New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒11‒27
sixteen papers chosen by

  1. Assessing farming eco-efficiency: A Data Envelopment Analysis approach By Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo; José A. Gómez-Limón; Ernest Reig-Martínez
  2. Can Africa replicate Asia's green revolution in rice ? By Larson, Donald F.; Otsuka, Keijiro; Kajisa, Kei; Estudillo, Jonna; Diagne, Aliou
  3. Ranking farms with a composite indicator of sustainability By Ernest Reig-Martínez; José A. Gómez-Limón; Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo
  4. Impact on Ethanol, Corn, and Livestock from Imminent U.S. Ethanol Policy Decisions By Bruce A. Babcock
  5. Traceability, Product Recalls, Industry Reputation and Food Safety By Pouliot, Sebastien; Sumner, Daniel A.
  6. Capacity Development for Environmental Management in the Agricultural Sector in Developing Countries By Constance C. Neely
  7. The First World War and Working-Class Food Consumption in Britain By Gazeley, Ian; Newell, Andrew T.
  8. Parametric Estimation Of Technical And Scale Efficiencies In Italian Citrus Farming By Madau, Fabio A.
  9. Farm Income, Population, and Farmland Prices: A Relative Information Approach By Salois, Matthew; Moss, Charles; Erickson, Kenneth
  10. An Information Approach to the Dynamics in Farm Income: Implications for Farmland Markets By Salois, Matthew; Moss, Charles
  11. Problems and Prospects of Shrimp Farming in Bangladesh By Jannatul Mawa Nupur
  12. Short- and long-term impact of remarkable economic events on the growth causes of China-Germany trade in agri-food products By Zhichao Guo; Yuanhua Feng; Xiangyong Tan
  13. Production Under Uncertainty: A Simulation Study By S.Shankar; C.J. O’Donnell; John Quiggin
  14. Outcomes and Determinants of Success of a Performance Payment Scheme for Carnivore Conservation By Zabel, Astrid; Bostedt, Göran; Engel, Stefanie
  15. Understanding Price Variation Across Stores and Supermarket Chains: Some Implications for CPI Aggregation Methods By Lorraine Ivancic; Kevin J. Fox
  16. Integrating biodiversity indices into a multi-species optimal control model By Christine Bertram

  1. By: Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo (Universidad de Valencia. Dpto. Economía Aplicada II.); José A. Gómez-Limón (Instituto Andaluz de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera. Dpto. Economía Agraria. Córdoba.); Ernest Reig-Martínez (Universidad de Valencia. Dpto. Economía Aplicada II and Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas (IVIE).)
    Abstract: This paper assesses farming eco-efficiency using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Eco-efficiency scores at both farm and environmental pressurespecific levels are computed for a sample of Spanish farmers operating in the rainfed agricultural system of Campos County. The determinants of eco-efficiency are then studied using truncated regression and bootstrapping. We contribute to previous literature by including information on slacks in the assessment of the potential environmental-pressure reductions in a DEA framework. Our results reveal that farmers are quite eco-inefficient, with very few differences emerging among specific environmental pressures. Furthermore, farmers benefiting from agrienvironmental programs as well as those with university education are found to be more eco-efficient. Concerning the policy implications of these results, public expenditure in agricultural extension and farmer training could be of some help to promote integration between farming and the environment. Furthermore, Common Agricultural Policy agri-environmental programs are also an effective policy to improve eco-efficiency.
    Keywords: Farming; economic-ecological efficiency; environmental pressures; Data Envelopment Analysis; bootstrapping
    JEL: C61 D21 Q56
    Date: 2010–11
  2. By: Larson, Donald F.; Otsuka, Keijiro; Kajisa, Kei; Estudillo, Jonna; Diagne, Aliou
    Abstract: Asia's green revolution in rice was transformational and improved the lives of millions of poor households. Rice has become an increasingly important part of African diets and imports of rice have grown. Agronomists point out that large areas in Africa are well suited for rice and are encouraged by the field tests of new rice varieties. So is Africa poised for its own green revolution in rice? This study reviews the recent literature on rice technologies and their impact on productivity, incomes, and poverty, and compares current conditions in Africa with the conditions that prevailed in Asia as its rice revolution got under way. An important conclusion is that, to a degree, a rice revolution has already begun in Africa. Moreover, many of the same practices that have proved successful in Asia and in Africa can be applied where yields are currently low. At the same time, for many reasons, Africa's rice revolution has been, and will continue to be, characterized by a mosaic of successes, situated where the conditions are right for new technologies to take hold. This can have profound effects in some places. But because diets, markets, and geography are heterogeneous in Africa, the successful transformation of the Africa's rice sector must be matched by productivity gains in other crops to fully launch Africa's Green Revolution.
