New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒09‒11
thirty-six papers chosen by

  1. The Economics of Trade, Biofuel, and the Environment By Hochman, Gal; Sexton, Steven; Zilberman, David D.
  2. Land Use, Production Growth, and the Institutional Environment of Smallholders: Evidence from Burkinabe Cotton Farmers By Kaminski, Jonathan; Thomas, Alban
  3. Fertilizer Subsidy in India: Who are the Beneficiaries? By Vijay Paul Sharma; Hrima Thaker
  4. Structural Shift in Demand for Food: Projections for 2020 By Surabhi Mittal
  5. Advanced biofuel technologies : status and barriers By Cheng, Jay J.; Timilsina, Govinda R
  6. The Global Supply and Demand for Agricultural Land in 2050: A Perfect Storm in the Making? AAEA Presidential Address By Hertel, Thomas
  7. Direct Taxation of Agriculture By K. N. Raj
  8. Nutrition and Risk Sharing within the Household By Dubois, Pierre; Ligon, Ethan A.
  9. Managing Knowledge, Creating Networks and Triggering Innovations for Sustainable Agriculture By Anil. K Gupta
  10. The Triple Crisis: Finance, Food and Climate Change By Addison, Tony; Tarp, Finn
  11. Regional employment impacts of Common Agricultural Policy measures in Eastern Germany: A difference-in-differences approach By Petrick, Martin; Zier, Patrick
  12. Second-generation biofuels : economics and policies By Carriquiry, Miguel A.; Du, Xiaodong; Timilsina, Govinda R
  13. Animal Disease and the Industrialization of Agriculture By David A. Hennessy; Tong Wang
  14. Towards an agri-environment index for biodiversity conservation payment schemes By Markus Groth; Franziska Dittmer
  15. Can Information Costs Confuse Consumer Choice?---Nutritional Labels in a Supermarket Experiment By Kiesel, Kristin; Villas-Boas, Sofia B.
  16. Household-Level Consumption in Urban Ethiopia: The Impact of Food Price Inflation and Idiosyncratic Shocks. By Yonas Alem; Måns Söderbom
  17. Modeling the Effect of Oil Price on Global Fertilizer Prices By Ping-Yu Chen; Chia-Lin Chang; Chi-Chung Chen; Michael McAleer
  18. Economics of Nutrition By P.G.K. Panikar
  19. Who decides what is fair in fair trade? The agri-environmental governance of standards, access, and price By Bacon, Christopher M.
  20. A Meta-Analysis of Estimates of the Impact of Technical Barriers to Trade By Li, Yuan; Beghin, John C.
  21. Politics, globalization, and food crisis discourse By Esposo Guerrero, Bernard Joseph
  22. Broadening the scope of regulation: a prerequisite for a positive contribution of transgenic crop use to sustainable development By Michel Fok
  23. Testing Day’s Conjecture that More Nitrogen Decreases Crop Yield Skewness By Xiaodong Du; David A. Hennessy; Cindy L. Yu
  24. An analysis of at-home demand for ice cream in the United States By Davis, Chris; Blayney, Don; Yen, Steven; Cooper, Joseph C.
  25. Are Restaurants Really Supersizing America? By Anderson, Michael L.; Matsa, David A.
  26. Are African Countries Paying Too Much Attention To Agriculture? By Christiaensen, Luc; Demery, Lionel
  27. History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India By Abhijit Banerjee; Lakshmi Iyer
  28. "Maximizing Conservation and In-Kind Cost Share: Applying Goal Programming to Forest Protection" By Jacob R. Fooks; Kent D. Messer
  29. Calorie and Nutrient Consumption as a Function of Income: A Cross-Country Analysis By Salois, Matthew; Tiffin, Richard; Balcombe, Kelvin
  30. Impact of Global Recession on Sustainable Development and Poverty Linkages By Venkatachalam Anbumozhi; Armin Bauer
  31. The Role of Cybermediaries in the Hotel Market By Yacouel, Nira; Fleischer, Aliza
  32. What is the cost of low participation in French Timber auctions? By Raphaële PRÉGET; Patrick WAELBROECK
  33. Parker, Wine Spectator and Retail Prices of Bordeaux Wines in Switzerland: Results from Panel Data 1995 - 2000 By Peter Kugler
  34. Capital Use Intensity and Productivity Biases By Andersen, Matt A.; Alston, Julian M.; Pardey, Philip G.
  35. Measuring Risk by Looking at Changes in Inequality: vulnerability in Ecuador By Ligon, Ethan A.
  36. Does Rural Household Income Depend on Neighboring Communities? Evidence from Israel By Kimhi, Ayal

