nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2011‒03‒19
forty-one papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Transmission of world food price changes to markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: By Minot, Nicholas
  2. Joint estimation of farmers' stated willingness to pay for agricultural services: By Ulimwengu, John; Sanyal, Prabuddha
  3. An Analysis of the Recent Evolution of Maliâs Maize Subsector By Diallo, Amadou Sekou
  4. Agricultural Contracting Update: Contracts in 2008 By MacDonald, James M.; Korb, Penni
  5. Interactions between health and farm-labor productivity: By Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Chiang, Catherine; Thangata, Paul; Andam, Kwaw S.
  6. Agricultural, food, and water nanotechnologies for the poor: Opportunities, constraints, and role of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research By Gruère, Guillaume; Narrod, Clare; Abbott, Linda
  7. A Farm Gate-to-Consumer Value Chain Analysis of Kenyaâs Maize Marketing System By Kirimi, Lilian; Sitko, Nicholas; Jayne, T.S.; Karin, Francis; Muyanga, Milu; Sheahan, Megan; Flock, James; Bor, Gilbert
  8. The wealth and gender distribution of rural services in Ethiopia: A public expenditure benefit incidence analysis By Mogues, Tewodaj; Petracco, Carly; Randriamamonjy, Josee
  9. How Much Do Fruits and Vegetables Cost? By Steward, Hayden; Hyman, Jeffrey; Buzby, Jean C.; Frazao, Elizabeth; Carlson, Andrea
  10. Using a spatial growth model to provide evidence of agricultural spillovers between countries in the NEPAD CAADP Framework: By Ulimwengu, John; Sanyal, Prabuddha
  11. Returns from income strategies in rural Poland By Jan Fałkowski; Maciej Jakubowski; Paweł Strawiński
  12. Foreign aid to agriculture: Review of facts and analysis By Islam, Nurul
  13. Decentralization of public-sector agricultural extension in India: The case of the district-level Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) By Glendenning, Claire J.; Babu, Suresh C
  14. Eco-efficiency Assessment of Olive Farms in Andalusia By José A. Gómez-Limón; Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo; Ernest Reig-Martínez
  15. Strategic grain reserves in Ethiopia: Institutional design and operational performance By Rashid, Shahidur; Lemma, Solomon
  16. Estimating the role of spatial varietal diversity on crop productivity within an abatement framework: The case of banana in Uganda By Kwikiriza, Norman; Katungi, Enid; Horna, Daniela
  17. Surveillance in Fruit Flies Free Areas: An Economic Analysis By Florec, Veronique; Sadler, Rohan; White, Ben
  18. “Land Grabbing” in Developing Countries: Foreign Investors, Regulation and Codes of Conduct By Nadia Cuffaro; David Hallam
  19. Pathways to Improved Profitability and Sustainability of Cotton Cultivation at Farm Level in Africa: an Approach to Addressing Critical Knowledge Gaps By Kelly, Valerie; Boughton, Duncan; Magen, Benjamin
  20. Time to Revisit Crop Insurance Premium Subsidies? By Bruce A. Babcock
  21. Does tendering conservation contracts with performance payments generate additional benefits? By Schilizzi, Steven; Breustedt, Gunnar; Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe
  22. Energy, Agriculture, and GHG Emissions: The Role of Agriculture in Alternative Energy Production and GHG Emission Reduction in North Dakota By Aravindhakshan, Sijesh; Koo, Won W.
  23. A financial analysis of the effect of the mix of crop and sheep enterprises on the risk profile of dryland farms in south-eastern Australia By Hutchings, T.R.; Nordblom, T.L.
  24. Disposition of precipitation: Supply and Demand for Water Use by New Tree Plantations By Nordblom, T.L.; Finlayson, J.D.; Hume, I.H.
  25. Agricultural Institutions, Industrialization and Growth: the Case of New Zealand and Uruguay in 1870-1940 By Jeorge Álvarez; Ennio Bilancini; Simone D’Alessandro; Gabriel Porcile
  26. The gender implications of large-scale land deals: By Behrman, Julia; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth; Quisumbing, Agnes
  27. Economic and Marketing Efficiency Among Corn Ethanol Plants By Sesmero, Juan S.; Perrik, Richard K.; Fulginiti, Lilyan E.
  28. Empirical methods for determining a reserve price in conservation auctions By Eigenraam, Mark; Chua, Joselito J.; Edwards, Claire
  29. Does Access and Use OF Financial Service Smoothen Household Food Consumption? By Annim, Samuel Kobina; Dasmani, Isaac; Armah, Mark
  30. Internal Innovation and Informational Dynamics within Small and Medium Beef Cattle Farm Enterprises By Noble, Chris
  31. A comparison of Indonesian and Vietnamese approaches to agriculture in the ASEAN-China FTA By Vanzetti, David; Setyoko, Nur Rakhman; Ngoc Que, Nguyen; Trewin, Ray
  32. Effects of Price Shocks to Consumer Demand. Estimating the QUAIDS Demand System on Czech Household Budget Survey Data By Kamil Dybczak; Peter Toth; David Vonka
  33. Social services, human capital, and technical efficiency of smallholders in Burkina Faso: By Wouterse, Fleur
  34. A note on the performance measure of conservation auctions By Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe; Schilizzi, Steven
  35. Co-operative Credit Delinquency: Identification of Factors Discriminating Defaulters By Justin, Nelson Michael
  36. Income Shocks and Household Risk-Coping Strategies: Evidence from Rural Vietnam By Carol Newman; Fiona Wainwright
  37. Decentralization and rural service delivery in Uganda: By Bashaasha, Bernard; Mangheni, Margaret Najjingo; Nkonya, Ephraim
  39. Mountain-pine beetle outbreaks and shifting social preferences for ecosystem services By Sims, Charles; Aadland, David; Finnoff, David
  40. The Political Value of Land: Democratization and Land Prices in Chile By Baland, Jean-Marie; Robinson, James A
  41. Forecasting Commodity Prices with Mixed-Frequency Data: An OLS-Based Generalized ADL Approach By Yu-chin Chen; Wen-Jen Tsay

  1. By: Minot, Nicholas
    Keywords: error correction model, food crisis, Food prices, Price transmission, Staple food,
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Ulimwengu, John; Sanyal, Prabuddha
    Abstract: In many developing countries, to sustain the provision of agricultural services to farmers, many have advocated the use of service fees. Successful implementation of such schemes requires understanding of determinants of farmers' willingness to pay. In this paper we use a multivariate probit approach to investigate farmers' stated willingness to pay for different agricultural services including soil fertility management, crop protection, farm management, improved produce quality /varieties, on-farm storage (post-harvest), improved individual and group marketing, and disease control. Data are from the Uganda National Household Survey 2005/2006. Controlling for individual characteristics and regional heterogeneity, our results suggest that farmers with access to information on proposed agricultural service are less willing to pay for it. Similarly, access to extension service tends to reduce farmers' willingness to pay. Market access plays also a significant role; farmers with available market are more willing to pay for agricultural services than those without available market. On the reverse, distance to the market is inversely correlated with the willingness to pay for agricultural services. The results also suggest that land ownership matters; indeed, increase in the size of land owned by farmers increases their willingness to pay for agricultural services. As expected, farmers' income, especially agricultural income significantly increases farmers' willingness to pay for agricultural services. Overall, decisions to pay or not for these services are not independent from each other implying that joint supply of these services should be recommended.