    Keywords: Agricultural Research,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Climate Change and Agriculture,Food&Beverage Industry,Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems
    Date: 2010–11–01
  3. By: Ernest Reig-Martínez (Universidad de Valencia. Dpto. Economía Aplicada II); José A. Gómez-Limón (Instituto Andaluz de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera. Dpto. Economía Agraria. Córdoba.); Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo (Universidad de Valencia. Dpto. Economía Aplicada II and Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas (IVIE).)
    Abstract: The assessment of sustainability at farm level has been growing in popularity over the last years. This paper contributes to this line of research by building up composite indicators for different facets –social, economic, environmental and global– of farm sustainability using a methodological approach that combines Data Envelopment Analysis and Multi Criteria Decision Methods. This approach is applied to a database of 163 farms located in the Spanish Northern Plateau. Our findings show that both economic and environmental sustainability indicators are positively correlated, but that this is not the case for the social indicator. We also check the influence of a set of variables on farm sustainability using bootstrapping techniques, and showing that increasing farm size, membership on agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ medium and upper agricultural-specific technical education all exert a significant positive influence on sustainability. These results provide clues for policy-makers that intend to design sustainability-increasing structural agricultural policies.
    Keywords: Sustainability index, Agriculture, Data Envelopment Analysis, Multi-Criteria Decision Making, Spain
    JEL: C61 D60 H41 Q10
    Date: 2010–11
  4. By: Bruce A. Babcock (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC))
    Abstract: The next few weeks should bring some clarity to the future of the 45-cent-per-gallon ethanol tax credit and the 54-cent-per-gallon import tariff because both are scheduled to expire on December 31. Although the arguments in support of and against their extension have changed little since the summer, the economic situation in the corn, livestock, and ethanol industries has changed dramatically. Heavy summer rains and some excessive heat resulted in lower-than-expected U.S. corn yields. These lower yields, combined with the failure of the Russian wheat crop and a weaker U.S. dollar, increased corn prices by about 50% in just six months. What began as a year with a bright outlook for corn farmers is turning out to be their best year on record. And while we might expect the ethanol industry to be hurt by high corn prices, the $2.00-per-bushel increase in corn prices has been accompanied by a 70-cent-per-gallon increase in the price of ethanol. The net result of these price changes is that profits for the ethanol industry have actually increased. Positive profits for the ethanol industry mean that the industry’s demand for corn has increased despite a significant drop in the U.S. supply of corn. With no rationing of demand from the ethanol industry, the burden of coping with the higher corn prices falls on other users of corn, namely, the domestic livestock and food industries, and foreign importers.
    Date: 2010–11
  5. By: Pouliot, Sebastien; Sumner, Daniel A.
    JEL: D21 M31 Q10 Q18
    Date: 2010–11–17
  6. By: Constance C. Neely
    Abstract: The relationships between agriculture, the environment, and development are deep and complex. By 2050 a 70 per cent increase in production will be needed to feed an additional 2.7 billion people on an already degraded natural resource base. In light of this and amid the realities of climate change, the agricultural sector is now coming to terms with its potential role for contributing to – rather than diminishing - environmental, institutional, social and economic resilience. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of environmental management and governance in the agricultural sector; to present environmental goals, requirements, entry points, and strategies/approaches to capacity development for the environment (CDE) in this sector; and to discuss implications for donors. The focus is on CDE in a developing country context. The paper recognises that CDE must be seen as part of an endogenous process of change, and that it must operate at multiple levels: the enabling environment, the organisation, and the individual. The paper argues that CDE should focus on the sustainable production and provision of sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that simultaneously builds and reinforces ecosystem resilience, leading to equitable and economically viable livelihoods at an adequate scale. The paper links these concepts to the country systems approach to development assistance advocated in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
    Keywords: developing countries, environmental management, Capacity development, environmental governance, agricultural sector, sustainable agriculture
    JEL: O20 Q1 Q2 Q56
    Date: 2010–11–17
  7. By: Gazeley, Ian (University of Sussex); Newell, Andrew T. (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: In this paper we reassess the food consumption and dietary impact of the regimes of food and food price control and eventually, food rationing, that were introduced in Britain during the First World War. At the end of the War the Sumner Committee was convened to investigate into effects of these controls on the diets of working class families. With the help of some of the original returns of an earlier 1904 survey, we are able to reassess the Sumner Committee findings. We find that although calories intakes did not fall for households headed by unskilled workers, there were substantial falls for skilled workers’ households. We also find that the price controls were particularly effective in changing the pattern of food spending. In particular, because the prices of many fruits and vegetables were allowed to rise very much more than other foodstuffs, there were large falls in the intakes of nutrients most associated with these foods, to average levels well below today’s recommended intakes.