  1. By: Hochman, Gal; Sexton, Steven; Zilberman, David D.
    Abstract: The introduction of renewable biofuels was associated with global food crisis and unintended environmental consequences. This paper incorporates energy environment and agricultural sector to the classic Hecksher-Ohlin model to address these issues. A household production function model was introduced to model consumer energy choices and concern about externalities related to climate change and open space. The conceptual model links energy and food markets and derives guidelines for the development of climate change and land-use policies. The results suggest that globalization and capital flows increase demand for energy, leading to decline in food production, increase in food prices, and loss of environmental land. Globally optimal outcomes may require introducing an emission tax and a land-use tax. The introduction of these policies may undermine the factor price equalization theorem. Policies that allow enhancing either agriculture productivity (e.g., agriculture biotechnology) or biofuel productivity (e.g., second-generation biofuels), are shown to lessen the resource constraint associated with the cost of introducing renewable energy.
    Keywords: trade, biofuel, environment, globalization, capital flows, technical changes, household production
    Date: 2010–03–11
  2. By: Kaminski, Jonathan; Thomas, Alban
    Abstract: The cotton boom in Burkina Faso consisted of a growth in cotton land shares together with an overall increase in total cultivated land. This paper examines the impact of institutional changes in the cotton sector on the evolution of smallholdersâ land-use decisions. The empirical analysis is supported by a structural model that takes into account the specific institutional features of the Burkinabè cotton sector and builds upon householdlevel data collected in rural Burkina Faso. We attribute most of the change in land use to the newly established institutional arrangements between producers and stakeholders, mechanization, and slackening of the food security constraint.
    Keywords: Burkina Faso, Cotton, Land Use, Commodity Reform, Institutional Arrangements, Farm Management, Financial Economics, N57, 013, O33, Q15, Q18,
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Vijay Paul Sharma; Hrima Thaker
    Abstract: Agricultural subsidies that encourage production and productivity have been widely criticized because of the cost of subsidies and they are perceived to be far from uniformly distributed. There is a general view in academic, policy and political circles that agricultural subsidies are concentrated geographically, they are concentrated on relatively few crops and few producers and in many cases do not reach the targeted group(s). This paper examines trends in fertilizer subsidy and the issue of distribution of fertilizer subsidies between farmers and fertilizer industry, across regions/states, crops and different farm sizes. [W.P. No. 2009-07-01]
    Keywords: Fertilizer, Subsidies, Beneficiaries, Import Parity Price, Direct Transfer, Farm Size
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Surabhi Mittal
    Abstract: Knowledge of demand structure and consumer behaviour is essential for a wide range of development policy questions like improvement in nutritional status, food subsidy, sectoral and macroeconomic policy analysis, etc. An analysis of food consumption patterns and how they are likely to shift with changes in income and relative price is required to assess the food security-related policy issues in the agricultural sector. [Working Paper No. 184]
    Keywords: Household Food Consumption, Demand Elasticity, Decomposition, Demand Projections, Quadratic AIDS Model
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Cheng, Jay J.; Timilsina, Govinda R
    Abstract: Large-scale production of crop based (first generation) biofuels may not be feasible without adversely affecting global food supply or encroaching on other important land uses. Because alternatives to liquid fossil fuels are important to develop in order to address greenhouse gas mitigation and other energy policy objectives, the potential for increased use of advanced (non-crop, second generation) biofuel production technologies has significant policy relevance. This study reviews the current status ofseveral advanced biofuel technologies. Technically, it would be possible to produce a large portion of transportation fuels using advanced biofuel technologies, specifically those that can be grown using a small portion of the world's land area (for example, microalgae), or those grown on arable lands without affecting food supply (for example, agricultural residues). However, serious technical barriers limit the near-term commercial application of advanced biofuels technologies. Key technical barriers include low conversion efficiency from biomass to fuel, limits on supply of key enzymes used in conversion, large energy requirements for operation, and dependence in many cases on commercially unproven technology. Despite a large future potential, large-scale expansion of advanced biofuels technologies is unlikely unless and until further research and development lead to lowering these barriers.
    Keywords: Energy Production and Transportation,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Renewable Energy,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Sanitation and Sewerage
    Date: 2010–09–01
  6. By: Hertel, Thomas
    Abstract: Over the past three years, there has been a convergence of interest in the global farm and food system and its contributions to feeding the world’s population as well as to ensuring the environmental sustainability of the planet. The 2007/2008 commodity crisis underscored the vulnerability of the global food system to shocks from extreme weather events, energy and financial markets, as well as government interventions in the form of export bans and other measures designed to avoid domestic adjustment to global scarcity. We have learned that a "perfect storm" in which all these factors coincide can have a devastating impact on the world’s poor, as well as putting considerable pressure on the world’s natural resource base. As we look ahead to the middle of this century, will such commodity price spikes become more commonplace? Will the world’s agricultural resource base be up to the task of meeting the diverse demands being placed on it?