    Keywords: agricultural services, Farmers, multivariate probit, willingness to pay, Markets,
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Diallo, Amadou Sekou
    Abstract: In most developing countries, historically, the main strategy for improving the food sector has focused on increasing farm-level production. But in recent years, with the emphasis on value chain analysis, there has been much more focus on subsector studies, demand-driven approaches, and improving vertical coordination to assure product quality to final consumption markets. Millet, sorghum, and later rice were the traditional leading three cereal crops produced and consumed in Mali. Maize has trailed them for more than two decades, but from mid 1990s on, it has been produced and consumed in much larger quantities. Given the potentials of maize, developing and better organizing its subsector has the potential to not only increase revenues for maize farmers, but also create profitable opportunities for other actors in the subsector (traders, marketers, processors, industries, and consumers). This paper seeks to provide a description of the changing supply and demand dynamics for maize in Mali, the organization of the marketing channels and players, and the characteristics of the main consumption markets. The main conceptual tools to be used are subsector analysis and the structure-conduct-performance (SCP) approach. The paper will draw on literature reviews, the authorâs personal interviews with value chain participants, and tabular and graphical analysis of production and price data to address the reasons behind the changes in production and demand, how the demand is likely to evolve, how the structure of the subsector might be affected, and what will be the implications for public sector investments and policies.
    Keywords: maize, value chain, Mali, cereals, food security, agricultural marketing, livestock feed, industrial organization, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Marketing, L11-Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms, N57-Africa, Oceania, O17-Formal and Informal Sectors, Shadow Economy, Institutional Arrangements, O33-Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes, Q12-Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets, Q13-Agricultural Markets and Marketing, Cooperatives, Agribusiness, Q18-Agricultural Policy, Food Policy,
    Date: 2011
  4. By: MacDonald, James M.; Korb, Penni
    Abstract: Marketing and production contracts covered 39 percent of the value of U.S. agricultural production in 2008, up from 36 percent in 2001, and a substantial increase over 28 percent in 1991 and 11 percent in 1969. However, aggregate contract use has stabilized in recent years and no longer suggests a strong trend. Contracts between farmers and their buyers are reached prior to harvest (or before the completion stage for livestock)and govern the terms under which products are transferred from the farm. Contracts are far more likely to be used on large farms than on small farms, and they form one element in a package of risk management tools available to farmers. Production contracts are used widely in livestock production, while marketing contracts are important to the production of many crops.
    Keywords: Production contracts, marketing contracts, farm structure, farm size, farm income, contracting, Agricultural Resource Management Survey, ARMS, risk analysis, Agribusiness, Farm Management, Livestock Production/Industries, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2011–02
  5. By: Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Chiang, Catherine; Thangata, Paul; Andam, Kwaw S.
    Abstract: In the 21st century, agriculture remains fundamental to economic growth, poverty alleviation, improvement in rural livelihood, and environmental sustainability (World Bank 2007). Three-quarters of the world's poor live in rural areas, particularly in Asia and Africa (Ravallion, Chen, and Sangraula 2007), and depend on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood. This report provides an overview of current knowledge of the impact of health issues on farm-level productivity and decisionmaking, and the impact of agriculture on health. Findings are based on a review of the relevant studies of agricultural regions throughout the developing world. Two conceptual frameworks are used to frame this research: (1) Examining the two-way linkages between agriculture and health (2) Tracking the pathway from a disease condition to its effects, including impacts on household decisionmaking and ultimate impacts on livelihood. Agriculture underpins the health of rural households. It provides income that makes households resilient to health shocks; it provides food to meet their nutrient and energy needs; and it provides medicinal plants for treating ailments. But agricultural systems can also have negative effects on health. Agricultural development may lead to environmental change with adverse health impacts: for example, irrigation dams that create suitable conditions for mosquitoes may lead to increased incidence of malaria locally. The use of agricultural inputs such as pesticides by untrained farm personnel often causes illness. Improper food harvesting and storage practices allow mycotoxins to flourish. Lack of diet diversity can lead to malnutrition. Certain animal diseases also can infect humans. Labor migration (including agricultural labor migration) can contribute to high incidence of HIV infection. The effects of ill health on farm households include three broad impacts: absenteeism from work due to morbidity (and eventual death); family time diverted to caring for the sick; and loss of savings and assets in dealing with disease and its consequences. The long-term impacts of ill health include loss of farming knowledge, reduction of land under cultivation, planting of less labor-intensive crops, reduction of variety of crops planted, and reduction of livestock. The ultimate impact of ill health is a decline in household income and possible food insecurity—that is, a severe deterioration in household livelihood. The research found that the household's ability to cope with a shock reflected both its asset portfolio—including human, physical, and financial assets—and its intangible social resources. Good health must be seen as both an investment and consumption asset, like agricultural production, in that it has compounding returns. Health problems, conversely, may trigger a cycle of lowered agricultural productivity and poor health. At the household level, the investment in health can improve resilience and enhance the ability to cope with emergencies, including ill health. But an investment in health in turn requires an adequate livelihood. Access to appropriate inputs (knowledge, land, tools, fertilizer, and seeds) and remunerative markets is necessary to improve the productivity, health, and resilience of farm households.
