nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒12‒11
nineteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Phones on Indian Agriculture By Surabhi Mittal; Sanjay Gandhi; Gaurav Tripathi
  2. Potential impact of the EU Single Area Payment on farm restructuring and efficiency in Lithuania By Elodie Douarin; Laure Latruffe
  3. Hunger and Food Insecurity in Nairobi's slums: An assessment using IRT models By FAYE Ousmane; BASCHIERI Angela; FALKINGHAM Jane; MUINDI Kanyiva
  4. On labour productivity to deliver private and public goods –the influence of off-farm income By Stefan Mann; Laure Latruffe; Werner Hediger
  5. Fighting Junk Food Marketing to Kids By Berkeley Media Studies Group BMSG
  6. Use of wood fuels from boreal forests will create a biofuel carbon debt with a long payback time By Bjart Holtsmark
  7. World Food Prices and Monetary Policy By Luis Catão; Roberto Chang
  8. Costs and benefits of the cap reform. By San Juan Mesonada, Carlos
  9. Does the EU Sugar Policy Reform Increase Added Sugar Consumption? An Empirical Evidence on the Soft Drink Market By Bonnet, Céline; Réquillart, Vincent
  10. Dairy Information Services Kiosk and Dairy Portal By T.P. Rama Rao
  11. Online Delivery of Land Titles to Rural Farmers in Karnataka, India By Mr. Rajeev Chawla; Prof. Subhash Bhatnagar
  12. Assets, Shocks, and Poverty Traps in Rural Mozambique By Lena Giesbert; Kati Schindler
  13. Does relative income matter for the very poor? - Evidence from rural Ethiopia By Akay, Alpaslan; Martinsson, Peter
  14. How Market Efficiency and the Theory of Storage Link Corn and Ethanol Markets By Mindy L. Mallory; Dermot J. Hayes; Scott H. Irwin
  15. Who leads Research Productivity Change? Guidelines for R&D policy makers By Jiménez-Sáez, Fernando; Zabala, Jon Mikel; Zofío, José L.
  16. Cutting Costs of Catching Carbon. Intertemporal effects under imperfect climate policy By Michael Hoel and Svenn Jensen
  17. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Ecological and Economic Foundations. By John M. Gowdy; Richard Howarth; Clem Tisdell
  18. Are Fruit and Vegetable Stamp Policies Cost Effective? By Dallongeville, Jean; Dauchet, Luc; de Mouzon, Olivier; Réquillart, Vincent; Soler, Louis-Georges
  19. Climate Change and Game Theory: A Mathematical Survey By Peter J. Wood

  1. By: Surabhi Mittal; Sanjay Gandhi; Gaurav Tripathi (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
    Abstract: Deficits in physical infrastructure, problems with availability of agricultural inputs and poor access to agriculture-related information are the major constraints on the growth of agricultural productivity in India. The more rapid growth of mobile telephony as compared to fixed line telephony and the recent introduction of mobile- enabled information services provide a means to overcome existing information asymmetry. It also helps, at least partially, to bridge the gap between the availability and delivery of agricultural inputs and agriculture infrastructure. This paper investigates a series of questions that explore this topic: What kind of information do farmers value the most to improve agricultural productivity? Do mobile phones and mobile-enabled agricultural services have an impact on agriculture? What are the factors that impede the realisation of the full productivity enhancing potential of mobile phones? The answers to these questions have important implications for mobile operators, for information service providers, and for policy- makers. The quality of information, its timeliness and trustworthiness are the three important features that have to be ensured to enable farmers to use it effectively to improve productivity. The study found evidence that mobiles are being used in ways which contribute to productivity enhancement. However, to leverage the full potential of information dissemination enabled by mobile telephony will require significant improvements in supporting infrastructure and capacity building amongst farmers to enable them to use the information they access effectively. As mobile penetration continues to increase among farming communities and information services continue to adapt and proliferate, the scope exists for a much greater rural productivity impact in the future.