    Date: 2010
  7. By: K. N. Raj
    Abstract: Extension of the wealth tax to agriculture, it will be recalled, was opposed on the ground that it would hurt even the small and medium-sized farmers. This argument was advanced in spite of agricultural holdings below the value of Rs.1 lakh being exempted from the tax. The opposition to the tax came from even .political parties and groups generally associated with radical policies, some of whom cautiously refrained from defining who precisely constituted the small and medium-sized farmers. [Working Paper No. 12]
    Keywords: Wealth, Tax, Agriculture, Medium-sized, farmers
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Dubois, Pierre; Ligon, Ethan A.
    Abstract: Using data on individual consumption from farm households in the Philippines, we construct a direct test of risk-sharing within the household. We contrast the efficient outcomes predicted by the unitary household model with the outcomes we might expect if food consumption delivers not only utils, but also nutrients affecting future productivity. The efficiency conditions which characterize the within-household allocation of food under the unitary model are violated, as consumption responds to earnings shocks. If productivity depends on nutrition, this explains some but not all of the response, as earnings “surprises†have some effect on the cost and composition of diet.
    Date: 2010–01–25
  9. By: Anil. K Gupta
    Abstract: In this paper, the author discuss the major knowledge gaps, stress the importance of peer learning and building upon farmers’ own innovations and suggest new initiatives for transforming extension strategies. He have also argued that focus only on primary production in agricultural will not be viable in the long run. Value addition is necessary and extension for the purpose requires lot of action research. Village Knowledge Management Systems (VKMS) need to be developed for which a proposal has already been submitted to the Department of Science and Technology. An outline of the same is given in the paper to trigger further discussion. Farmers suicides in many states should have warranted a review of extension strategies much earlier. The proposed model aims to develop and monitor early warning signals of the socio ecological stress and recommend real time solutions. [W.P. No. 2009-03-05]
    Keywords: Conventional, agricultural, Village Knowledge Management Systems (VKMS), Ministry of Agriculture, farmers
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Addison, Tony; Tarp, Finn
    Keywords: Triple Crisis, Finance, Food, Climate Change
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Petrick, Martin; Zier, Patrick
    Abstract: Politicians and farm lobbyists frequently use the argument that agricultural policy is necessary to safeguard jobs in agriculture. We explore whether this is true by conducting an econometric ex-post evaluation of the European Unionâs Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the three East German States Brandenburg, Saxony, and Saxony-Anhalt. Whereas previous studies have employed descriptive statistics or qualitative methods and have looked at single policy instruments in isolation, we apply a difference-in-differences estimator to analyse the employment effects of the entire portfolio of CAP measures simultaneously. Based on panel data at the county level, we find that investment aids and transfers to less favoured areas had a zero marginal employment effect. We present evidence that full decoupling of direct payments in 2005 led to labour shedding, as it made transfer payments independent of factor allocation. Spending on modern technologies in processing and marketing and measures aimed at the development of rural areas led to job losses in agriculture. Agri-environmental measures, on the other hand, kept labour intensive technologies in production or induced them. This analysis calls into question whether an expansion of existing second pillar measures is a reasonable way to use funds modulated away from the first pillar.
    Keywords: Impact analysis, Agricultural employment, Common Agricultural Policy, Decoupling, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Labor and Human Capital, Q18, J43, R58,
    Date: 2010–07
  12. By: Carriquiry, Miguel A.; Du, Xiaodong; Timilsina, Govinda R
    Abstract: Recent increases in production of crop-based (or first-generation) biofuels have engendered increasing concerns over potential conflicts with food supplies and land protection, as well as disputes over greenhouse gas reductions. This has heightened a sense of urgency around the development of biofuels produced from non-food biomass (second-generation biofuels). This study reviews the economic potential and environmental implications of production of second-generation biofuels from a variety of various feedstocks. Although second-generation biofuels could significantly contribute to the future energy supply mix, cost is a major barrier to increasing commercial production in the near to medium term. Depending on various factors, the cost of second-generation (cellulosic) ethanol can be two to three times as high as the current price of gasoline on an energy equivalent basis. The cost of biodiesel produced from microalgae, a prospective feedstock, is many times higher than the current price of diesel. Policy instruments for increasing biofuels use, such as fiscal incentives, should be based on the relative merits of different types of biofuels.