    Keywords: health, Labor, productivity,
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Gruère, Guillaume; Narrod, Clare; Abbott, Linda
    Keywords: CGIAR, Developing countries, nanotechnology, research and development priorities,
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Kirimi, Lilian; Sitko, Nicholas; Jayne, T.S.; Karin, Francis; Muyanga, Milu; Sheahan, Megan; Flock, James; Bor, Gilbert
    Abstract: Based on the findings of this study, the following actions are proposed for consideration by the Government of Kenya: 1. Raise public investment in maize seed breeding and agronomic research to make it possible for improvements in smallholder crop productivity. Based on research evaluating the returns to alternative investments in agriculture, public expenditures in maize seed breeding and agronomy may constitute the single most important investment to promote broad-based productivity growth and poverty reduction in Kenya. 2. Explore options for improving public and private extension programs to enable farmers to adopt improved farm technologies generated from point 1. 3. Examine options for bringing more land in Kenya under potential cultivation by smallholder farmers. Unless the land constraints in currently densely populated rural areas of Kenya are relieved, it is unlikely that a large portion of farmers in Kenya that own less than one hectare will be able to rise out of the semi-subsistence conditions that keep them trapped in poverty. 4. Support training programs to enable smallholders to develop more effective marketing strategies and to negotiate more effectively with traders, in order to raise the prices that they receive for their maize. 5. Raise public investment in road, rail, and port infrastructure to reduce marketing costs as well as the cost of modern inputs such as fertilizer to the farm gate. Rehabilitating the Kenyan railway system would be a key priority. If this were done prior to 2009, maize imports could have arrived in greater volumes much faster in early 2009 and pushed food prices down faster. 6. When early warning estimates predict a need for large import quantities, remove the import tariff soon enough to allow traders to import over a sufficiently long period to avoid transport capacity constraints and domestic stockouts. 7. Review the rationale for denying import licenses when applied for by traders. 8. Consider the costs and benefits from the standpoint of governments of transitioning from discretionary trade and marketing policy to adherence to more systematic rules-based policies. Nurturing credible commitment in regard to trade policy is likely to promote market predictability and therefore, lead to greater supplies and price stability in food markets during times of domestic production shortfalls. 9. Consider whether current proposals for international stockholding would be effective in the presence of domestic transport capacity constraints. International physical or financial reserves would not be able to relieve localized food production shortfalls unless local transport capacity is adequate to absorb sufficient imports within a concentrated period or unless import licenses are provided or the state carries out or contracts for the importation from the international stock source.
    Keywords: Kenya, maize, marketing, food security, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2011–01
  8. By: Mogues, Tewodaj; Petracco, Carly; Randriamamonjy, Josee
    Keywords: agricultural extension, benefit incidence analysis, Development strategies, Food Security Program, water facilities,
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Steward, Hayden; Hyman, Jeffrey; Buzby, Jean C.; Frazao, Elizabeth; Carlson, Andrea
    Abstract: Federal dietary guidance advises Americans to consume more vegetables and fruits because most Americans do not consume the recommended quantities or variety. Food prices, along with taste, convenience, income, and awareness of the link between diet and health, shape food choices. We used 2008 Nielsen Homescan data to estimate the average price at retail stores of a pound and an edible cup equivalent (or, for juices, a pint and an edible cup equivalent) of 153 commonly consumed fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. We found that average prices ranged from less than 20 cents per edible cup equivalent to more than $2 per edible cup equivalent. We also found that, in 2008, an adult on a 2,000- calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (amounts and variety) at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per edible cup equivalent.
    Keywords: food prices, food budgeting, fruit and vegetable consumption, 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2011–02
  10. By: Ulimwengu, John; Sanyal, Prabuddha
    Abstract: The NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) has been endorsed by African Heads of State and Governments as a vision for the restoration of agricultural growth, food security, and rural development in Africa. The program aims at stimulating agriculture-led development to alleviate poverty and hunger, and achieve sustainable food security. The creation of a union is often rationalized on grounds of moving the equilibrium toward the first best solution whenever independent policies generate spillovers. This arises as a common agenda can significantly reduce the scope of free-riding behavior among member countries. In addition, cross-border externalities arising out of higher levels of market integration entails countries to agree on policy coordination. Using a Spatial Durbin Model for panel data, the present study explores the extent and magnitude of agricultural production spillover that might validate the adoption of CAADP agenda among African countries, especially among Sub-Saharan African countries. Overall, our results suggest the presence of positive and significant agricultural production spillover. No evidence of beggar-thy-neighbor or negative spillover policies was found; on average, each country received 2.5 percent growth as a result of spillover. Finally, our results suggest that convergence dynamics is much stronger when spillover is accounted for which provides a rationale for a common agenda such as CAADP.
    Keywords: Agriculture, CAADP, Convergence, Growth, production, spatial model, Spillover,
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Jan Fałkowski (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Maciej Jakubowski (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Paweł Strawiński (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: In Poland, rural households are encouraged to diversify their activities both in and outside the agricultural sector in order to stabilize and improve their income. However, relatively few households appear to do this. This paper addresses this issue, investigating the returns from the income strategies of rural households using propensity score matching methods and extensive data sets for 1998–2008. The results suggest that returns from combining farm and off-farm activities are lower than returns from specialization, namely, concentrating on either farming or off-farm activities. The income difference between farmers and those who combine farming and off-farm activities increased after Poland joined the European Union.
    Keywords: Income diversification, rural areas, propensity score matching, Poland
    JEL: D31 O15 Q12
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Islam, Nurul
    Abstract: This paper seeks to provide a consistent and comparable set of data on the trends in the provision of aid to agriculture over time within the framework of changes in the pattern of sectoral distribution of total development aid. Furthermore, it examines the factors, relating both to the agriculture sector itself and to the priorities and allocation processes of the total aid, which may account for the decline in aid to agriculture over the past two decades or more. It analyzes how in recent years the agricultural sector, as conventionally defined, and investments in the sector are increasingly incorporated in the new and wider concepts of food security and rural development as well as investments in them. In the end, the paper evaluates in the foregoing context the various commitments of the quantitative targets of aid made by the donors in the period following the post-2007 food crisis for agricultural development and food security.
