New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒10‒23
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Economic Growth and Transition in Vietnam and China and its Consequences for their Agricultural Sectors: Policy and Agricultural Adjustment Issues By Tisdell, Clem
  2. Scenarios and Options for Productivity Growth in Philippine Agriculture An Application of the AMPLE By February 2010
  3. Potential Market Effects of Selected Policy Options in Emerging Economies to Address Future Commodity Price Surges By Wyatt Thompson; Grégoire Tallard
  4. Economic Incentives to Improve Water Quality in Agricultural Landscapes: Some New Variations on Old Ideas By Kling, Catherine L.
  5. Updated Arkansas Global Rice Model By Wailes, Eric; Chavez, Eddie
  6. Food Prices in Six Developing Countries and the Grains Price Spike By Christopher L. Gilbert
  7. Conditional cash transfers, women and the demand for food By Orazio Attanasio; Valérie Lechene
  8. Short-Term Impact of Cap-and-Trade Climate Policy and Agricultural Adjustment By Jiang, Yong; Koo, Won W.
  9. Assessing the Effectiveness of Agricultural Interventions By Mario González; Alessandro Maffioli; Lina Salazar; Paul Winters
  10. Change in Social Capital – a Case Study of Collective Rice Farming Practice in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam By Le, Anh Tuan
  11. Priority Setting for Agricultural Biotechnology Research in Thailand By Orachos Napasintuwong Artachinda; Pongthep Akratanakkul
  12. Improving the Quality of Data and Impact-Evaluation Studies in Developing Countries By Guy Stecklov; Alex Weinreb

  1. By: Tisdell, Clem
    Abstract: Secondary data are used to discuss and compare the consequences for agriculture of economic growth and transition in Vietnam and China. It is found that China and Vietnam have experienced similar adjustments in their agricultural sectors and face at this time, similar agricultural policy problems. China began its economic reforms in 1979 and Vietnam followed in 1986. Since then both countries have experienced rapid economic growth, falling poverty rates and significant rises in per capita income. At the same time, substantial restructuring of their economies has occurred, a feature of which has been a decline in the relative contribution of agriculture to total employment and output. These changes are outlined. Significant changes have also occurred within the agricultural sectors of China and Vietnam and these are reviewed. In both countries, the livestock sector has grown in relative importance. Households are the main contributors to agricultural production but their individual holdings of land are small by Western standards and households keeping livestock mostly only hold a few head. Given the exit of farmers from agriculture, pressures are mounting for increasing the size of agricultural units. This exit can add to economic efficiency and growth. Policies to facilitate movements from farm to non-farm employment are discussed and analysed. Property rights and the marketability of agricultural land can facilitate such movements and contribute to economic efficiency. In recent times, China and Vietnam have extended property rights in agricultural land and have increased its marketability. These measures are outlined. With further economic development and transition, it is predicted that these rights and the marketability of agricultural land will be further extended. However, if previous practice is followed, those policy changes are likely to be gradual.
    Keywords: Agricultural development, Asia, China, economic transition, farm employment, land reforms, land rights, livestock, non-farm employment, structural change., Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, Livestock Production/Industries, O25, O5, P32, Q1,
    Date: 2010–09
  2. By: February 2010 (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
    Abstract: Sustaining and accelerating agricultural growth remains a development imperative in view of persistent rural poverty and emerging threats to food security. While growth can be achieved by expansion of agricultural area and input intensification, growth through improvement in productivity is a promising option. However, productivity growth appears to be a relatively low priority for policy. Rather, the agricultural strategy is oriented toward domestic protection to achieve self‐sufficiency and to support production by generous subsidies. In contrast, an alternative strategy may be one that is competition‐oriented and productivity‐based, i.e., one that favors integration with the international economy through trade, as well as making domestic investments targeted at productivity growth. Scenarios for Philippine agriculture under these policy options are evaluated using a new supply and demand model (Agricultural Multi‐market Model for Policy Evaluation or AMPLE). Model simulations suggest that: rapid productivity growth, even when combined with trade liberalization, is generally favorable for farmers and consumers based on improved outlook on production, exports, and food consumption. In contrast, trade liberalization alone has a contractionary effect on agriculture; and production support is a costly instrument for promoting agricultural growth. The model experiments suggest that a back‐to‐basics strategy for agriculture, incorporating various productivity‐based instruments such as investments in R&D, extension, rural infrastructure, protection of the resource base of agriculture, and even human capital formation and institutional reforms, are key to long‐term agricultural growth.