    Keywords: First World War, Britain, food controls, food consumption, nutrition
    JEL: N34 N44
    Date: 2010–11
  8. By: Madau, Fabio A.
    Abstract: Ray (1998) has proposed a model for estimating scale efficiency using a parametric approach. Following this methodology, a scale efficiency measure is obtained from the estimated parameters of the production frontier function and from the estimated scale elasticities. This study aims to estimate technical and scale efficiencies achieved by the Italian citrus fruit-growing farms. A stochastic frontier production model is considered in order to estimate technical and scale efficiencies. The analysis is expected to estimate the role of both technical and scale efficiencies in conditioning productivity. Particular attention is put on determining the (technical and scale) inefficiency effects associated with a set of structural and environmental variables that should affect efficiency and on the relationship between technical and scale efficiency scores. Empirical findings suggest that the greater portion of overall inefficiency in the sample might depend on producing below the production frontier than on operating under an inefficient scale. Indeed, room for improving technical efficiency is, on average, larger (29%) than the margin due to scale inefficiency (18.2%). Results also indicate a weak relationship between the two efficiency measures.
    Keywords: Technical efficiency Scale efficiency Stochastic Frontier Analysis Citrus farming Italy
    JEL: C13 Q12
    Date: 2010–11–18
  9. By: Salois, Matthew; Moss, Charles; Erickson, Kenneth
    Abstract: This paper uses an entropy-based information approach to determine if farmland values are more closely associated with urban pressure or farm income. The basic question is: how much information on changes in farm real estate values is contained in changes in population versus changes in returns to production agriculture? Results suggest population is informative, but changes in farmland values are more strongly associated with changes in the distribution of returns. However, this relationship is not true for every region nor does it hold over time, as for some regions changes in population are more informative. Results have policy implications for both equity and efficiency.
    Keywords: entropy; land values; information theory; population growth.
    JEL: Q24 C61 Q12 C11
    Date: 2010–10–25
  10. By: Salois, Matthew; Moss, Charles
    Abstract: The valuation of farmland is a perennial issue for agricultural policy, given its importance in the farm investment portfolio. Despite the significance of farmland values to farmer wealth, prediction remains a difficult task. This study develops a dynamic information measure to examine the informational content of income to farmland in explaining the distribution of farmland values over time.
    Keywords: information theory; farmland markets; farm income
    JEL: Q24 Q14 C49
    Date: 2010–10–31
  11. By: Jannatul Mawa Nupur (Northern University; Bangladesh)
    Abstract: Shrimp is one of the leading exportable products in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is earning about 500 millions of foreign currency yearly by exporting shrimp and contributing 3.78% in GDP. This study intends to find out the problems related to the shrimp industry in Bangladesh to export in the international markets. As such a research study has been undertaken on shrimp farmers, experts and government employees of the shrimp farming areas. To gauge the prospects of shrimp farming, the south-western region of Bangladesh has been considered as the core farming areas. These three categories of stakeholders are related to the problems and prospects of shrimp industry in Bangladesh. A total of 100 stakeholders were selected to respond. The author suggested that problems including high mortality rate, lack of virus screening facility and the unfair practices should be taken into account for the both operative and strategic level without delay. Enforcement of food security from the external sector of the government ought to be discovered.
    Date: 2010–11
  12. By: Zhichao Guo (University of Paderborn); Yuanhua Feng (University of Paderborn); Xiangyong Tan (Beijing Technology and Business University)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on a systematic quantitative discussion of the short- and long-term impact of remarkable economic events on international trade in a two-stage framework. Firstly, procedures based on dummy variables are proposed to detect structural breaks, types and sizes of jumps caused by such events. Then we propose to apply a hierarchical CMS (Constant Market Share) model to all sub-periods defined by the detected change points to study the short- and long-term impact of those events on growth causes. Application to China-Germany trade in agri-food products shows that China’s accession to WTO had a negative short-term impact on corresponding series. But its long-term impact on China’s export competitiveness was definitely positive. The short-term impact of the EU’s CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform on Germany’s exports to China was also negative. Its long-term impact on export competitiveness was sometimes positive and sometimes negative. The financial crisis of 2008 caused a significant reduction of China’s agri-food exports to Germany. But Germany’s exports to China in 2009 were not affected by the financial crisis as much.