    Keywords: OECD/DAC classification, CRS, bilateral, multilateral, total aid, Irrigation, Poverty, aid priorities, food security, Rural development, share of agriculture, share in GDP,
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Glendenning, Claire J.; Babu, Suresh C
    Keywords: agricultural extension reform, Decentralization, demand-driven, organizational capacity,
    Date: 2011
  14. By: José A. Gómez-Limón (Instituto Andaluz de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera. Departamento de Economía Agraria. Córdoba, Spain.); Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo (Universidad de Valencia. Departamento de Economía Aplicada II. Valencia, Spain.); Ernest Reig-Martínez (Universidad de Valencia. Departamento de Economía Aplicada II. Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas.)
    Abstract: Olive farming represents an important source of income and employment in the rural areas of Andalusia (Spain), which is the most important olive oil-producing region in the world. Unfortunately, it also exerts important environmental pressures with regard to soil erosion, use of polluting inputs, excessive water consumption and biodiversity reduction. This paper uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) techniques and pressure distance functions to contribute an assessment at the farm level of the ecoefficiency of a sample of 292 Andalusian olive farmers. We distinguish between managerial eco-efficiency and program eco-efficiency; the latter being associated with the different natural conditions prevailing in the three main olive cultivation systems in the region, namely, traditional rain-fed mountain groves, traditional rain-fed plain groves and irrigated intensive groves. Our findings show that eco-inefficient management is a widespread practice across olive farmers, mainly explained by a generalised technical inefficiency. Furthermore, the most eco-efficient production system is the traditional plain growing system. Finally, we find that land productivity strongly influences managerial eco-efficiency in all three aforementioned cultivation systems.
    Keywords: Olive grove; Economic-ecological efficiency; Environmental pressures; Data Envelopment Analysis
    Date: 2011–03
  15. By: Rashid, Shahidur; Lemma, Solomon
    Abstract: Holding strategic grain reserves to address food price hikes has received renewed attentions in recent years. This paper examines such a program in Ethiopia that has been successful in addressing several emergencies since the 1990s. The analysis suggests that the key ingredients behind the success are a unique institutional design, coordination during emergencies with food-based safety net programs, and keeping the grain stocks to a minimum. Institutional design is unique because, unlike similar agencies in other countries, Ethiopia's Emergency Food Security Reserve Administration (EFSRA) is independent of price stabilization and hence is not engaged in buying and selling of grain. The paper also demonstrates that scaling up school feeding programs will generate additional food demand and an effective outlet for stock rotation; and that increasing the stock level for price stabilization will adversely affect both grain markets and the performance of the EFSRA.
    Keywords: strategic grain reserves, agricultural price policies, safety net programs,
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Kwikiriza, Norman; Katungi, Enid; Horna, Daniela
    Abstract: Increasingly, research has indicated that in more risky production environments, genetic variation within species and within population increases the ability to respond to the increasing challenges of environmental stress. This paper analyses the role of banana variety diversity in reducing yield losses associated with biophysical production constraints in Uganda. A damage abatement framework is applied to enable estimation of the contribution of both direct and indirect inputs to the banana yield per unit of area. Primary data were gathered from 120 households. Results indicate that banana variety diversity contributes positively to reducing yield losses caused by biophysical constraints, particularly pests and diseases, but trade-offs exist. High banana variety diversity also has a significant but negative direct impact on banana yields. These trade-offs imply that while banana variety diversity should be promoted for its risk-reducing effects, its adoption beyond what farmers are practicing will largely depend on their objectives, access to alternative abatement agents, and their ability to bear risk. Given the current banana production environment of limited abatement agents and high biotic stress, enhancing diversity appears to be an important option despite trade-offs.
    Keywords: banana diversity, direct inputs, indirect/damage abatement inputs,
    Date: 2011
  17. By: Florec, Veronique; Sadler, Rohan; White, Ben
    Abstract: Increasing pressure to reduce the use of pre and post-harvest treatment chemicals to control insect pests has led to calls for alternative control methods. As a result, the implementation of area-wide management of pests could be developed as either an alternative to chemicals or as a means of reducing pesticide use. However, maintaining an area-wide management programme can be expensive as it requires the execution of surveillance activities, exclusion measures and contingency plans for a rapid eradication response in the case of a pest outbreak. A sound benefit-cost analysis is an essential starting point to measure gains from research and development into improved methods of surveillance and exclusion. This paper presents a study of the costs of surveillance measures. We applied our model to the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone (FFEZ) in South Eastern Australia.
    Keywords: Surveillance measures, Queensland Fruit Fly, Area-Wide Management of Pests, pest-free area, invasive species, Agricultural and Food Policy, Q1, Q17, Q18,
    Date: 2010–08–24
  18. By: Nadia Cuffaro (University of Cassino); David Hallam (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
    Abstract: The paper discusses the recent developments of FDI in land in developing countries. Three issues are analyzed: the first is the available evidence on the so called “land grab” and the associated question of the role of control on land in the internationalisation of developing countries agricultural production. The focus is on multinational enterprises in agriculture, although analysis of shifting FDI strategies requires value chain considerations. The second issue is the problem of the risks of such large land deals in the context of complex and insecure land rights. The third is the possible role of corporate social responsibility and of a model code of conduct promoted by international organisations in mitigating such risks.
    JEL: Q15 F23 M14 O19
    Date: 2011–03
  19. By: Kelly, Valerie; Boughton, Duncan; Magen, Benjamin
    Abstract: In 2009, the World Bank published a comparative study of cotton sector reforms, based on detailed case studies carried out during 2007/08 in nine of Africaâs main cotton producing countries. The purpose of the study was to draw practical insights from the diversity of experiences in institutional reforms of cotton sectors and to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different types of sectors operating in Africa, the likely effects of specific types of policy change, and the possible ways forward. This paper develops a concept note for additional research that would address the perceived weaknesses of the earlier work. The underlying hypothesis of the proposed study is that technology research, farmer training, and policy and institutional reforms to improve cotton sector productivity and incomes tend to be designed for typical or model farmers. This often fails to take into account the diversity among cotton farmers and what this diversity implies for cotton sector development in general and the ability of the cotton sector to contribute to poverty reduction in particular. The proposed research is expected to contribute to aggregate growth in cotton productivity and incomes through the design of more targeted support interventions based on a better understanding of the strategies, capacities, and constraints of the different types of cotton farmers.