    Keywords: Productivity growth, agriculture, scenario analysis, supply and demand, technological change
    JEL: D24 Q18 C30
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Wyatt Thompson; Grégoire Tallard
    Abstract: This report examines the market outcomes of different policy options that could be adopted in the event of a future spike in the world price of wheat and rice. The three policies – additional border measures, consumer subsidies or public stocks – only partly mitigate the effect of a price spike on consumers in the implementing countries. However, taxpayer costs can be large, particularly for broad consumer subsidies or to build and carry grain stocks. Trade measures reduce domestic prices to producers, suppressing long-run supply response. There are also negative unintended consequences for international markets and market participants in other countries that trade on these markets. New consumer subsidies or trade measures introduced by some countries to offset rising international grain prices causes those prices to rise even more in other countries. Releasing public stocks eases tight markets and lowers prices in all markets, helping to reduce the price spike, but stock building and rebuilding phases mean higher market prices and less food consumption at other times. In conclusion, none of these policies is an unambiguous solution that sustains food consumption during times of high prices with minimal taxpayer and other costs.
    Keywords: food security, Commodity price spike, consumer subsidies, trade measures, public stocks
    JEL: J33 Q10 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2010–10–14
  4. By: Kling, Catherine L.
    Date: 2010–10–18
  5. By: Wailes, Eric; Chavez, Eddie
    Abstract: The Arkansas Global Rice Model is based on a multi-country statistical simulation and econometric framework. The model consists of six sub regions. These regions are the U.S., South Asia, North Asia and the Middle East, the Americas, Africa and Europe. Each region comprises of several countries and each country model has a supply sector, a demand sector, a trade, stocks and price linkage equations. All equations used in this model were estimated using econometric procedures or identities. Estimates are based upon a set of explanatory variables including exogenous macroeconomic factors such as income, population, inflation rate, technology development, and especially, government determined policy variables which reflect the various mechanisms by which countries intervene in their rice sector economy. More specifically, the Arkansas Global Rice Model is a representation of the world rice economy. It is specified as a series of six regional models, each having a similar structure within which endogenous relationships explain the economic factors determining rice demand, supply, trade and prices. Individual country models are then linked through net trade that highlights the interdependence of countries in the world rice economy.
    Keywords: Rice, trade model, policy, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Marketing, C02, C61, F11, F14, Q17 and Q18,
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Christopher L. Gilbert
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the pass-through of world maize and rice prices in six developing countries (Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Peru and Vietnam) both at the national and sub-national (regional) levels with the view of considering the relevance of world prices for national prices (high for maize, low for rice) and the representativeness of national average prices for prices throughout the country (high in Kenya and Malawi, low in Peru). The variability of prices across regions generally, but not invariably, increases when prices are high. Kenya and Vietnam have been relatively successful and Malawi least successful in insulating consumers from volatility in world prices.
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Orazio Attanasio (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Valérie Lechene (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)
    Abstract: <p>We examine the effect of large cash transfers on the consumption of food by poor households in rural Mexico. The transfers represent 20% of household income on average, and yet, the budget share of food is unchanged following receipt of this money. This is an important puzzle to solve, particularly so in the context of a social welfare programme designed in part to improve nutrition of individuals in the poorest households. We estimate an Engel curve for food. We rule out price increases, changes in the quality of food consumed and homotheticity of preferences as explanations for this puzzle. We also show that food is a necessity, with a strong negative effect of income on the food budget share. The decrease in food budget share caused by the large increase in income is cancelled by some other relevant aspect of the programme so that the net effect is nil. We argue that the program has not changed preferences and that there is no labelling of money. We propose that the key to the puzzle resides in the fact that the transfer is put in the hands of women and that the change in control over household resources is what leads to the observed changes in behaviour.</p>
    Keywords: Demand, conditional cash transfer, Engel curves, income elasticities, QUAIDS, food, nutrition.
    Date: 2010–09
  8. By: Jiang, Yong; Koo, Won W.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2010–09
  9. By: Mario González; Alessandro Maffioli; Lina Salazar; Paul Winters
    Abstract: This volume provides an in-depth analysis of what is known about the effectiveness of projects aimed at fostering agricultural production and productivity and what has been done to improve the development effectiveness in this area. It then identifies where gaps lie in the existing evidence, what needs to be evaluated in the future, and how this might be done.