    Keywords: Mobile phones, Farmers and Fishermen, Agricultural productivity
    JEL: Q16 Q18
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Elodie Douarin; Laure Latruffe
    Abstract: This paper investigates the potential impact of post EU-accession public support, namely the introduction of the decoupled Single Area Payment (SAP), in Lithuania on its farming sector’s restructuring and future efficiency. Analyses are based on efficiency calculations with 2001-2002 FADN data for fieldcrop farms, and on the same sample’s farmers’ intentions to remain in the sector and to expand their area post EU-accession under two scenarios: a hypothetical scenario of continuing pre-accession national policies, and a realistic scenario of fully decoupled SAP introduction with coupled national top-ups. Our results suggest that, before accession to the EU, the smallest inefficient farms remained in the sector thanks to the policy support. However, the SAP introduction could potentially give the right incentives to Lithuanian farmers for a quicker restructuring and an increase in farm efficiency, although such change may be impeded by the lack of available agricultural land.
    Keywords: Single Area Payment, technical efficiency, size, subsidies, Lithuania
    JEL: D24 Q12
    Date: 2010
  3. By: FAYE Ousmane; BASCHIERI Angela; FALKINGHAM Jane; MUINDI Kanyiva
    Keywords: Food insecurity; Hunger; Sub-Saharan Africa; Slum; Nairobi
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Stefan Mann; Laure Latruffe; Werner Hediger
    Abstract: Differences between part-time farmers and full-time farmers are examined both theoretically and empirically. We develop the hypotheses that capital to labour ratio, labour productivity in the provision of both private and public goods, and agri-environmental payments received are higher for part-time farmers. FADN data for Swiss dairy farms in 2004 confirm the higher capital to labour ratio as well as higher agri-environmental payments for part-time farms, albeit no differences for the labour productivity of milk production
    Keywords: farm labour, off-farm income, public goods, agri-environmental payments, Switzerland
    JEL: Q12 Q18 J22 Q57
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Berkeley Media Studies Group BMSG
    Abstract: Since 1980, overweight rates have doubled among children and tripled among adolescents. So it is important that parents and children be aware about the bad effects of eating junk food
    Keywords: childre, overweight, junk food, marketing, advertising, kids, parents, obesity, adolescents, diabetes, nutrition, inactivity,
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Bjart Holtsmark (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Owing to the extensive critique of food-crop-based biofuels, attention and hopes have turned toward second-generation wood-based biofuels. An important question is therefore whether wood from boreal forests could serve as a source for biofuels. However, in a typical boreal forest, it takes 70–120 years before a stand of trees is mature. If this time lag and the real dynamics of the carbon stock of boreal forests more generally are taken into account, it becomes necessary to reconsider the potential mitigation effects of the increased use of wood fuels from boreal forests. This paper finds that the increased harvest of a boreal forest creates a biofuel carbon debt that takes 150–230 years to repay.
    Keywords: forestry; greenhouse gas emissions; bioenergy; carbon neutrality
    JEL: Q23 Q42 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2010–11
  7. By: Luis Catão; Roberto Chang
    Abstract: In recent years, large fluctuations in world food prices have renewed interest in the question of how monetary policy in small open economies should react to imported price shocks. We address this issue in an open economy setting similar to previous ones except that food plays a distinctive role in utility. A key novelty of our model is that the real exchange rate and the terms of trade can move in opposite directions in response to food price shocks. This has several consequences for observables and for policy. Under a variety of model calibrations, broad CPI targeting emerges as welfare-superior to alternative policy rules once the variance of food price shocks is as large as in real world data.
    JEL: E5 E6 F41
    Date: 2010–12
  8. By: San Juan Mesonada, Carlos
    Abstract: This working paper presents a cost-benefit analysis of the reform of the Common Aqricultural policy (CAP) considering both its effects on farmers in the European Community (EC) and on farmers in third countries. The new questions raised by the Uruguay round of the GATT (General Aqreement on Tariffs and Tax) and the start up of the sinqle Market in Europe are considered in order to examine the possible effects on agricultural income with special reference to family farms in the south of Europe. In the case of Spain, data are presented for possible effects of restructuring work occasioned by the reform.