    Keywords: Energy Production and Transportation,Renewable Energy,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Transport Economics Policy&Planning
    Date: 2010–08–01
  13. By: David A. Hennessy (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); Tong Wang
    Abstract: The industrialization of animal agriculture has fundamentally transformed animal health markets while animal health innovations have promoted this industrialization. The subtlety of these interactions shows how little we know about agricultural industrialization. To illustrate, we consider three stylized features of industrialized animal agriculture. These are the closing off of production activities from external effects, emphasis on control, and use of biosecurity measures. We find that animal disease externalities should lead to higher stocking on any given farm, and also to deficient entry into animal production. Eradicating the disease in a region increases both the stocking rate per farm and the number of farms. We show that antibiotics as a control strategy should promote intensity of production and the substitution of capital for labor. Also, in long-run market equilibrium a reduction in the price of a biosecurity input could plausibly reduce both operation scale and per-animal input use, i.e., biosecurity inputs can behave like a Giffen good. External biosecurity inputs provided through public animal disease management policy may promote on-farm biosecurity, rather than crowd it out.
    Keywords: animal disease, biosecurity, biotechnology, competitiveness, confined animal agriculture, economies of scale, tragedy of the commons, veterinary inputs. JEL Classification Numbers: D2, O1, Q1
    Date: 2010–09
  14. By: Markus Groth (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Lehrstuhl für Nachhaltigkeitsökonomie, Germany); Franziska Dittmer (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Lehrstuhl für Nachhaltigkeitsökonomie, Germany)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to give suggestions about how an agri-environment index can be designed by taking into account specific ecological and economical factors that reflect benefits and costs of biodiversity conservation. Main findings are that the general structure of an agri-environment index is recommended to be a benefits-to-cost ratio, whereby the conservation benefits are accounted for by the following factors which evaluate i) certain criteria that value the ecological quality of a site and point out its significance for biodiversity conservation (Conservation Significance Factor), ii) a criterion that reflects the connectivity of the site which is an important factor for species migration (Connectivity Factor) and iii) criteria that estimate the potential biodiversity outcomes induced by specific management actions (Conservation Management Factor). The Cost Factor reflects the amount of money that the landholder demands as compensation payment for his conservation services. The paper points out that an agri-environment index is a promising approach to encourage and compensate farmers for biodiversity-friendly management actions. Thereby, an improvement of the effectiveness and efficiency of European conservation payment schemes is a decisive contribution to biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes.
    Keywords: agri-environmental policy, biodiversity benefits index, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, environmental benefits index, rural development
    Date: 2010–08
  15. By: Kiesel, Kristin; Villas-Boas, Sofia B.
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether information costs prevent consumers from making healthier food choices under currently regulated nutritional labels in a market-level experiment. Implemented nutritional shelf labels reduce information costs by either repeating information available on the Nutritional Facts Panel, or providing information in a new format. We analyze microwave popcorn purchases using weekly store-level scanner data from both treatment and control stores in a difference-in-differences and synthetic control method approach. Our results suggest that information costs affect consumer purchase decisions. In particular, no trans fat labels significantly increase sales, even though this information is already available on the package. Low calorie labels significantly increase sales, while correlated low fat labels significantly decrease sales, suggesting that labeling response may also be influenced by consumers' taste perceptions. Finally, combining multiple claims in a single label reduces the effectiveness of the implemented labels. Our results provide direct implications for changes to the format and content of nutritional labeling currently considered by the Food and Drug Administration.
    Date: 2009–12–16
  16. By: Yonas Alem; Måns Söderbom
    Abstract: We use survey data to investigate how urban households in Ethiopia coped with the food price shock in 2008 and idiosyncratic shocks. Qualitative data indicate that the high food price inflation was by far the most adverse economic shock between 2004 and 2008, and that a significant proportion of households had to adjust food consumption in response. Regression results indicate that households with low asset levels, and casual workers, were particularly adversely affected by high food prices. In contrast, we find that household demographics and education matter little for the impact of the shock. Our analysis of idiosyncratic shocks indicates that losing one’s job is a serious, uninsurable shock. We interpret the results as pointing to the importance of growth in the formal sector so as to generate more well-paid and stable jobs. Our results also imply that aid programs responding to food price shocks can be made more efficient by targeting low-asset households with members on the fringe of the labor market.
