditure. In this case the cost of meat and meat products 14.6% of all household expenditures. This shows how important place is the market of meat and meat products and its development prospects. Since the mid-sixties, then in the Soviet Union saw an increase in consumption of meat products. For example, the average consumption of meat increased in 1990 compared with 1960 in 1,6 times (from 41,8 to 68,3 kg. However, after the reforms, by 1997 every citizen of Russia consumes an average 46 kg of meat and meat products year, and in 1998 - 44 kg. FAO experts suggest that countries with economies in transition (including Russia) reached pre-reform level of consumption only in 2020. At the same time, some Russian experts (including the authors of the study) suggest that in Russia is the level will be reached before 2010 remains a question due to what sources of production, domestic or imported, will be covered is demand for meat and meat products.
    Keywords: agricultural economics, meat market, wholesale meat market, wholesale market of sausages, meat market of Russia, wholesale market of delicacies, market of meat products in the Moscow region, market research, expert method, «Milagro M», marketing in Russian
    JEL: M31 Q13 R3 L11 O52 M11
    Date: 2001–12
  9. By: Bollinger, Bryan; Leslie, Phillip; Sorensen, Alan
    Abstract: We study the impact of mandatory calorie posting on consumersâ purchase decisions, using detailed data from Starbucks. We find that average calories per transaction falls by 6%. The effect is almost entirely related to changes in consumersâ food choicesâthere is almost no change in purchases of beverage calories. There is no impact on Starbucks profit on average, and for the subset of stores located close to their competitor Dunkin Donuts, the effect of calorie posting is actually to increase Starbucks revenue. Survey evidence and analysis of commuters suggest the mechanism for the effect is a combination of learning and salience.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2010–01
  10. By: Just, David R.; Wansink, Brian; Mancino, Lisa; Guthrie, Joanne
    Abstract: Changing small factors that influence consumer choice may lead to healthier eating within controlled settings, such as school cafeterias. This report describes a behavioral experiment in a college cafeteria to assess the effects of various payment options and menu selection methods on food choices. The results indicate that payment options, such as cash or debit cards, can significantly affect food choices. College students using a card that prepaid only for healthful foods made more nutritious choices than students using either cash or general debit cards. How and when individuals select their food can also influence food choices. College students who preselected their meals from a menu board made significantly different food choices than students who ordered their meals while viewing the foods in line.
    Keywords: Behavioral economics, healthy eating, diet quality, food choices, school meal programs, experimental economics, ERS, USDA., Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008–12
  11. By: Bachev, Hrabrin
    Abstract: This paper incorporates the interdisciplinary New Institutional and Transaction Costs Economics (combining Economics, Organization, Law, Sociology, Behavioral and Political Sciences) and suggests a holistic framework for analysis of agrarian contracts. First, it specifies type and importance of different mechanisms of governance of agrarian activity. Second, it defines the essence, and classifies types and features of agrarian contracts. Next, it identifies technological, institutional, behavioral, dimensional, and transaction costs factors for contractual choice, and specifies effective modes for contractual arrangements in agriculture. Finally, it determines the effective boundaries and sustainability of farm and agrarian organizations.
    Keywords: contract management; type of agrarian contracts; factor and efficiency of contractual choice; economic boundaries and sustainability of farm; agrarian governance
    JEL: L11 L14 Q13 L23 Q15 L33 D21 K0 D02 Q12 Q18 L16 D23 O17 L22 Q14
    Date: 2010–01–01
  12. By: Gielessen, R.; Graafland, J.J.
    Abstract: This paper researches perceptions of the concept of price fairness in the Dutch coffee market. We distinguish four alternative standards of fair prices based on egalitarian, basic rights, capitalistic and libertarian approaches. We investigate which standards are guiding the perceptions of price fairness of citizens and coffee trade organizations. We find there is a divergence in views between citizens and key players in the coffee market. Whereas citizens support the concept of fairness derived from the basic rights approach, holding that the price should provide coffee farmers with a minimum level of subsistence, representatives of Dutch coffee traders hold the capitalistic view that the free world market price is fair.
    Keywords: Fair price; coffee market; justice; fair trade; libertarianism; moral desert; egalitarianism
    JEL: D63 A13 L31 D49 P16
    Date: 2009
  13. By: Hignight, Jeffrey; Stiles, Scott; Wailes, Eric; Watkins, Brad; Miller, Wayne
    Keywords: Crop Losses, Poor Harvest, Agribusiness, Farm Management, Q10, Q11,
    Date: 2009–12
  14. By: Monteiro, Jose-Antonio
    Abstract: The growing popularity of national efforts to promote eco-labeling raises important questions. In particular, developing countries fear that the eco-label can deliberately impose the environmental concern of (high income) importing countries on their production methods. Yet, empirical studies of the adoption of eco-labelling schemes at the cross-country level are scarce due to the lack of data availability. In this paper, the decision to introduce an eco-label is analyzed through a heteroskedastic Bayesian spatial probit, which allows the government’s decision to introduce an eco-label to be influenced by the behaviour of the neighbouring countries. The estimation is performed by extending the joint updating approach proposed by Holmes & Held (2006) to a spatial framework. Empirical evidence highlights the importance of a high stage of development, innovation experience and potential scale effects in the implementation of an eco-label scheme. In addition, results confirm the existence of a strategic interdependence in the eco-label decision.
    Keywords: Bayesian Spatial Probit; International Trade; Environmental Policy; Eco-labelling
    JEL: F18 C25 C11
    Date: 2010–01

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.