nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒05‒02
thirteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Rethinking agriculture in the Greater Mekong Subregion: how to sustainably meet food needs, enhance ecosystem services and cope with climate change By Johnston, Robyn M.; Hoanh, Chu Thai; Lacombe, Guillaume; Noble, Andrew; Smakhtin, Vladimir; Suhardiman, Diana; Kam, Suan Pheng; Choo, Poh Sze
  2. Food and Consumer Economics By Unnevehr, Laurian J.; Eales, J.; Jensen, Helen H.; Lusk, J.; McCluskey, J.; Kinsey, J.
  3. Gender and Land Rights - Understanding Complexities; Adjusting Policies By FAO Economic and Social Development Department
  4. Explaining organic food choice on the basis of socio-demographics.A study in Portugal and Germany By Cristina Marreiros; M. Raquel Lucas; Kerstin Röhrich
  5. A Study about the Impact of Nutrition Education and Awareness of Food Safety among Women SHG Members By Gowri, B; Vasantha Devi, K.P.; Sivakumar, Marimuthu
  6. Agri-Environmental Schemes and Grassland Biodiversity: Another Side of the Coin By Angela Münch
  7. Contract and Exit Decisions in Finisher Hog Production By Dong, Fengxia; Hennessy, David A.; Jensen, Helen H.
  8. Food price pass-through in the euro area The role of asymmetries and non-linearities By Gianluigi Ferrucci; Rebeca Jiménez-Rodríguez; Luca Onorante
  9. Agricultural Trade Liberalization and Downstream Market Power: Some Extensions By Hoque, Mainul Mohammad; Schroeter, John R.
  11. Food and Global Crises impacts on Middle East and North African Region: What lesson can we learn for the future? By Drine, Imed
  12. Commercial and residential land prices across the United States By Joseph B. Nichols; Stephen D. Oliner; Michael R. Mulhall
  13. Economic Impacts of the Elimination of Azinphos-methyl on the Apple Industry and Washington State By Andrew J. Cassey; Suzette P. Galinato; Justin Taylor

  1. By: Johnston, Robyn M.; Hoanh, Chu Thai; Lacombe, Guillaume; Noble, Andrew; Smakhtin, Vladimir; Suhardiman, Diana; Kam, Suan Pheng; Choo, Poh Sze
    Keywords: Agricultural production / Rice / Fisheries / Livestock / Farming systems / Coastal area / Flood plains / Climate change / Environmental effects / Food production / Ecosystems / Water management
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Unnevehr, Laurian J.; Eales, J.; Jensen, Helen H.; Lusk, J.; McCluskey, J.; Kinsey, J.
    Abstract: Agricultural economists first carried out demand studies in order to understand determinants of farm prices and incomes. The shift to a focus on consumer welfare began with studies of the role of food and food assistance in standards of living. Now the profession is more concerned with how information and quality attributes influence consumer behavior. Agricultural economists’ empirical work in this field has informed the development of household production theory, hedonic price theory, definitions of poverty thresholds, complete demand systems, and survey and experimental techniques to elicit preferences.
    Date: 2010–04–01
  3. By: FAO Economic and Social Development Department
    Abstract: Increasing women’s access to land is crucial to fight hunger and poverty. However, gender disparities in land access remain significant in most countries, regardless of their level of development. A new FAO database helps to understand the factors that prevent women from accessing land; and to design better policies to effectively address this situation.
    Keywords: rural development, hunger, food security, economic crisis, prices, agriculture
    JEL: Q18 Q11 O13
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Cristina Marreiros (Departamento de Gestão, Universidade de Evora and CEFAGE-UE); M. Raquel Lucas (Departamento de Gestão, Universidade de Evora and CEFAGE-UE); Kerstin Röhrich (Institut für Agrar, und Stadtökologische Projekte an der Humbold, Universität zu Berlin)
    Abstract: Socio-demographic characteristics of consumers may be of interest for marketers for two basic reasons: their appropriateness to segment markets and their influence on consumer behaviour. Success or failure of organic food is mainly determined by the consumer. Consumers from different countries, with different ages or genders may require different product features and show varying preferences and behaviours. Therefore, it can be asked, if, in the present context of food markets, consumers’ socio-demographic characteristics have an impact on consumer behaviour and, consequently, can be used as an effective criteria to segment markets? This is the question addressed on the present paper, through empirical research on organic food products in two different markets – Germany and Portugal. From the study it could be concluded that there are good reasons for preserving socio-demographic or economic variables in food consumer research. In the research reported in this paper, some of these variables proved to be strongly associated with consumer behaviour relating to organic food products, and to be robust segmentation criteria, with the advantage of being easily identifiable, stable and accessible.