    Keywords: Africa, Cotton, Sustainability, Profitability, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2011–02
  20. By: Bruce A. Babcock (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD))
    Abstract: In 2000, Congress decided to move away from a fixed-dollar-per-acre premium subsidy to a subsidy percentage that applies to any crop insurance product offered. This change reduced the cost to farmers of moving from yield insurance to revenue insurance by more than 50%. In addition, Congress decided to pay a large proportion of the additional premium for higher coverage levels, paying for more than half the cost of moving from the 65% to the 75% coverage level and about 25% of the additional cost of moving from 75% to 80% coverage. Not surprisingly, farmers responded to these lower costs by moving to more expensive revenue insurance policies and higher coverage levels. This response is part of the reason why the Congressional Budget Office projects that the cost of the crop insurance program exceeds $7 billion per year. The changes to the premium subsidy structure were made in an era of projected budget surpluses. Does this change still make sense now that federal deficits and overall debt levels are so high? How much could spending be reduced if the premium subsidy structure were changed back? This policy briefing paper provides insights into these questions. Congress has demonstrated repeatedly that it wants a large proportion of acres to be enrolled in the crop insurance program. The proven way to expand insured acreage is to subsidize farmers’ crop insurance premiums with either a “lump sum†subsidy that gives farmers a set amount to participate in the program or a proportional subsidy that pays a set fraction of a farmer’s premium. The added benefit to the crop insurance industry of a proportional subsidy is that it incentivizes farmers to buy higher coverage levels and more expensive revenue insurance. If Congress had decided in 2010 to move away from the current system of proportional subsidies to the amount of premium subsidy available for yield insurance, then the 2011 projected cost of the crop insurance program would have declined by about $1.4 billion from the direct savings in premium subsidies, and by another $300 million in lower underwriting gains as farmers moved away from expensive revenue insurance. Further savings would accrue if premium subsidies were fixed at a set dollar amount because this would remove the incentive for farmers to buy more crop insurance than they would buy if they were spending their own money rather than taxpayer dollars. Total savings approaching $2 billion would likely accrue by simply returning to the premium structure that we had before the Agricultural Risk Protection Act. Farmers would respond to this policy change by buying less revenue insurance and lower coverage levels. This would also reduce their out-of-pocket expenditures. Farm groups would undoubtedly oppose this change, but such opposition would be tempered if the choice were between this change and a reduction in a more valued program, such as direct payments. Underwriting gains to crop insurance companies would decline significantly. Both companies and agents would have the most to lose from this policy change so they would be expected to oppose it strongly. But in an era of tight budgets, the tax dollars spent on subsidies that incentivize farmers to buy more and different types of crop insurance than they would buy with their own dollars could fall under intense scrutiny.
    Keywords: crop insurance, premium subsidies, program costs, revenue insurance.
    Date: 2011–03
  21. By: Schilizzi, Steven; Breustedt, Gunnar; Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe
    Abstract: Policy makers aiming to get private landholders to supply non-marketed environmental services may need to provide efficient economic incentives. Two ideas have been explored to achieve this: linking contract payments to environmental outcomes and submitting the contracts to competitive tender. This paper investigates whether there are any gains to be had by combining the potential benefits of both approaches. Landholdersâ risk aversion to only partially controlled outcomes may offset incentive effects if the fall in participation outweighs any increases in individual effort. Controlled lab experiments were designed on the basis of a theoretical model and were run in two countries, with varying rates of payments linked to environmental outcomes. Results suggest that it can be counterproductive in terms of expected environmental outcomes to combine tenders with incentive payments, especially when the target population is known to be risk-averse.
    Keywords: Conservation tenders, auctions, incentive contracts, agricultural policy, environmental policy, market-based instruments, experimental economics, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use, C92, D44, D82, D86, H57, Q24, Q28,
    Date: 2011–02–18
  22. By: Aravindhakshan, Sijesh; Koo, Won W.
    Abstract: Energy, agriculture, and GHG emissions are highly interrelated. Several agricultural commodities are currently used as feedstock for biofuel production to replace fossil fuels. As the largest consumer of energy, the U.S. has taken several initiatives to reduce the use of fossil fuels, achieve energy security, and reduce GHG emissions. The industrial community of the U.S. invested heavily in biofuel and wind energy production. North Dakota has highest potential in producing wind energy and biomass from dedicated energy crops. Unfortunately these resources are not fully utilized for producing renewable energy. North Dakota is an energy intensive economy and per capita energy consumption is higher than other states. This technical bulletin provides a comprehensive report on the energy production and related emissions in the United States with special emphasis on North Dakota. The bulletin also discusses various alternative methods to reduce GHG emissions to meet the regulatory standards with a special emphasis on North Dakota. The study found that North Dakota produces the cheapest electricity and a major share is consumed outside the state. The price of electricity does not include negative externalities associated with burning lignite coal. North Dakota uses its potential to produce wind and corn ethanol to a great extent. The state level policies and financial supports are directed to wind industry and energy efficiency measures. The current renewable portfolio standards and non-compliance adversely affect the renewable energy industry in North Dakota.
    Keywords: Renewable energy, Wind power, Ethanol, Greenhouse gas emissions, Agriculture, Agribusiness, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011–02
  23. By: Hutchings, T.R.; Nordblom, T.L.
    Abstract: This study analyses the financial risk faced by representative mixed-enterprise farm businesses in four regions of south-eastern Australia. It uses discrete stochastic programming to optimise the ten-year cash flow margins produced by these farms operating three different farming systems. Monte Carlo analysis is used to produce a risk profile for each scenario, derived from multiple runs of this optimised model, randomised for commodity prices and decadal growing season rainfall since 1920. This analysis shows that the performance of the enterprise mixes at each site is characterised more by the level of variability of possible outcomes than by the mean values of financial outputs. It demonstrates that relying on mean values for climate and prices disguises the considerable risks involved with cropping in this area. Diversification into a Merino sheep enterprise marginally reduced the probability of financial loss at all sites. This study emphasises the fact that the variability, or risk, associated with all scenarios far exceeds the likely change in cash margins due to innovation and good management. It further shows that farm managers should give a higher priority to adopting innovations which reduce costs, rather than increase productivity, in order to reduce risk. Further analysis shows that the current static measures of financial performance (gross margins, profit and cash margins) do not characterise the risk-adjusted performance of the various farming systems and almost certainly result in a flawed specification of best-practice farm management in south-eastern Australia.