    Keywords: consumption; food price inflation; shocks; Africa; urban Ethiopia
    JEL: O12 O18 D12
    Date: 2010
  17. By: Ping-Yu Chen (Department of Applied Economics, National Chung Hsing University); Chia-Lin Chang (Department of Applied Economics, National Chung Hsing University); Chi-Chung Chen (Department of Applied Economics, National Chung Hsing University); Michael McAleer (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands, and Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of crude oil price on global fertilizer prices in both the mean and volatility. The endogenous structural breakpoint unit root test, the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model, and alternative volatility models, including the generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) model, Exponential GARCH (EGARCH) model, and GJR model, are used to investigate the relationship between crude oil price and six global fertilizer prices. Weekly data for 2003-2008 for the seven price series are analyzed. The empirical results from ARDL show that most fertilizer prices are significantly affected by the crude oil price, which explains why global fertilizer prices reached a peak in 2008. We also find that that the volatility of global fertilizer prices and crude oil price from March to December 2008 are higher than in other periods, and that the peak crude oil price caused greater volatility in the crude oil price and global fertilizer prices. As volatility invokes financial risk, the relationship between oil price and global fertilizer prices and their associated volatility is important for public policy relating to the development of optimal energy use, global agricultural production, and financial integration.
    Keywords: Volatility, Global fertilizer price, Crude oil price, Non-renewable fertilizers, Structural breakpoint unit root test
    Date: 2010–09
  18. By: P.G.K. Panikar
    Abstract: The main attention on the food front in lndia ts five year plans has been focused on the question of under nutrition rather than malnutrition. This pre occupation with the quantitative instead of the qualitative aspect of food problem is not difficult to understand, in view of the inadequate domestic output and low per capita consumption of all foods, low average calorie intake, and evidence of widespread "hunger" broqght out by diet surveys undertaken in different parts of the country. However the main attention on the food front in lndiats five year plans has been focussed on the question of undernutrition rather than malnutrition. This preo ccupstion with the quanti- tative instead' of the qualitative aspect of food problem is not difficult to understand, in view of the' inadequate domestic output and low per capita consumption of all foods, low average calorie intake, and evidence of widespread l!hungertf broqght out by diet sukveys undertaken in different parts of the country. Hawever, the basic approach of the Planning Commission to the question of nutrition, as indicated briefly in the second plan document, is based on a preconceived notion that "it will not be possible to provide nutrition at optimum levels to everybody". This presumption led them to the conclusion that "priority in improving nutrition should be given to vulnerable groups of the populationt"- such as expectant and nursing mothers, infants, etc. [Working Paper No.4]
    Keywords: India, Nutrition, Malnutrition, qualitative, quantitative, food,
    Date: 2010
  19. By: Bacon, Christopher M.
    Abstract: The agri-environmental governance of value chains can favour a Polanyian double movement seeking social protection and control over price setting markets or it can advance a neoliberal logic that strives to overcome the few remaining civic and ecologic obstacles to full market dominance. Coupled with a typology that contrasts corporate social responsibility and social economy Fair Trade models, this theoretical framework elucidates positions in the current policy debates about the minimum coffee price standard. Many Southern smallholders consider Fair Trade's standards, which for coffee include direct market accesses for smallholder cooperatives, minimum prices, and environmental criteria, among the best deals available. The smallholder empowerment benefits are often better than competing eco-labels. However, this study finds that Fair Trade minimum prices lost 41 percent of their real value from 1988 to 2008. Despite objections from several 'market driven' firms and national labelling initiatives, smallholders' collective advocacy and this research contributed to the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International's (FLO) decision to mandate a 7-11 percent minimum price increase. The price debates demonstrate that Fair Trade governance is neither purely neoliberal nor social movement led - it is a highly contested socially embedded practice. Voices without votes, North-South inequalities, and dwindling prices paid to its stated protagonists indicate the need for governance reform, cost of living price adjustments, and additional investment in the innovative alternative trade and hybrid models.
    Keywords: fair trade, eco-labels, environmental and agricultural governance, standards, sustainability
    Date: 2010–01–01
  20. By: Li, Yuan; Beghin, John C.
    Abstract: We conduct a meta-analysis to statistically explain the variations found in estimated trade effects of technical measures broadly defined (TBT, SPS measures and other standard-like policies), using available estimates from the empirical international trade literature, and accounting for both data sampling and methodology differences. Agriculture and food industries tend to be more impeded by these barriers than other sectors. Controlling for “multilateral resistance†significantly lowers the propensity to find that these policies impede trade. Models that correct endogeneity by using panel data and time fixed effect tend to find more negative (or less positive) trade effects of technical measures. In addition, studies based on a count variable proxy are less likely to find a negative trade effect and more likely to find a positive effect than studies relying on other proxies. SPS regulations on agricultural trade flows from developing exporters to high-income importers tend to impede trade, a systematic finding.