    Keywords: Organic food products; consumer behaviour; segmentation; socio-demographics.
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Gowri, B; Vasantha Devi, K.P.; Sivakumar, Marimuthu
    Abstract: Foods prepared in unorganized sector is unique in India as these measures food processing units are diverse in size and location, in the absence of quality control measures, poor quality packaging material, improper transportation, use of contaminated water, high turn-over of food handlers, lack of personnel hygiene and non judicious use of colorants and preservatives, these unit pose considerable food safety hazards. These days the women Self Help Groups (SHG) are implementing a large number of village cottage industries especially food processing industries. These industries are considered as unorganized sector .These informal sector need food safety education. Hence the present study has been designed with the aim to create awareness amongst women who are involved in food processing trade in unorganized sector with regard to various parameters like adopting food safety and hygienic method, food safety laws for food production.
    Keywords: Food Safety; Nutrition Education; Women Self Help Groups; India
    JEL: I0 I12
    Date: 2010–04–28
  6. By: Angela Münch (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)
    Abstract: In this paper part of the existing Agri-Environmental Schemes (AES) of the European Union are evaluated by using data on county level instead of applying field studies. The attempt is made to disentangle the effects of AES on land management practice as well as land use on biodiversity. It is argued that subsidies as AES should promote environmental-friendly land use which, in turn, should lead to biodiversity conservation. First results show that AES promotes ecological land use rather than extensive agricultural practice. Furthermore, AES is predominantly allocated in biodiversity rich counties and not in counties with low biodiversity which should be enhanced. Furthermore, no clear evidence is so far found, that land use practice is improving the biodiversity status.
    Keywords: AES effectiveness, biodiversity, policy evaluation
    JEL: Q18 Q58 R14
    Date: 2010–04–19
  7. By: Dong, Fengxia; Hennessy, David A.; Jensen, Helen H.
    Abstract:  Finisher hog production in North America has seen a shift toward larger production units and contract-organized production since around 1990. Given the efficiency gains and conversion costs associated with contract production, growers may have to choose between long-term commitment through investments and atrophy with intent to exit in the intermediate term. A model is developed to show that growers with any of three efficiency attributes (lower innate hazard of exit, variable costs, or fixed contract adoption costs) are not only more likely to contract but will also produce more and expend more on lowering business survival risks. Using the 2004 U.S. Agricultural Resource Management Survey for hogs, a recursive bivariate probit model is estimated in which exit is affected directly and also indirectly through the contract decision. It is confirmed that contracting producers are less likely to exit. Greater specialization and regional effects are important in increasing the probability of contracting. More education, having non-farm income, and older production facilities are significant factors in increasing the expected rate of exit. The findings suggest further exits by non-contract producers.
    Date: 2010–04–01
  8. By: Gianluigi Ferrucci (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Rebeca Jiménez-Rodríguez (Department of Economics, University of Salamanca, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, E-37007, Salamanca, Spain.); Luca Onorante (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the pass-through of a commodity price shock along the food price chain in the euro area. Unlike the existing literature, which mainly focuses on food commodity prices quoted in international markets, we use a novel database that accounts for the role of the Common Agricultural Policy in the European Union. We model several departures from the linear pass-through benchmark and compare alternative specifications with aggregate and disaggregate food data. Overall, when the appropriate dataset and methodology are used, it is possible to identify a significant and longlasting food price pass-through. The results of our regressions are applied to the strong increase in food prices in the 2007-08 period; a simple decomposition exercise shows that commodity prices are the main determinant of the increase in producer and consumer prices, thus solving the pass-through puzzle highlighted in the existing literature for the euro area. JEL Classification: C32, C53, E3, Q17.
    Keywords: food commodity prices, inflation, non-linearities, pass-through.
