New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒20
ten papers chosen by

  1. Pesticides and Productivity – a Study of Vegetable Farming in Nepal By Ratna Kumar Jha; Adhrit Prasad Regmi
  2. The new food equation: do EU policies add up? By Juan Delgado; Indhira Santos
  3. The Necessity for the Modernization of the Technical-Material Base of Agricultural Exploitations within the Process of Forming Competition-Economy By Ioan, Viorica; Susanu, Monica; Enachi, Saftica; Virlanuta, Florina Oana
  4. Climate Sensitivity of Indian Agriculture Do Spatial Effects Matter? By K S Kavi Kumar
  5. The end of subsistence farming: Growth dynamics and investments in human and environmental capital in rural Ethiopia By Erreygers G.; Ferede T.
  6. The Effects of Relative Food Prices on Obesity — Evidence from China: 1991-2006 By Yang Lu; Dana Goldman
  7. Retailer Choice and Loyalty Schemes - Evidence from Sweden By Lundberg, Johan; Lundberg, Sofia
  8. Environmental Labeling By Andrea Podhorsky
  9. Agriculture Income Assessment for the Purpose of Social Assistance: the Case of Ukraine By Dmytro Boyarchuk; Liudmyla Kotusenko; Katarzyna Pietka-Kosinska; Roman Semko; Irina Sinitsina
  10. Minimum Cost Feeding of Dairy Cows in Northern Victoria By Marnie Griffith