    Keywords: Farm Management,
    Date: 2011
  24. By: Nordblom, T.L.; Finlayson, J.D.; Hume, I.H.
    Abstract: As the greatest rainwater users among all vegetative land covers, tree plantations have been employed strategically to mitigate salinity and water-logging problems. However, largescale commercial tree plantations in high rainfall areas reduce fresh water inflows to river systems supporting downstream communities, agricultural industries and wetland environmental assets. A bio-economic model was used to estimate economic demand for water by future upstream plantations in a sub-catchment (the 2.8 million ha Macquarie valley in NSW) of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Given four tree-product values, impacts were simulated under two settings: without and with the requirement that permanent water entitlements be purchased from downstream entitlement holders before establishing a tree plantation. Without this requirement, gains in economic surplus from expanding tree plantations exceeded economic losses by downstream irrigators, and stock and domestic water users, but resulted in reductions of up to 154 GL (gigalitres) in annual flows to wetland environments. With this requirement, smaller gains in upstream economic surplus, added to downstream gains, could total $330 million while preserving environmental flows. Extending downstream water markets to new upstream tree plantations, to equilibrate marginal values across water uses, helps ensure water entitlements are not diminished without compensation. Outcomes include better economicefficiency, social-equity and environmental-sustainability.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, forest, environmental services, catchment, water sources, interception, entitlement, supply, demand, market, economic surplus, evapo-transpiration, urban water, irrigation, wetlands.,
    Date: 2011
  25. By: Jeorge Álvarez; Ennio Bilancini; Simone D’Alessandro; Gabriel Porcile
    Abstract: Abstract In this paper we apply a model of early industrialization to the case of New Zealand and Uruguay in 1870-1940. We show how di_erences in agricultural institutions may have produced di_erent development paths in two countries which were similar under many respects. While in New Zealand the active role of the Crown in regulating the land market facilitated access to land, in Uruguay land was seized by a small group of large landowners. Our model shows that land concentration may have negatively inuenced industrialization and growth by impeding the formation of a large group of middle-income landowners and, as a consequence, the development of a domestic demand for basic manufactures. We support this view with a comparative analysis of agricultural institutions and industrial development in New Zealand and Uruguay
    Keywords: gricultural Institutions; Industrialization; Growth; New Zealand; Uruguay; Functional Distribution; Agricultural surplus;
    JEL: D33 O14 P52 Q15
    Date: 2010–11
  26. By: Behrman, Julia; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth; Quisumbing, Agnes
    Abstract: This paper strives to introduce a discussion of the gender dimensions into the growing debate on large-scale land deals. It addresses the current information gap on the differential gender effects of large-scale land deals through (1) an overview of the phases of large-scale land deals and discussion of related effects on rural men and women based on new literature on large-scale land deals and past literature on the gender effects of commercialization and contract farming; (2) a presentation of further evidence using several recent case studies on the gender effects of large-scale deals; (3) an identification of knowledge gaps and areas where further research is needed; and (4) a recap of promising initiatives, followed by recommendations and conclusions.
    Keywords: Gender, large-scale land deals, land tenure reform,
    Date: 2011
  27. By: Sesmero, Juan S.; Perrik, Richard K.; Fulginiti, Lilyan E.
    Abstract: In the corn ethanol industry, the ability of plants to obtain favorable prices through marketing decisions is considered important for their overall economic performance. Based on a panel of surveyed of ethanol plants we extend data envelopment analysis (DEA) to decompose the economic efficiency of plants into conventional sources (technical and allocative efficiency) and a new component we call marketing efficiency. The latter measure allows us to evaluate plantsâ ability to contract favorable prices of corn and ethanol relative to spot market prices and its implications for their overall economic performance. Results show that plants are very efficient from a technical point of view. Dispersion in overall economic performance observed across units is mainly explained by differences in allocative and marketing sources. Our results are consistent with the view that plants with higher production volumes may perform better, in part, because they can secure more favorable prices through improved marketing performance. Plants also seem to achieve significant improvements in marketing performance through experience and learning-by-doing. These results are consistent with two facts; 1) economies of scale may not be the only reason behind the increase in the average size of plants in the ethanol industry and; 2) there might be incentives for horizontal consolidation across plants.
    Keywords: corn ethanol, data envelopment analysis, economic efficiency decomposition, marketing efficiency, mergers, Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011
  28. By: Eigenraam, Mark; Chua, Joselito J.; Edwards, Claire
    Abstract: Conservation auctions are increasingly being used to procure public environmental goods on private land. In the absence of demand-side price information, the majority of conservation auctions in Australia have been designed without a reserve price. In these instances bids have been accepted in order of cost-effectiveness until the budget constraint binds. It is widely recognised that in situations where auctions are run repeatedly a reserve price strategy could allow for a more efficient allocation of funds across multiple rounds, both spatially and temporally. This paper provides a brief overview of methods for determining a reserve price for application in conservation auctions. It is concluded that information deficiencies and the high transaction costs involved in the application of these methods to conservation auctions often render them unsuitable for application to real-world auctions. This paper presents an empirical approach to determining a reserve price using data obtained during an auction - the supply curve. The approach stems from the C4.5 algorithm, developed in the field of data mining to construct decision trees from training data using the concept of information entropy. The algorithm establishes a reserve price by determining the cut-off price that results in the âbest fitâ of two normal distributions to the frequency distribution of bid-price per unit environmental benefit. Empirical data from conservation auctions in Victoria is used to demonstrate the algorithm and compare auction results obtained using the algorithm and traditional âbudgetâ methods. The paper presents a discussion on the situations where the algorithm could be appropriately used, and advantages and limitations of the approach are identified. The paper concludes that the use of the algorithm can result in efficiency gains over the traditional budget method in situations where alternative reserve price strategies are impractical.
    Keywords: Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2011
  29. By: Annim, Samuel Kobina; Dasmani, Isaac; Armah, Mark
    Abstract: The study relies on Ghana’s Living Standard Measurement Survey to test the hypothesis of no relationship between credit and household food consumption expenditure. We use single stage and pooled least squares given the non-availability of national panel data in Ghana and lack of better instruments in the Living Standard data. While cognisant of the adverse effect of endogeneity we observe that our finding fails to provide enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis. This suggests that access to credit does not contribute to the smoothening of household consumption. This observation cuts across different sub-samples based on socio-economic classification. We recommend caution in propagating the ability of credit in smoothening consumption.