    Date: 2010–04
  9. By: Hoque, Mainul Mohammad; Schroeter, John R.
    Abstract:  Exports of agricultural commodities to developed countries play a significant role in the economies of many developing countries.  The elimination of import tariffs has the potential to benefit producers in the developing countries, but estimates of the effect of trade liberalization typically assume perfect competition.  Significant concentration in the food processing and retailing sectors of the U.S. and the EU undermine the plausibility of this assumption in the case of agricultural trade, however.  Sexton, Sheldon, McCorriston, and Wang (SSMW, 2007) developed a model of the effects of trade liberalization that accounts for the vertically-linked and concentrated characteristics of the developed countries’ food markets.  Their principal qualitative finding is that an analysis based on the assumption of competitive conduct will overstate the effects of trade liberalization if food processing and retailing firms exercise market power.  This result is sensitive to their choice of functional forms, however, as this paper demonstrates with an analysis in which SSMW’s linearity assumption is replaced by constant elasticity specifications for supply and demand.  We also extend the SSMW analysis by considering ad valorem tariffs, a case for which the results exhibit both qualitative and quantitative differences from those for the unit tariff case.
    Keywords: oligopoly; oligopsony; trade liberalization; vertical market structure
    JEL: F12 L13
    Date: 2010–03–26
  10. By: Abhijit Banerji (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India); Gauri Khanna (World Health Organization, Geneva); J. V. Meenakshi (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)
    Abstract: This paper uses primary data to analyze the institutions and informal markets that govern groundwater allocation in the principal sugarcane belt of North India. In contrast to earlier literature, we find that the observed water trades result in efficient water allocation across farms. We interpret this and other stylized facts in terms of a simple bargaining model with limited inter-player transfers. Poor functioning of the power sector leads to reduced pumping and a water supply constraint. Simulations show that power supply reform can significantly increase farm yields, be financed out of the increased farm profits, and provide an instrument to use for attaining intertemporal efficiency in water allocation.
    Keywords: water markets, market structure, water production function.
    JEL: L1 Q1 Q2
    Date: 2010–04
  11. By: Drine, Imed
    Abstract: The recent crises concerning food and finances highlight the extreme fragility of the MENA countries and question the sustainability of the development processes. The economic and social impacts of these crises on the economies of the MENA region signal the magnitude of the challenges facing the region and the need to reorient its development policies. This paper intends to provide a comprehensive analysis of economic and social impacts of the two crises to help understanding, on one hand, the magnitude of the problem facing the region, and the need for a reorientation of the region’s development policies, on the other.
    Keywords: Food Crisis; Financial Crisis; MENA Region
    JEL: D53 Q11 F41 E44
    Date: 2010–03
  12. By: Joseph B. Nichols; Stephen D. Oliner; Michael R. Mulhall
    Abstract: We use a national dataset of land sales to construct land price indexes for 23 MSAs in the United States and for the aggregate of those MSAs. We construct the price indexes by estimating hedonic regressions with a large sample of land transactions dating back to the mid-1990s. The regressions feature a flexible method of controlling for spatial price patterns within an MSA. The resulting price indexes show a dramatic increase in both commercial and residential land prices over several years prior to their peak in 2006-07 and a steep descent since then. These fluctuations in land prices are considerably larger than those in well-known indexes of commercial real estate and house prices. Because those existing indexes price a bundle of land and structures, this comparison implies that land prices have been more volatile than structures prices over this period.
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Andrew J. Cassey; Suzette P. Galinato; Justin Taylor (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)
    Abstract: The Environmental Protection Agency has declared the organophosphate pesticide azinphos-methyl (AZM) cannot be used in the production of apples after September 30, 2012. We estimate the change to sales, price, and employment to the Washington State apple industry from using the likely AZM alternative had this ban been in effect in 2007. Furthermore, we estimate the effects of this ban as it ripples through the overall Washington State economy. We find the ban will bring a relatively modest change to sales (-0.8%), prices (0.2%), and employment (0.1%) in the apple industry, with negligible impacts on the overall Washington State economy.
    Keywords: apples, azinphos-methyl, economic impact, computable general equilibrium
    JEL: C68 D58 Q18 Q52 R11
    Date: 2010–04

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