New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒04‒11
eleven papers chosen by

  1. The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Some Implications for the Forest Industry By Sedjo, Roger A.
  2. Investments in Land Conservation in the Ethiopian Highlands: A Household Plot-Level Analysis of the Roles of Poverty, Tenure Security, and Market Inventives By Bekele, Genanew; Mekonnen, Alemu
  3. Agricultural Land Elasticities in the United States and Brazil By Kanlaya J. Barr; Bruce A. Babcock; Miguel Carriquiry; Andre Nasser; Leila Harfuch
  4. The Evidence Base for Environmental and Socioeconomic Impacts of “Sustainable” Certification By Blackman, Allen; Rivera, Jorge
  5. Whose incentives? The evolution of inheritance practices, intergenerational conflict, and women’s control over land in rural Kenya By Linkow, Benjamin
  6. Agriculture, Roads, and Economic Development in Uganda By Douglas Gollin; Richard Rogerson
  7. Going digital : credit effects of land registry computerization in India By Deininger, Klaus; Goyal, Aparajita
  8. Mandates, Tax Credits, and Tariffs: Does the U.S. Biofuels Industry Need Them All? By Bruce A. Babcock
  9. Land Use Regulation as a Barrier to Entry: Evidence from the Texas Lodging In dustry By Junichi Suzuki
  10. Analysis of energy efficiency development in the German and Colombian food industries By Clara Inés Pardo Martínez
  11. South-eastern Europe: lessons from the global economic crisis By Peter Sanfrey