    JEL: I30 G21
    Date: 2011
  30. By: Noble, Chris
    Abstract: The internal knowledge capabilities of small and medium beef cattle farm enterprises are examined using information economics to gain an understanding of how these organisations approach innovation. Enterprises are viewed as being embedded in the wider industry and are subject to both external and internal influences. However the discussion here is focused on internal activities in order to consider how enterprise specific knowledge is constructed allowing innovation to occur. Innovation is an incremental and continuous process because of the endogenous origins of the internally developed knowledge used to enact it. Learning theory is incorporated into this analysis to elucidate this connection between production undertaken and the historical shaping of knowledge capabilities into enterprise specific knowledge. Routines are introduced as units of analysis to show how resources are internally organised according to the knowledge producers possess. Routines provide a method of looking at processes by explicitly considering the time dimension while including the complex farming environment as a physical and biologically conditioned system. Analysis of changing routines through learning theory shows there are internal motivations for innovation directly attributable to the internal productive nature of beef cattle farm enterprises. Data has been sourced from in-depth interviews and focus groups conducted with producers in the New England area of New South Wales. Results show that much innovative activity is informal and not recorded; producers develop extensive knowledge in accordance with the physical capital they possess; and individual innovations should be considered as collections of ongoing refinements.
    Keywords: Farm Management,
    Date: 2011
  31. By: Vanzetti, David; Setyoko, Nur Rakhman; Ngoc Que, Nguyen; Trewin, Ray
    Abstract: Both Indonesia and Vietnam, as members of ASEAN, have negotiated a free trade agreement with China (ACFTA). ASEAN Member States can independently negotiate their tariff reductions. Both countries are generally aware of the opportunities access to the large Chinese market may present, but both are concerned to differing degrees about being flooded with Chinese imports, including agricultural products. As the time for implementation approaches, Indonesia has expressed a desire to renegotiate its tariff reduction schedules to protect sensitive sectors, including agriculture. By contrast, Vietnam, just over the border from China and with a history of informal trade, seems more accepting of the prospects. A global general equilibrium model, GTAP, is used to compare the potential impacts of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement on the Indonesian and Vietnamese agricultural sectors. Tariff line data are aggregated to eight primary and four processed agricultural sectors. This enables the differential impact of separate sensitive sectors for Indonesia and Vietnam to be identified. The simulated results following full implementation indicate both countries would improve their trade and welfare if the agreement is implemented as negotiated and tariff cuts are effective, although the extent of exemptions for sensitive products represent differing degrees of missed opportunities for each country. At the sectoral level, both countries can expect some reductions, compared with the baseline, in output of some agricultural sectors, but generally these changes are relatively small unless significant non-tariff barriers are addressed. From an economic perspective, structural adjustment should not be constrained in such circumstances.
    Keywords: International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2011
  32. By: Kamil Dybczak; Peter Toth; David Vonka
    Abstract: The purpose of his paper is to describe consumer behavior in the Czech Republic by estimating a demand system in which demand depends on income and prices, but also on other factors such as age, size of the household, and position on the labor market. We combine Household Budget Survey data with information on prices from alternative sources between 2000 and 2008. The main focus of our analysis is to provide estimates of both own-and cross-price and income elasticities, which can be used among other things when analyzing the impact of exogenous price changes on consumer demand. Based on our estimates, the commodity bundles of food, energy, and health and bodycare are necessary goods, as their budget elasticity is positive and below one at the same time. Clothing and shoes, transportation and communication, and education and leisure are luxury goods, with income elasticity above one. The own-price elasticities are negative for all commodity groups, as expected. The cross elasticities seem to be smaller than the own elasticities.We found expenditure on energy and transportation and communication to be the most affected by changes in their own prices. We use our estimates to analyze the impact of regulated price changes on consumer demand and discuss the further potential use of our results.
    Keywords: Consumer behavior, demand systems, price and income elasticities, regulated prices.
    JEL: D12 E21
    Date: 2010–12
  33. By: Wouterse, Fleur
    Abstract: This study applies regression analysis as well as a non-parametric method to survey data from Burkina Faso to analyze the role of human capital in explaining technical efficiency in smallholder agricultural production. Exploiting the panel nature of the data and explicitly treating human capital inputs as endogenous, a two-stage estimation method is used for the analysis of determinants of data envelopment analysis (DEA) technical efficiency scores in a double-bootstrap procedure. Findings suggest that the impact of human capital on technical efficiency differs strongly by gender. Strong positive returns exist for education of females, whereas male education is associated with higher inefficiency. Body mass index of adult females also positively relates to technical efficiency. At the community level, presence of a clinic, connection to the electrical grid, presence of a secondary school, and year-round accessibility of the community are found to be vital for human capital formation.
    Keywords: Human capital, non-parametrics, public services, Smallholders,
    Date: 2011
  34. By: Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe; Schilizzi, Steven
    Abstract: We argue that previous assessments of discriminatory-price conservation auctions may have systematically overestimated their performance relative to uniform-payment schemes due to an inappropriate counterfactual comparison. We demonstrate that the cost curve (and not the bid curve) is the relevant supply curve when a uniform payment is offered and provide a theoretically rigorous counterfactual based on that insight. We estimate that the performance of BushTender may have been overrated by more than 50%.
    Keywords: Auctions, procurement, tenders, conservation, economic experiments, model validation, plus: assessment method, agricultural policy, environmental policy, market-based instruments, Environmental Economics and Policy, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, C91, C92, D44, Q24, Q28,
    Date: 2011–02–18
  35. By: Justin, Nelson Michael
    Abstract: Co-operative movement dawned in India a century ago to eradicate indebtedness and to accelerate agricultural production in India. Co-operatives are eminently suited to achieve social, economic changes in rural India. However, credit risk is acute in co-operative credit system, predominantly manifested in short-term credit. Delinquency of co-operative credit is the object of enquiry for many committees and researches. Mounting overdues at the level of Primary Agricultural Co-operative Banks (PACB) contribute to the accumulation of Non-performing Assets (NPA) in the Central Co-operative Banks (CCB). Willful default has been identified as the main reason for mounting overdues. This empirical study of defaulters of co-operative credit has examined the factors discriminating default of co-operative credit, which subsequently increase NPA. Univariate Analysis and Discriminant Function analysis was carried out to identify the factors. Such identification of factors discriminating credit default is crucial to reduce credit delinquency in co-operative credit system.
