nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒12‒23
six papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. The Impacts of Biofuels Targets on Land-Use Change and Food Supply: A Global Cge Assessment By Timilsina, Govinda; Beghin, John C.; van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique; Mevel, Simon
  2. Accounting for Product Substitution in the Analysis of Food Taxes Targeting Obesity By Zhen Miao; John C. Beghin; Helen H. Jensen
  3. Property Rights, Warfare and the Neolithic Transition By Rowthorn, Robert; Seabright, Paul
  4. Vertical integration in the Czech agriculture – focus on dairy and meat sectors By Janda, Karel
  5. Bush encroachment control and risk management in semi-arid rangelands By Natalia Lukomska; Martin F. Quaas; Stefan Baumgärtner
  6. Simple econometric models for short term production choices in cropping systems By Alain Carpentier; Elodie Letort

  1. By: Timilsina, Govinda; Beghin, John C.; van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique; Mevel, Simon
    Abstract: We analyze the long-term impacts of large-scale expansion of biofuels on land-use change, food supply and prices, and the overall economy in various countries or regions using a multi-country, multi-sector global computable general equilibrium model augmented with an explicit land-use module and detailed biofuel sectors. We find that an expansion of biofuel production to meet the existing or even higher targets in various countries would slightly reduce GDP at the global level but with mixed effects across countries or regions. Significant land re-allocation would take place with notable decreases in forest and pasture lands in a few countries. The expansion of biofuels would cause a moderate decrease in world food supply and more significant decreases in developing countries like India and Sub-Saharan Africa. Feedstock commodities (sugar, corn and oil seeds) would experience significant increases in their prices in 2020, but other price changes are small.
    Keywords: biofuels; ethanol; biodiesel; land use; food supply; food prices; CGE model; impacts
    JEL: D58 Q Q17 Q42 Q48 Q54
    Date: 2010–12–15
  2. By: Zhen Miao; John C. Beghin; Helen H. Jensen (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC))
    Abstract: We extend the existing literature on food taxes targeting obesity. First, we incorporate the implicit substitution between sugar and fat nutrients implied by a complete food demand system and by conditioning on how food taxes affect total calorie intake. Second, we propose a methodology that accounts for the ability of consumers to substitute leaner low-fat and low-sugar items for rich food items within the same food group. This substitution is integrated into a demand system in addition to substitution among food groups. Simulations of a tax on added sugars show that the impact of the tax on consumption patterns is understated and the effect on welfare loss overstated when abstracting from this substitution within food groups.
    Keywords: discretionary calories; fat; food demand; health policy nutrition; low-fat, low-sugar substitutes; obesity; sugar; sweeteners; tax. JEL code: I18, Q18
    Date: 2010–12
  3. By: Rowthorn, Robert; Seabright, Paul
    Abstract: This paper explains the multiple adoption of agriculture around ten thousand years ago, in spite of the fact that the …first farmers suffered worse health and nutrition than their hunter gatherer predecessors. If output is harder for farmers to defend, adoption may entail increased defense investments, and equilibrium consumption levels may decline as agricultural productivity increases over a signi…ficant range, before eventually increasing thereafter. Agricultural adoption may have been a prisoners' dilemma in that adoption was individually attractive even though all groups would have been better off committing not to adopt while the initial productivity advantage of agriculture remained low.
    Keywords: agriculture, defense, property rights, contest functions, Neolithic transition
    JEL: D74 N30 N40 O12 O40 Q10
    Date: 2010–11
  4. By: Janda, Karel
    Abstract: In this paper we provide an overview of the two most important sectors in the Czech agriculture: the dairy farming and the meat production. Since the focus of our paper in on the vertical integration, we provide this overview along the whole production vertical line. We start with the suppliers for the farmers and continue through the farm production, distribution and milk and meat processing and storage facilities. The final links in the production vertical structure are wholesale and retail consumers. In both of the considered vertical lines we concentrate on the key analytical parameters which are price transmission elasticities and we provide an overview of their values obtained in the Czech agricultural economic research. Since the question of competition and strategic relations inside the vertical supply-demand structure is an important topic in industrial organization theory and policy, we also pay attention to major cases of alleged fair competition violations in the Czech meat and diary industry.
    Keywords: Vertical integration; meat; dairy; Czech Republic
    JEL: L11 Q13 Q12
    Date: 2010–12–12
  5. By: Natalia Lukomska (Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland); Martin F. Quaas (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany); Stefan Baumgärtner (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: We study the role of bush encroachment control for a farmer’s income and income risk in a stochastic ecological-economic model of grazing management in semiarid rangelands. In particular, we study debushing as an instrument of risk management that complements the choice of an adaptive grazing management strategy for that sake. We show that debushing, while being a good practice for increasing the mean pasture productivity and thus expected income, also increases the farmer’s income risk. The optimal extent of debushing for a risk-averse farmer is thus determined from balancing the positive and negative consequences of debushing on intertemporal and stochastic farm income.
    Keywords: bush encroachment, expected utility, farm income, intertemporal optimization, risk aversion, risk management, semi-arid rangeland
    JEL: Q57 Q15
    Date: 2010–12
  6. By: Alain Carpentier; Elodie Letort
    Abstract: The aim of this article is to present new models of acreage choices to describe short term production choices. Its construction combines concepts developed in the Positive Mathematical Programming and Multicrop Econometric literatures. They consider land as an allocable fixed input and motivate crop diversification by decreasing returns to crop area and/or implicit costs generated by constraints on acreage choices and by limiting quantities of quasi-fixed factors. Attractive re-parametrization of the standard quadratic production function and different functional forms for cost function are proposed to have parameters easily interpretable and to define econometric models in a very simple way.
    Keywords: Acreage share; Production function; Multicrop econometric model; Positive Mathematical Programming
    JEL: C51 Q12
    Date: 2010

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