    Date: 2010–03
  10. By: Le, Anh Tuan
    Abstract: This paper describes how the social capital of rice farmers of the Mekong delta of Vietnam - manifested in the tradition of collective farming practice, changed from the 1940s to 1990s. The reason this collective rice farming had existed for decades, irrespective of critical events that challenged its continuation, was the co-existence of two key factors – high need for collective farming to ensure subsistence, and the availability of a closely knit social network that facilitated the exchange of labor. Despite its longevity, the practice of a cohesive and spontaneous collective farming, particularly in terms of labor exchange and labor participation in farming activities, was not maintained under the influence of agrarian reforms which aimed to improve rural livelihood. Land reform resulted in individual rice farming, making mobilization for spontaneous collective action, at the community level quite challenging. The assessment arose in the context of the need to mobilize collective action for implementation of a Community Trap Barrier System (CTBS), an ecologically-based rodent pest management system. It is concluded that successful restoration of social capital in the form of collective farming practices at the field level may depend on government intervention strategies at both local and national policy levels.
    Keywords: social capital; rice; Mekong; farming practice; agrarian reform
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2010–09–18
  11. By: Orachos Napasintuwong Artachinda (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics,Faculty of Economics,Kasetsart University,Thailand); Pongthep Akratanakkul (Center for Agricultural Biotechnology,Kasetsart University.)
    Abstract: Recognizing unfocused research policy and unclear priorities in agricultural biotechnology research, this study aims to set research priorities for agricultural biotechnology, specifically for public institutions. The scoring method is used by surveying researchers, experts and stakeholders. The initiative of this study is to classify scoring alternatives using technology platforms instead of research projects or commodities as commonly used in agricultural research policy. The agricultural biotechnology platforms are identified into four areas. Based on five criteria used to evaluate the importance of this technology, fifty-five random samples are asked to score all technology platforms according to each criterion. The overall ranking combining with the necessity of the biotechnology platforms towards the goals reveals that detection and diagnostics, molecular breeding, and cell and tissue culture/embryo transfer/and cloning, should be given highest priorities, respectively. Gene transformation, genomic and post-genomic research should be given less priorities while vaccine technology should also not be ignored.
    Keywords: agricultural biotechnology, priority setting, research priority
    JEL: O38 Q18
    Date: 2010–10
  12. By: Guy Stecklov; Alex Weinreb
    Abstract: While the science of program evaluation has come a tremendous distance in the past couple of decades, measurement error remains a serious concern and its implications are often poorly understood by both data collectors and data analysts. The primary aim here is to offer a type of “back-to-basics” approach to minimizing error in developing country settings, particularly in relation to impact evaluation studies. Overall, the report calls for a two-stage approach to dealing with mismeasurement. In the first stage, researchers should attempt to minimize mismeasurement during data collection, but also incorporate elements into the study that allow them to estimate its overall dimensions and effects on analysis with more confidence. Econometric fixes for mismeasurement—whose purview is limited to a smaller subset of errors—then serve as a secondary line of defense. Such a complementary strategy can help to ensure that decisions are made based on the most accurate empirical evaluations. The main body of the report includes four main sections. Section two discusses in detail many of the problems that can arise in the process of data collection and what is known about how they may affect measurement error. Section three provides a basic introduction to statistical—particularly econometric—methods that have been developed and used to help avoid the most problematic effects of mismeasurement. Section four offers an alternative approach to dealing with measurement error—one that focuses on reducing error at source. It offers pointers to current “best practice” on how to reduce measurement error during data collection, especially as to how those methods relate to evaluation research, and how to incorporate elements into research design that allow researchers to estimate the dimensions of error. Section five focuses on the role of incentives as one possible approach to shifting one particular aspect of error. It uses data from the PROGRESA program to evaluate indirectly the impact of incentives on certain aspects of data quality in Mexico. The report concludes with a short summary and includes a list of ten steps that can be taken to reduce measurement error at source.
    Keywords: development effectiveness, impact evaluation, randomization, survey design, measurement error
    JEL: C8 C9 I3
    Date: 2010–05

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