    Keywords: credit risk; credit delinquency; co-operative credit; willful default
    JEL: E51 G32 G21
    Date: 2010–11–03
  36. By: Carol Newman (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin; Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin); Fiona Wainwright (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper considers the various strategies rural households employ to avoid consumption shortfalls caused by realizations of adverse income shocks. First, we develop an ex post theoretical model within an inter-temporal utility maximizing framework which we use to explain households’ decisions to insure against idiosyncratic risk and save to protect against uninsurable spatially covariant risk. In the theoretical model we show that the latter can take a variety of different asset forms depending on the absolute level of risk aversion of the household and the variability in asset returns. Second, using household level panel data from Vietnam we test the extent to which households’ smooth consumption over time and how this depends on the presence of insurance and saving instruments. Third, we consider savings and liquid asset holdings as a form of self-insurance or precautionary savings against spatially covariant shocks. Overall, our results suggest that households deplete their stock of total liquid assets in the event of exposure to both exogenous and idiosyncratic income shocks. The ability of households to cope is also dependent on their receipt of public and private transfers in the event of an exogenous natural shock with insurance claims serving to alleviate the depletion of livestock holdings in the event of insurable idiosyncratic income shocks. These results are particularly pronounced for low and middle wealth groups.
    Keywords: Insurance, precautionary savings, risk-coping, income shocks
    JEL: D14 D91 O12 O16
    Date: 2011–02
  37. By: Bashaasha, Bernard; Mangheni, Margaret Najjingo; Nkonya, Ephraim
    Keywords: Decentralization, Development strategies, rural service delivery,
    Date: 2011
  38. By: Patrick Himmes; Christoph Weber (Chair for Management Sciences and Energy Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: The stylized model presented in this paper extends the approach developed by Fischer and Newell (2008) by analysing the optimal policy design in a context with more than one externality while taking explicitly into account uncertainty surrounding future emission damage costs. In the presence of massive uncertainties and technology spillovers, well-designed sup-port mechanisms for renewables are found to play a major role, notably as a means for compensating for technology spillovers, yet also for reducing the investors’ risks. How-ever, the design of these support mechanisms needs to be target-aimed and well-focused. Besides uncertainty on the state of the world concerning actual marginal emission damage, we consider the technological progress through R&D as well as learning-by-doing. A portfolio of three policy instruments is then needed to cope with the existing externalities and optimal instrument choice is shown to be dependent on risk aversion of society as a whole as well as of entrepreneurs. To illustrate the role of uncertainty for the practical choice of policy instruments, an em-pirical application is considered. The application is calibrated to recent global data from IEA and thus allows identifying the main drivers for the optimal policy mix. In addition to assumptions on technology costs and uncertainty of emission damage cost, the impor-tance of technology spillover clearly plays a key role. Yet under some plausible parame-ter settings, direct subsidies to production are found to be of lower importance than very substantial R&D supports.
    Keywords: Externality, technology, learning, uncertainty, climate change, spillover, renewable energy, policy
    JEL: O38 Q21 Q28 Q48
    Date: 2011–03
  39. By: Sims, Charles; Aadland, David; Finnoff, David
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom appears to implicate climate change as the root cause of the unprecedented mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreak currently underway in the western United States. While climate change is undoubtedly a factor, historic changes in public forest management have resulted in greater numbers of large-diameter host trees in MPB habitat. We present a model that integrates standard economic and ecological principles in an attempt to clarify the roles of climate change and public forest management in the current MPB outbreak. Using data on timber sales, climate change and MPB populations, model simulations illustrate how an increased emphasis on non-timber ecosystem services induced a regime shift from climate-independent to climate-dependent disturbance processes, amplifying the current MPB outbreak.
    Keywords: mountain pine beetle; climate change; forests
    JEL: Q23
    Date: 2011–01–01
  40. By: Baland, Jean-Marie; Robinson, James A
    Abstract: Though models of political economy suggest that changes in political institutions, such as democratization, should have large effects on policies and economic outcomes, the empirical literature finds ambiguous results. It is important, however, to ‘unbundle’ democratic reforms into more specific changes, for instance the introduction of secrecy of balloting, and be more specific about the mechanisms linking these to economic outcomes. To this end we develop a simple model of the economic consequences of the absence of a secret ballot. While providing workers with employment, landlords can also impose some degree of political control. When voting is not secret, landlords can dictate who their workers should vote for. As votes are used by the landlords to accumulate political rents, vote control increases the demand for labor and for land. The introduction of secret ballot should lead to a fall in the price of land in those areas where patron-client relationships and vote control were the strongest. We test the predictions of the model by examining in detail the evolution of land prices in Chile around May 31st. 1958, for which we collected original data. A characteristic of rural Chile at this time was the inquilinaje system, by which a worker, the inquilino, entered into a long term, often hereditary, employment relationship with a landlord, and lived on his landlord’s estate. We show that the introduction of the secret ballot in 1958 had implications for land prices which are perfectly consistent with the predictions of our model. Political rents represented 25% of the value of the land in Chile prior to 1958.
    Keywords: elections; land prices; political institutions
    JEL: D72 O54 Q15
    Date: 2011–03
  41. By: Yu-chin Chen (University of Washington); Wen-Jen Tsay (Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan)
    Abstract: This paper presents a generalized autoregressive distributed lag (GADL) model for conducting regression estimations that involve mixed-frequency data. As an example, we show that daily asset market information - currency and equity market movements - can produce forecasts of quarterly commodity price changes that are superior to those in the previous literature. Following the traditional ADL literature, our estimation strategy relies on a Vandermonde matrix to pa-rameterize the weighting functions for higher-frequency observations. Accord-ingly, inferences can be obtained under ordinary least squares principles without Kalman …filtering or non-linear optimizations. Our …findings provide an easy-to-use method for conducting mixed data-sampling analysis as well as for forecasting world commodity price movements.
    Keywords: Mixed frequency data, autoregressive distributed lag, commodity prices, forecasting
    JEL: C22 C53 F31 F47
    Date: 2011–03

This nep-agr issue is ©2011 by Angelo Zago. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.