  1. By: Ratna Kumar Jha; Adhrit Prasad Regmi
    Abstract: In Nepal, agriculture is commercializing day by day and levels of agro-chemical use are growing. This is beginning to raise concerns about the health and environmental impacts of farm chemicals such as pesticides.The brief looks at the effectiveness of pesticides in reducing crop losses amongst vegetable farmers in Nepal.
    Keywords: procutivity, vegetable farming, Nepal, chemicals, pesticides, farmers, agriculture, health, environmental, production, crop,
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Juan Delgado; Indhira Santos
    Abstract: This policy brief, Juan Delgado and Indhira Santos look at how EU policies should be adjusted to the higher food prices. The brief makes three policy recommendations: innovation in biofuels should be encouraged but biofuels targets should be abandoned as they are expensive and distort agricultural and energy markets. Freer trade is needed for both efficiency and food security reasons. But more open markets will further increase the price of food for importing countries. An immediate and sustained aid increase should therefore be agreed.
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: Ioan, Viorica; Susanu, Monica; Enachi, Saftica; Virlanuta, Florina Oana
    Abstract: The necessity for the modernization of the production processes in agriculture resides in the fact that this is the most important means to raise agricultural productivity, especially in the long term, to reduce production costs and to raise economic profitability, with a direct positive impact on the raising of income for the ones who undergo their activity in the agricultural sector. The case study conducted in Galati county covers the 2006-2007 period regarding the situation of the tractor and agricultural engine fleet as well as the evolution of chemically applied fertilizer consumption.
    Keywords: agriculture; agricultural engines; technical equipment; consumption; intake
    JEL: N54 O13 P32
    Date: 2009–12–25
  4. By: K S Kavi Kumar
    Abstract: Climate change impact studies on agriculture can be broadly divided into those that employ agro-economic approaches and those that employ the Ricardian approach. This study uses the Ricardian approach to examine the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture. Using panel data over a twenty year period and on 271 districts, we estimate the impact of climate change on farm level net revenue.
    Keywords: Environmental valuation; Spatial panel data, analysis; Adaptation, climate change, agriculture, agro-economic, ricardian approach, revenue, Indian,
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Erreygers G.; Ferede T.
    Abstract: In settings characterized by weak human capital and agricultural land degradation, investments in human capital formation and land conservation can be key candidates for triggering sustained economic growth. In this study, based on insights from growth literature and models of economic transformation, we develop a framework to examine the dynamic interactions between income, human and natural capital in rural Ethiopia. In addition, the trade-offs and complementarities of economic and environmental policies in terms of their impact on growth, investments in human capital formation and land conservation are assessed. The study underscores the centrality of interconnectedness and reciprocal influences between growth and investments in human and natural capital in understanding the long-run implications of policy reforms. Development interventions that are crucial for achieving broad-based and sustainable improvements in household income, human and natural capital are identified, which have wider implications for settings sharing similar socioeconomic characteristics.
    Date: 2009–09
  6. By: Yang Lu; Dana Goldman
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of relative food prices on body weight and body fat over time in China. We study a cohort of 15,000 adults from over 200 communities in China, using the longitudinal China Health and Nutrition Survey (1991-2006). We find that the price of energy-dense foods has consistent and negative effects on body fat, while such price effects do not always reflect in body weight. These findings suggest that changes in food consumption patterns induced by varying food prices can increase percentage body fat to risky levels even without substantial weight gain. In addition, food prices and subsidies could be used to encourage healthier food consumption patterns and to curb obesity.
    JEL: D01 I1 J88
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Lundberg, Johan (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Lundberg, Sofia (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: From economic theory, it is known that consumer loyalty schemes can have lock-in effects resulting in entry barriers and higher prices. This paper concerns consumer loyalty schemes where the main issue is to test the hypothesis that loyalty scheme membership affects the choice of food retailer. This choice is modeled as a random utility maximization problem estimated with maximum likelihood. Based on a data set covering 1,551 Swedish households, we find evidence supporting this hypothesis. Further, according to the results, store characteristics and geographical distance matter for the choice of retailer while household characteristics are not found to have a significant effect.
    Keywords: Bonus card; Conditional logit; Consumer choice; Distance; Food retailer; Loyalty scheme
    JEL: D12 L49 L66 L81 R10
    Date: 2010–02–09
  8. By: Andrea Podhorsky (York University, Toronto)
    Abstract: This paper studies how information disclosed by voluntary environmental labels creates in- centives for firms to invest in environmentally-friendly production technologies. I develop a model with differentiated products and imperfectly-informed consumers. Consumers care about the environmental characteristics of goods (for example, how they were produced), but cannot directly observe these product characteristics. Firms differ in their abilities to develop "clean" technologies, but have no incentive to do so absent government regulation or a policy that pro- vides information to consumers. A scheme of voluntary labels, awarded to firms that achieve some chosen level of environmental friendliness, gives some firms enough incentive to develop clean technologies, while others choose to produce "dirty" goods. Each consumer is individu- ally ineffective in reducing aggregate environmental damage but consumers purchase products according to how they privately value environmental quality. I parameterize the relationship between the environmental quality consumers experience privately from their own consumption of a product and the intensity of its environmental damage. I use the model to explain how voluntary labels improve consumer welfare and characterize the welfare maximizing labeling standard. I also contrast the effects of a labeling program on consumer welfare with those of compulsory environmental regulation.
    Keywords: credence goods, disclosure, environmental policy, firm heterogeneity and product labeling.
    JEL: L15 Q58
    Date: 2009–12
  9. By: Dmytro Boyarchuk; Liudmyla Kotusenko; Katarzyna Pietka-Kosinska; Roman Semko; Irina Sinitsina
    Abstract: Ukraine belongs to the group of countries which are known for the widespread phenomenon of subsistence and semi-subsistence farming. Individual farmers are not obliged to produce financial reports and their incomes belong to the category of unobservable incomes. When checking the eligibility for social assistance the level of their incomes needs to be estimated. In a country, where poverty rate is quite high, the coverage of the poor with financial aid is relatively low and public finances under constant control, the importance of a fair and justified methodology for income imputation is particularly strong. In this situation, an outdated and unfair current system of agriculture income estimation in Ukraine calls for immediate changes. This paper presents recommendations for the Ukrainian government in the area of agriculture income imputation, where several methods of estimating farm income were proposed (including the one based on Household Budget Survey). The recommendations were preceded with the analysis of five countries' practices in this area: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, and Poland. A review of different means testing methods, including direct means testing and proxy means testing, served as an introduction to the topic.
    Keywords: subsistence and semi-subsistence farming, hard to verify income, farm household income, income (agro-income) imputation, means testing methods
    JEL: O18 E26 C13 Q12 I38
    Date: 2009–12
  10. By: Marnie Griffith
    Abstract: A new era of water scarcity has changed past patterns of feeding dairy cows in northern Victoria. This paper derives a model for estimating least-cost feeding of dairy cows under a range of assumptions regarding prices for irrigation water, hay and feed grain. The cost-minimisation is subject to a variety of nutritional constraints, including seasonal provision of energy, fibre and protein. It is found that the optimal feeding regime varies considerable with input prices, from an irrigated pasture-based system to a diet based much more on bought-in hay and feed grain. This change broadly mimics that which has taken place in the region over the current extended period of drought. Output from the linear programming model is used to estimate the CES substitution parameter between water and the other inputs. This parameter is estimated at 0.7, significantly higher than the 0.2 originally used.
    JEL: C61 Q15 Q25
    Date: 2010–01

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