    Keywords: meta-analysis; SPS; TBT; trade; technical standards; trade barriers
    JEL: F F13 Q17
    Date: 2010–09–03
  21. By: Esposo Guerrero, Bernard Joseph
    Abstract: The literature on food security has mainly been focused on causes, effects, and/or the nature of the crisis. However, there have been only a few attempts to understand how the discourse on the subject matter was shaped and is still being shaped at present. Food security is at the intersection of many disciplines, and the factors perpetuating the crisis are largely diverse - population, social inequalities, nutrition and health, power monopolies in the international stage, and giant market drivers, among others. The paper aims at shedding light as to how nations really become food insecure to begin with. The discussion traces the globalization of food security as a product of discursive processes. By putting together and analyzing the factors like world politics, the entry of globalization, shifting trade patterns and even culture - through the years - a better understanding of why the problem came to exist and what it is all about is provided. --
    Keywords: Food security,food insecurity,neoliberal globalization,trade,agriculture,political economy
    JEL: Q17 P4 N90
    Date: 2010
  22. By: Michel Fok (SCA - Systemes de cultures annuelles - CIRAD : UPR102)
    Abstract: Ex-ante regulation of transgenic crop use generally prevails, before the authorization of commercial release. This kind of regulation addresses the concerns of biosafety and coexistence, under pressure of pros and/or cons of GMO. After fifteen years of large scale use of transgenic crops (notably soybean and cotton) in various countries (USA, China, Brasil, India...), ecological and economic phenomena are observed and which could threaten the sustainable use of transgenic varieties. I advocate that the regulation scope must be extended so as to a) promote a systemic and coordinated approach of transgenic crop use, b) ensure seed purity with regard to the transgenic trait, c) maintain research on non-transgenic varieties, and d) warrant fair pricing of transgenic seeds.
    Keywords: regulation; coordination; GMO; biotechnology; seed price; research; weed resistance; pest complex shift
    Date: 2010–08–29
  23. By: Xiaodong Du (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI)); David A. Hennessy (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); Cindy L. Yu
    Abstract: While controversy surrounds skewness attributes of typical yield distributions, a better understanding is important for agricultural policy assessment and for crop insurance rate setting. Day (1965) conjectured that crop yield skewness declines with an increase in low levels of nitrogen use, but higher levels have no effect. In a theoretical model based on the law of the minimum (von Liebig) technology, we find conditions under which Day’s conjecture applies. Employing four experimental plot datasets, we investigate the conjecture by introducing (a) a flexible Bayesian extension of the Just-Pope technology to incorporate skewness, and (b) a quantile-based measure of skewness shift. For corn yields, the Bayesian estimation provides strong evidence in favor of negative skewness at commercial nitrogen rates and for Day’s conjecture. There was weaker evidence in favor of positively skewed cotton yield and little evidence in favor of the conjecture. The results are also confirmed by the quantile-based measure.
    Keywords: crop insurance, Gibbs sampler, Just and Pope technology, negative skewness, quantile regression.
    Date: 2010–08
  24. By: Davis, Chris; Blayney, Don; Yen, Steven; Cooper, Joseph C.
    Abstract: Ice cream has been manufactured commercially in the United States since the middle of the 19th century. Ice cream and frozen dessert products comprise an important and relatively stable component of the United States dairy industry. As with many other dairy products, ice cream is differentiated in several dimensions. A censored translog demand system model was employed to analyze purchases of 3 ice cream product categories. The objective of this study was to determine the effect that changes in retail prices and consumer income have on at-home ice cream consumption. The analysis was based on Nielsen 2005 home scan retail data and used marital status, age, race, education, female employment status, and location in the estimations of aggregate demand elasticities. Results revealed that price and consumer income were the main determinants of demand for ice cream products. Calculated own-price elasticities indicated relatively elastic responses by consumers for all categories except for compensated bulk ice cream. All expenditure elasticities were inelastic except for bulk ice cream, and most of the ice cream categories were substitutes. Ongoing efforts to examine consumer demand for these products will assist milk producers, dairy processors and manufacturers, and dairy marketers as they face changing consumer responses to food and diet issues.
    Keywords: Nielsen home scan retail data; dairy demand; elasticity; ice cream
    JEL: Q1
    Date: 2009–12
  25. By: Anderson, Michael L.; Matsa, David A.
    Abstract: While many researchers and policymakers infer from correlations between eating out and body weight that restaurants are a leading cause of obesity, a basic identification problem challenges these conclusions. We exploit the placement of Interstate highways in rural areas to obtain exogenous variation in the effective price of restaurants and examine the impact on body mass. We find no causal link between restaurant consumption and obesity. Analysis of food-intake micro-data suggests that consumers offset calories from restaurant meals by eating less at other times. We conclude that regulation targeting restaurants is unlikely to reduce obesity but could decrease consumer welfare.