    Keywords: CAP; EC; GATT; cost-benefit; agricultural economics;
  9. By: Bonnet, Céline; Réquillart, Vincent
    Abstract: National Health authorities recommend a decrease in the consumption of addedsugar. At the same moment, a reform of the Common Organisation of the Sugar Market will lead to a decrease by more than 30% of the sugar price in the EU. Using French data on the soft drinks purchases, this paper investigates the impact of this reform on the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and on added sugar consumption. The soft drink market is composed of highly differentiated products with different sugar content. Hence the reform of the EU sugar policy leads to a decrease in regular soft drink prices by more than 3% in average and varies from 1.7% to 6.5% according to the brand. To assess substitution within the food category of sugar sweetened beverages, we use a structural econometric model, the random-coefficients logit model. Our model also takes into account observed and unobserved heterogeneity in the consumersbehavior and then allows to estimate the impact of the sugar price decrease on the soft drink consumption according to the type of consumers. Results suggest that price changes would lead to an increase in market shares of regular products by 7.5% and a decrease in market share of diet products by 3.5%. On the whole, it would rise the consumption of regular soft drinks by more that 1 liter per year and per person and the consumption of added sugar by 124 grams per year and per person. Moreover, the reform leads to substitution between brands at the bene…t of products with the highest sugar content. The increase in per person consumption is larger in households composed of overweight and obese individuals.
    JEL: D12 I18 Q18
    Date: 2010–10
  10. By: T.P. Rama Rao
    Abstract: A proof of concept application using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the dairy sector was developed by the Centre for Electronics Governance at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (CEG-IIMA). The application aims at helping the dairy farmers with timely messages and educating them on the care for their milch cattle and enhance the production of quality milk. It also aims at assisting the dairy unions in effectively scheduling and organizing the veterinary, artificial insemination, cattle feed and other related services. The application uses Personal Computers at the milk collection Centres of the Dairy Cooperative Societies (DCS) having connectivity to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The application includes two components - a Dairy Portal (DP) and a Dairy Information Services Kiosk(DISK). This paper presents IIMA-CEG’s efforts to design and implement the DISK and Dairy Portal.
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Centre for Electronics Governance, dairy farmers, cattle feed
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Mr. Rajeev Chawla; Prof. Subhash Bhatnagar
    Abstract: The Bhoomi (meaning land) project for online delivery of land records in Karnataka, India- one of the country's 26 states- shows that making government services available to citizens in a transparent and efficient manner can empower them to challenge corrupt and arbitrary bureaucratic action. It also illustrates how well designed e-governance projects can be used to take discretion away from civil servants and provide benefits to rural farmers.
    Keywords: project, Karnataka, India, bureaucratic
    Date: 2010
  12. By: Lena Giesbert; Kati Schindler
    Abstract: Using a micro-level approach to poverty traps, this paper explores welfare dynamics among households in post-war rural Mozambique. Conceptually, the paper builds on an asset-based approach to poverty and tests empirically, with household panel data, for the existence of a poverty trap. Findings indicate that there is little differentiation in productive asset endow-ments over time and that rural households gravitate towards a single equilibrium, which is at a surprisingly low level. The analysis shows that shocks and household coping behavior help to explain the observed poverty dynamics. The single low-level equilibrium points to an overall development trap in the rural farm-based economy. This is attributed to the long-term impact of the civil war, which has consolidated unfavorable economic conditions in ru-ral areas and limited new economic opportunities outside of the agricultural sector.
    Keywords: poverty trap, shocks, asset-based approach, violent conflict, Mozambique
    JEL: D31 I32 O12 O18
    Date: 2010–11
  13. By: Akay, Alpaslan (IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor), 53113, Bonn, Germany); Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: We studied whether relative income has an impact on subjective well-being among extremely poor people. Contrary to the findings in developed countries, we cannot reject the hypothesis that relative income has no impact on subjective well-being in rural areas of northern Ethiopia.<p>
    Keywords: Absolute income; relative income; subjective well-being
    JEL: D10 I31 I32
    Date: 2010–12–02
  14. By: Mindy L. Mallory; Dermot J. Hayes (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI)); Scott H. Irwin
    Abstract: In this article we use the theories of market efficiency and supply of storage to develop a conceptual link between the corn and ethanol markets and explore statistical evidence for the link. We propose that a long-run no-profit condition is established in distant futures markets for ethanol, corn, and natural gas and then use the theory of storage to define an inter-temporal equilibrium among these prices. The relationship shows that under certain conditions, future price expectations will influence current spot prices and that a short-term relationship between input and output prices will exist. This short-term relationship will contain fixed costs. We demonstrate validity of the theory using a structural price model and then by means of time-series techniques.