  1. By: Sedjo, Roger A. (Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) of the Department of Agriculture has proposed regulations to implement the new Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Authorized in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, BCAP is designed to ensure that a sufficiently large base of new nonfood, nonfeed biomass crops is established in anticipation of future demand for renewable energy consumption. BCAP “is intended to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with the establishment and production of eligible crops including wood biomass in selected project areas for conversion to bioenergy, and the collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility” (U.S. Department of Agriculture 2010, 6266). The program is proposed for a limited period of time. This paper examines some of BCAP’s implications for wood flows and for the various components of the forest industry, particularly wood growers and mill operators.
    Keywords: biomass, biofuels, renewable resources, energy, bioenergy, wood, forests
    JEL: Q2 Q4 Q5
    Date: 2010–03–30
  2. By: Bekele, Genanew; Mekonnen, Alemu
    Abstract: Land degradation is a major problem undermining land productivity in the highlands of Ethiopia. This study explores the factors that affect farm households’ decisions at the plot level to invest in land conservation and how much to invest, focusing on the roles of poverty, land tenure security, and market access. Unlike most other studies, we used a double-hurdle model in the analysis with panel data collected in a household survey of 6,408 plots in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. The results suggest that the decisions to adopt land conservation investment and how much to invest appear to be explained by different processes. Poverty-related factors seem to have a mixed effect on both the adoption and intensity decisions. While a farmer’s adoption decision is influenced by whether or not the plot is owner-operated (a measure of risk for the immediate period), intensity of conservation is determined by expectation of the certainty of cultivating the land for the next five years (a measure of risk for the longer term), farmer’s belief of land ownership, and distance from plot to home.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, land conservation, poverty, tenure security
    JEL: D1 Q12
    Date: 2010–03–29
  3. By: Kanlaya J. Barr; Bruce A. Babcock (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC)); Miguel Carriquiry (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI)); Andre Nasser; Leila Harfuch
    Abstract: The elasticity of aggregate supply is one key to understanding the degree to which policy-induced increases in demand for biofuel feedstocks or agricultural CO2 offsets will result in higher prices or expanded supply. In this paper we report land supply elasticities for the United States and Brazil estimated directly from the observed changes in cropland and estimated changes in expected returns. The resulting aggregate implied land-use elasticities with respect to price are quite inelastic in the United States and more elastic in Brazil (0.007-0.029 and 0.382-0.895, respectively). However, with pasture land included in Brazil, implied elasticities become much less inelastic (0.007-0.245).
    Keywords: acreage elasticity, Brazil, indirect land-use change, land-use elasticities.
    Date: 2010–02
  4. By: Blackman, Allen (Resources for the Future); Rivera, Jorge
    Abstract: Initiatives certifying that farms and firms adhere to predefined environmental and social welfare production standards are increasingly popular. According to proponents, they create financial incentives for farms and firms to improve their environmental and socioeconomic performance. This paper reviews the evidence on whether sustainable certification of agricultural commodities and tourism operations actually has such benefits. It identifies empirical ex post farm-level studies of certification, classifies them on the basis of whether they use methods likely to generate credible results, summarizes their findings, and considers the implications for future research. We conclude that empirical evidence that sustainable certification has significant benefits is limited. We identify just 37 relevant studies, only 14 of which use methods likely to generate credible results. Of these 14 studies, only 6 find that certification has environmental or socioeconomic benefits. This evidence can be expanded by incorporating rigorous, independent evaluation into the design and implementation of projects promoting sustainable certification.
    Keywords: sustainable, certification, eco-label, literature review
    JEL: Q2 Q56
    Date: 2010–03–29
  5. By: Linkow, Benjamin
    Abstract: Land related investment decisions are shaped by both the formal and informal institutions governing land tenure and acquisition. In the case of agricultural Kikuyu households in Kenya, we show that the inheritance practice of uncertain allocation in conjunction with the principle of equal division among heirs reduces long-term investments in land among potential heirs. This apparent inefficiency is explained by intergenerational power dynamics within the household, as the inheritance practice allows parents to shift the investment incentives facing heirs in their favor. This analytical framework is also used to illustrate that despite legislation formalizing women’s rights to property, control over land continues to follow the informal traditional patrilineal system in important ways.
    Keywords: Inheritance; agriculture; Kenya
    JEL: D13 O10 D02 Q15 Q12 O12
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Douglas Gollin; Richard Rogerson
    Abstract: A large fraction of Uganda's population continues to earn a living from quasi-subsistence agriculture. This paper uses a static general equilibrium model to explore the relationships between high transportation costs, low productivity, and the size of the quasi-subsistence sector. We parameterize the model to replicate some key features of the Ugandan data, and we then perform a series of quantitative experiments. Our results suggest that the population in quasi-subsistence agriculture is highly sensitive both to agricultural productivity levels and to transportation costs. The model also suggests positive complementarities between improvements in agricultural productivity and transportation.
    JEL: O1 O11 O13 O41 Q12
    Date: 2010–04
  7. By: Deininger, Klaus; Goyal, Aparajita
    Abstract: Despite strong beliefs that property titling and registration will enhance credit access, empirical evidence in support of such effects remains scant. The gradual roll-out of computerization of land registry systems across Andhra Pradesh's 387 sub-registry offices allows us to combine quarterly administrative data on credit disbursed by all commercial banks for an eleven-year period (1997-2007) aggregated to the sub-registry office level with the date of shifting registration from manual to digital. Computerization had no credit effect in rural areas but led to increased credit-supply in urban ones. A marked increase of registered urban mortgages due to computerization supports the robustness of the result. At the same time, estimated impacts from reduction of the stamp duty are much larger, suggesting that, without further changes in the property rights system, impacts of computerization will remain marginal.
    Keywords: Debt Markets,Banks&Banking Reform,Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress,E-Business,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2010–03–01
  8. By: Bruce A. Babcock (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC))
    Abstract: Expanded mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard provide ethanol and biodiesel producers a guaranteed future market at volumes that exceed what they have produced in the past. Despite having these mandates in place, biofuel producers continue to support tax credits and ethanol import tariffs. An examination of how the new mandates will be implemented shows that biofuel producers will receive little or no additional benefit from tax credits. Ethanol import tariffs will continue to provide U.S. corn ethanol producers a cost advantage over imported Brazilian sugarcane ethanol until at least 2013 when the demand for sugarcane ethanol to meet the noncellulosic advanced biofuel mandate starts to increase.
    Keywords: biodiesel, biofuel tax credit, biofuels mandates, corn ethanol, ethanol import tariffs, fuel subsidies, sugarcane ethanol, Renewable Identification Numbers.
    Date: 2010–03
  9. By: Junichi Suzuki
    Abstract: I empirically examines the anticompetitive effects of land use regulation by using microdata on midscale chain hotels in Texas. I construct a dynamic entry-exit model of midscale hotel chains. By endogenizing their entry decisions, the model explicitly considers hotel chains' reactions to the stringency of land use regulation. Estimation results indicate that imposing stringent regulation increases cost enough to affect hotel chains' entry decisions. Although hotel chains are the immediate payers of the increased entry cost, incumbents shift a part of their cost increase onto consumers by exploiting their increased market power. (JEL: R3, L1, L5)
    Keywords: Land use regulation, zoning, barrier to entry, lodging industry
    JEL: R3 L1 L5
    Date: 2010–04–01
  10. By: Clara Inés Pardo Martínez
    Abstract: Using data at the three-digit level of aggregation, the study compares energy efficiency across sectors of the food industry for the period 1998-2005. Energy efficiency is analysed using the energy intensity indicator as well as a decomposition analysis. To determine the factors that have influenced energy efficiency performance. The results showed that both countries’ food industries improved energy efficiency. During the period of study, energy consumption in the German food industry increased by an average of 1.3% per year and the energy intensity decreased 7%, whereas the Colombian food industry decreased its energy consumption by an average of 1.9% per the year and the energy intensity decreased 11%. However, Colombian food industry needs 2.2 times more energy than German food industry to produce a unit of gross production. A decomposition analysis indicated that economic and technical factors have played an important role in the energy efficiency performance because increases in economic growth and technology improvements increase the industrial sector’s ability to improve energy efficiency. A second-stage empirical analysis reveals that capital, material, investments and value added variables had a positive influence on energy efficiency performance in both countries. Energy prices are shown to have a positive influence on energy efficiency in the German food industry, whereas the sizes of enterprises and concentration processes played an important role on energy efficiency performance in the Colombian food industry.
    Date: 2009–12–07
  11. By: Peter Sanfrey (European Bank of Reconstruction and Development)
    Abstract: This paper shows how the crisis has evolved in south-eastern Europe and why this region was affected by developments that originated elsewhere. It argues that the impact has been better than many feared and that this resilience can be attributed in large part to the mature and sensible reaction of the region itself.
    Keywords: Global Crisis, South-eastern Europe
    Date: 2010–02

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