    Keywords: economics of regulation, health production, obesity, fat tax
    Date: 2010–07–01
  26. By: Christiaensen, Luc; Demery, Lionel
    Keywords: Africa, Agriculture, Poverty
    Date: 2010
  27. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Lakshmi Iyer
    Abstract: This paper analyze the colonial institutions set up by the British to collect land revenue in India, and show that differences in historical property rights institutions lead to sustained differences in economic outcomes. Areas in which proprietary rights in land were historically given to landlords have significantly lower agricultural investments, agricultural productivity and investments in public goods in the post-Independence period than areas in which these rights were given to the cultivators. It has been verified that these differences are not driven by omitted variables or endogeneity of the historical institutions, and argue that they probably arise because differences in institutions lead to very different policy choices. [Working Paper No. 003]
    Keywords: British, India, historical, landlords, agricultural, investments, independence, policy choices, history, land tenure, development
    Date: 2010
  28. By: Jacob R. Fooks (Graduate Student, University of Delaware); Kent D. Messer (Department of Food & Resource Economics, University of Delaware)
    Abstract: This research evaluates the potential gains in benefits from using Goal Programming to preserve forestland. Two- and three-dimensional Goal Programming models are developed and applied to data from applicants to the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, the largest forest protection program in the United States. Results suggest that not only do these model yield substantial increases in benefits, but by being able to account for both environmental benefits and in-kind partner cost share, Goal Programming may be flexible enough to facilitate adoption by program managers needing to account for both ecological and political factors.
    Keywords: Goal programming, multi-objective programming, conservation optimization, forest conservation, environmental services, in-kind cost sharing, matching grants
    JEL: C6 Q2
    Date: 2010
  29. By: Salois, Matthew; Tiffin, Richard; Balcombe, Kelvin
    Abstract: The relationship between calorie and nutrient (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) intake as a function of income is explored using data for 171 countries over two time periods 1990-1992 and 2003-2005. Three types of analysis are employed: i) nonparametric, ii) panel regressions, and iii) quantile regressions. Engle curves for calories, fat, and protein are approximately linear in logs with carbohydrate intakes exhibiting diminishing elasticities as incomes increase, becoming negative around $US7500 and above. Other nutrient and calorie elasticity estimates are positive statistically significant. Elasticities range from 0.10 to 0.25, with fat having the highest elasticities. The estimated elasticities for the quantile regressions are similar across the 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 quantiles, but with moderate evidence that countries in the higher quantiles have lower elasticities than those in the lower quantiles. There has been a small but significant shift in the elasticities across the two periods.
    Keywords: Calorie and Nutrient Consumption; Food and Nutrition Policies; Income Elasticities; Nonparametric Regression; Panel Data; Quantile Regression.
    JEL: O11 C14 O10 C23 C21 C11 Q18
    Date: 2010–08–01
  30. By: Venkatachalam Anbumozhi; Armin Bauer (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The global financial crisis and the resulting economic slowdown may be assumed to have at least the benefit of also reducing environmental degradation in the individual countries. This paper discusses the consequences of the crisis for energy use, pollution prevention, and land use in Asia and the associated emissions of greenhouse gases—the principal global warming pollutants—as well as their linkage with poverty. There are some short-term benefits to the global environment from the economic slowdown. Such benefits include reduction in the rate of air and water pollution from reduced energy use—which has direct implications for the urban poor’s health. However, modest benefits to global and local environments arising from the economic slowdown are likely to be much smaller than the costs associated with many environmental conservation measures, related to energy savings, natural resources protection, and water environment. Both supply and demand side investments in energy and environment are being affected. Many ongoing projects are being slowed and a number of downward revisions are being made in expected profitability. Meanwhile, businesses and households are spending less on energy efficiency measures. Tighter credit and lower prices make investment in energy savings and environmental conservation less attractive financially, while the economic crisis is encouraging end users to rein in spending across the board. This is delaying the deployment of more efficient technology and equipment. Furthermore, solution providers are expected to reduce investment in research, development, and commercialization of more energy-efficient models, unless they are able to secure financial support from governments. The economic slowdown is likely to alter land use patterns by increasing the pressure to clear forests for firewood, timber, or agricultural purposes—the livelihood opportunities available with the rural poor. Further, the likely additional delay in many countries in the construction of effluent treatment plans for limiting the discharge of pollutants into the rivers is expected to harm the water environment. Thus on balance, the modest benefits to global and local environments arising from the economic slowdown are likely to be much smaller than the costs of many environmental conservation measures for improving the livelihood conditions of the poor. Natural resources and ecosystem services provided by the environment are essential to support economic growth and better livelihood conditions of the poor. Inaction on key environmental challenges, such as climate change, could lead to severe economic consequences in the future. These concerns justify government action to support investment in green growth measures, promoting direct investment or fiscal incentives for energy efficiency and clean environment low-carbon technologies. But much more needs to be done. The investment needed to put national economies in lowcarbon green growth pathways far exceeds what is expected to occur. Governments should be looking to increase the new funds they commit to long-term energy and environmental policies to improve livelihood conditions and to shift our development trend into an environmentally sustainable future. Hence a commitment that extends well beyond the economic stimulus packages is needed.