    Keywords: Growth causes of agri-food trade; the CMS model; the EU’s CAP reform; China’s accession to WTO; financial crisis
    JEL: Q17 C53
    Date: 2010–11
  13. By: S.Shankar; C.J. O’Donnell (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland); John Quiggin (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: In this article we model production technology in a state-contingent framework. Our model analyzes production under uncertainty without regard to the nature of producer risk preferences. In our model producers? risk preferences are captured by the risk-neutral probabilities they assign to the different states of nature. Using a state-general state-contingent specification of technology we show that rational producers who encounter the same stochastic technology can make significantly different production choices. Further, we develop an econometric methodology to estimate the risk-neutral probabilities and the parameters of stochastic technology when there are two states of nature and only one of which is observed. Finally, we simulate data based on our state-general state-contingent specification of technology. Biased estimates of the technology parameters are obtained when we apply conventional ordinary least squares (OLS) estimator on the simulated data.
    Date: 2010–11
  14. By: Zabel, Astrid (Institute of Environmental Decisions (IED)); Bostedt, Göran (CERE, Center of Environmental and Resource Economics); Engel, Stefanie (Institute of Environmental Decisions (IED))
    Abstract: This paper presents a first empirical assessment of the outcomes and determinants of carnivore conservation success in Sweden’s pioneer performance payment scheme. Carnivores in northern Sweden depend on reindeer as prey which causes conflicts with reindeer herders. As compensation and conservation incentive, the government issues performance payments to reindeer herder villages based on the number of carnivore offspring certified on their land. The villages decide on the internal use and distribution of the payments. In the literature, it is generally assumed that benefit distribution rules are exogenously given. We extend the literature by developing a model to investigate such rules as endogenous decision. We hypothesize that conservation success is determined by natural geographical factors and each village’s capability to engage in collective action to manage the internal payments so that conserving rather than hunting carnivores becomes villagers’ optimal strategy. The hypotheses developed are tested with empirical village and household-level data from Sweden. The paper concludes that if limited hunting is legal, conservation success strongly depends on villages’ potential for collective action and their payment distribution rule. In cases without legal hunting, performance payments together with penalties on poaching provide sufficient incentives for herders to refrain from illicit hunting. Furthermore, the data reveals that villages’ group size has a direct negative effect on conservation outcomes as predicted by collective action theory. However, there is also an indirect effect which positively impacts conservation outcomes through the payment distribution rule. This result, at least in part, revises the general collective action hypothesis on purely negative effects of group size and highlights the importance of investigating factors driving groups’ internal benefit distribution rules.
    Keywords: Conservation performance payments; wildlife conservation; collective action; empirical policy assessment; Sweden
    JEL: Q20
    Date: 2010–04–06
  15. By: Lorraine Ivancic (Centre for Applied Economic Research, The University of New South Wales); Kevin J. Fox (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: The empirical literature on price indices consistently finds that aggregation methods have a considerable impact, particularly when scanner data are used. This paper outlines a novel approach to test for the homogeneity of goods and hence for the appropriateness of aggregation. A hedonic regression framework is used to test for item homogeneity across four supermarket chains and across stores within each of these supermarket chains. We find empirical support for the aggregation of prices across stores which belong to the same supermarket chain. Support was also found for the aggregation of prices across three of the four supermarket chains.
    Keywords: Price indexes; aggregation; scanner data; unit values; item homogeneity; hedonics
    JEL: C43 E31
    Date: 2010–11
  16. By: Christine Bertram
    Abstract: Processes of regional economic integration have been shaping the economic relations between countries significantly during the last decades. In addition, an increasing integration of the national economies into the global economy has affected these economic relations, too. In an effort to operationalize these integration processes for the purpose of empirical analyses, this paper reviews and analyses concepts and actual measures of European integration and globalization. In particular, it discusses how to separate the effects of European integration from those of globalization. The paper searches for regional integration and globalization indices that reduce the endogeneity problem, and it discusses collinearity between them, and their workability in an illustrative gravity model
    Keywords: Biodiversity, Renewable Resources, Optimal Control, Non-Concavity
    JEL: Q20 Q29 Q57
    Date: 2010–11

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