    Keywords: arbitrage, cointegration, corn, energy, ethanol, futures, price-analysis, storage.
    Date: 2010–12
  15. By: Jiménez-Sáez, Fernando (INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Management, Univ. Polytechnic of Valencia); Zabala, Jon Mikel (CIRCLE, Lund University); Zofío, José L. (Department of Economic Analysis, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: Relying on efficiency analysis we evaluate to what extent policy makers have been able to promote the establishment of consolidated and comprehensive research groups to contribute to the implementation of a successful innovation system for the Spanish food technology sector, oriented to the production of knowledge based on an application model. Using data envelopment analysis techniques and Malmquist productivity indices we find pervasive levels of inefficiency and a typology of different research strategies. Among these, in contrast to what has been assumed, established groups do not play the pre-eminent benchmarking role; rather, partially oriented, specialized and "shooting star" groups are the most common patterns. These results correspond with an infant innovation system, where the fostering of higher levels of efficiency and promotion of the desired research patterns are ongoing.
    Keywords: Innovation Policy; Management; Productivity Change; Malmquist Index; Distance Function
    JEL: C43 D24 O47
    Date: 2010–10–30
  16. By: Michael Hoel and Svenn Jensen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We use a two-period model to investigate intertemporal effects of cost reductions in climate change mitigation technologies for the power sector. With imperfect climate policies, cost reductions related to carbon capture and storage (CCS) may be more desirable than comparable cost reductions related to renewable energy. The finding rests on the incentives fossil resource owners face. With regulations of emissions only in the future, cheaper renewables speed up extraction (the `green paradox'), whereas CCS cost reductions make fossil resources more attractive for future use and lead to postponement of extraction.
    Keywords: climate change; exhaustible resources; carbon capture and storage; renewable energy; green paradox
    JEL: Q30 Q42 Q54
    Date: 2010–12
  17. By: John M. Gowdy (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180-3590, USA); Richard Howarth (Dartmouth College); Clem Tisdell (University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This chapter presents the economic logic behind the concept of discounting the future and discusses how it applies to biodiversity conservation. How should economists account for the effects of biodiversity and ecosystem losses in the immediate and distant future? We discuss how to integrate traditional cost-benefit analysis with other approaches to understand and measure, where possible, environmental values. We conclude that losses of biodiversity and ecosystems have properties that make it difficult to apply standard welfare analysis including discounting the future. Difficulties include: (1) it is a phenomenon having global as well as local consequences, (2) its impacts are long-term and irreversible, (3) pure uncertainty is pervasive, (4) changes are non-marginal and non-linear. And (5) questions of inter- and intra-generational equity are central. This paper will be published as Chapter Six in Pushpam Kumar (ed.). An output of TEEB: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity. London: Earthscan. 2010.
    JEL: A10 A11 P48
    Date: 2010–11
  18. By: Dallongeville, Jean; Dauchet, Luc; de Mouzon, Olivier; Réquillart, Vincent; Soler, Louis-Georges
    JEL: D61 I18 Q18
    Date: 2010
  19. By: Peter J. Wood (Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program, Crawford School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the problem of achieving global cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Contributions to this problem are reviewed from noncooperative game theory, cooperative game theory, and implementation theory. We examine the solutions to games where players have a continuous choice about how much to pollute, and games where players make decisions about treaty participation. The implications of linking cooperation on climate change with cooperation on other issues, such as trade, is also examined. Cooperative and non-cooperative approaches to coalition formation are investigated in order to examine the behaviour of coalitions cooperating on climate change. One way to achieve cooperation is to design a game, known as a mechanism, whose equilibrium corresponds to an optimal outcome. This paper examines some mechanisms that are based on conditional commitments, and their policy implications. These mechanisms could make cooperation on climate change mitigation more likely.
    Keywords: Climate change, negotiations, game theory, implementation theory
    JEL: Q54 C70
    Date: 2010–10

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