    Keywords: global financial crisis, energy use, pollution prevention, land use, climate change, poverty, agriculture
    JEL: Q27 Q42 Q48 Q54 Q57
    Date: 2010
  31. By: Yacouel, Nira; Fleischer, Aliza
    Abstract: The advent of the Internet changed the way buyers and sellers interact. Although access to information seems unlimited, non-expert agents find it difficult to identify the information they can confidently use. A third-party expert or a cybermediary (an intermediary in the cyberspace) can help sort out the information for the contracting partners. In this paper, we study the case of the online hotel market and the role of the cyber travel agent (CTA). We claim that CTAs encourage hoteliers to exert effort in service quality and provide empirical evidence that these hotels are compensated with a price premium.
    Keywords: Cybermediaries, Internet, travel agents, reputation, hotel market, Agricultural Finance, Institutional and Behavioral Economics,
    Date: 2010
  32. By: Raphaële PRÉGET; Patrick WAELBROECK
    Abstract: How much is the timber from public forests worth? How can the Public Forest Service define a fair market price for standing timber lots? What is the cost of low participation in French timber auctions? To estimate the value of a timber lot we adopt the transaction-evidence appraisal approach using data from timber auctions in Lorraine (Eastern France) accounting for the facts that: (i) the seller’s reserve prices are secret, (ii) there remain many unsold lots, and (iii) the number of bidders varies from one auction to another. Taking into account the endogenous participation in our hedonic price equation for the highest bid, we estimate that, compared to lots that receive two bids, the highest bid is 22% lower when there is only one bid and 37% higher when there are three or more bids.
    Date: 2010–09
  33. By: Peter Kugler (University of Basel)
    Date: 2010
  34. By: Andersen, Matt A.; Alston, Julian M.; Pardey, Philip G.
    Abstract: This is a substantially revised version of âCapital Use Intensity and Productivity Biases.â Andersen, Matt A.; Alston, Julian M.; Pardey, Philip G., St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics; University of Minnesota, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP), 2007. (Staff paper P07-06; InSTePP paper 07-02)
    Keywords: U.S. agriculture, pro-cyclical productivity, capital utilization, primal productivity bias, Productivity Analysis, D24, C51, Q1, O4, O47,
    Date: 2010–08
  35. By: Ligon, Ethan A.
    Abstract: We describe a measure of welfare, "vulnerability", which measures the difference between the highest feasible average level of utility in a population given aggregate resources, and the actual average level of utility. This measure can be decomposed into two components, related to inequality and to risk. We provide methods for computing vulnerability, inequality, and risk using only data on expenditures from repeated cross-sections of household data, and relate these to Atkinson's family of inequality measures. Using methods developed here and household-level Ecuadorean data from 1995 and 2006, we estimate the vulnerability and risk of �different population groups. Taking the population altogether, we find that the crisis of the late nineties was not only a large shock for the country as a whole, but also greatly increased the risk faced by individual households in the Sierra, risk which was subsequently translated into greater inequality. After 1999, overall risk borne by the average household fell dramatically, with the consequence that inequality remained nearly constant from 1999-2006. Levels of rural risk are considerably greater than are urban; further, rural risks tend to be the consequence of spatial shocks, while urban risks are much more idiosyncratic in nature.
    Date: 2010–01–25
  36. By: Kimhi, Ayal
    Abstract: In Israel, rural communities are those with up to 2000 residents, and rural areas include only rural communities. This paper explores the dependence of rural incomes on nearby urban areas. This dependence is mostly implied by rural-to-urban or urban-to-rural selective migration (or both). Migration flows can be affected by differential wages, housing costs and other amenities, and by commuting costs and costs of migration. An income generating equation, that includes characteristics of nearby urban communities as well as other spatial indicators among the explanatory variables, is estimated for rural households in Moshav villages using 2006 survey data. The results show that the population of nearby urban communities is significantly associated with rural household per-capita income. In particular, the urban population within 10 km is positively associated with per-capita income, while the urban population within 10 to 40 km is negatively associated with per-capita income. These opposite effects suggest that commuting costs are among the major determinants of the direction of the net migration of high-income households. Surprisingly, other spatial variables, including average per-capita income in nearby urban communities, do not affect rural income significantly.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics,
    Date: 2010

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.