nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2011‒07‒21
eleven papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. The First WorldWar andWorking-Class Food Consumption in Britain By Ian Gazeley; Andrew Newell
  2. On the interaction between risk-taking and risk-sharing under farm household wealth heterogeneity By DELPIERRE Matthieu; VERHEYDEN Bertrand; WEYNANTS Stéphanie
  4. The Evolution of Grain Policy Beyond Europe: Ottoman Grain Administration in the Late Eighteenth Century By Seven Agir
  5. Are Foreign Aid and Remittances a Hedge against Food Price Shocks in Developing Countries? By Mireille NTSAMA ETOUNDI; Jean-Louis COMBES; Christian EBEKE; Thierry YOGO
  6. Agricultural productivity in the United States: catching-up and the business cycle By V. Eldon Ball; Carlos San Juan Mesonada; Camilo A. Ulloa
  7. The Distributive Effects of Land Title on Labor Supply: Evidence from Brazil By Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro; Mauricio Moura; Caio Piza
  8. A New Index of Environmental Quality By Elettra Agliardi; Mehmet Pinar; Thanasis Stengos
  9. The role of ethanol in the brazilian economy: three decades of progress By Costa, Cinthia Cabral da; Cunha, Marcelo Pereira da; Guilhoto, Joaquim José Martins
  10. How Does Land Title Affect Access to Credit? Empirical Evidence from an Emerging Economy By Caio Piza; Mauricio José Serpa Barros de Moura

  1. By: Ian Gazeley (Department of History, University of Sussex); Andrew Newell (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This paper reassesses the food consumption and dietary impact of the regimes of food and food price control and eventually, food rationing, that were introduced in Britain during the First World War. At the end of the War the Sumner Committee was convened to investigate the effects of these controls on the diets of working class families. With the help of some of the original returns of an earlier 1904 survey, we are able to reassess the Sumner Committee findings. We find that, although calories intakes did not fall for households headed by unskilled workers, there were substantial falls for skilled workers’ households. We also find that the price controls were particularly effective in changing the pattern of food spending. In particular, because the prices of many fruits and vegetables were allowed to rise much more than other foods, there were large falls in the intakes of nutrients most associated with these foods, to average levels well below today’s recommended intakes.
    Keywords: First World War, Britain, food controls, food consumption, nutrition
    JEL: N34 N44
    Date: 2010–11
  2. By: DELPIERRE Matthieu; VERHEYDEN Bertrand; WEYNANTS Stéphanie
    Abstract: Empirical evidence on developing countries shows on the one hand that rich farm-households are more keen to adopt new technologies and are higher risk takers than poor households. On the other hand, however, they are shown to be less vulnerable to income shocks than poor farmers. This paper provides a rationale for these observations. Risk averse agents, heterogeneously endowed with wealth, non-cooperatively decide on their level of subscription to risk-sharing and on the degree of individual production risk they take. Rich households take more risks and subscribe more to risk-sharing. Although risk-sharing allows all households to cope with idiosyncratic shocks, the risk-taking behavior of rich households increases the covariate component of poor households income variance through risk-sharing, deterring the participation of the poor. These poor households in turn opt for safer but less productive production plans.
    Keywords: Risk-taking; risk-sharing; technology adoption; farm household
    JEL: O12 O13 O17 O33
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Yodfiatfinda; Mad Nasir Shamsudin; Zainalabidin Mohamed (Department of Agribusiness, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia); Zulkornain Yusop (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia); Alias Radam (Department of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia)
    Abstract: Food processing industry plays an important role in the Malaysian economy. The industry contributes about 10% to the total manufacturing output. This study aims to investigate the impacts of foreign ownership and openness to productivity growth in the Malaysian Food Processing Industry (FPI). A non parametric approach Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) was employed to examine the total factor productivity growth. We employ five-digit panel data for the period of 2000-2006. The data was tested for stationary using Augmented Dickey Fuller (ADF) unit root test, and Hausman specification test to obtain the more appropriate model. Fixed effect model is the best model for estimation factor affecting total factor productivity growth in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the large scale enterprises (LSEs). The Malaysian FPI was experiencing with negative total factor productivity growth (-1.3%) in the SMEs and positive (7.3%) in the LSEs during 2001 to 2006. The results also suggest that foreign ownership is positively affecting total factor productivity growth both in the SMEs and the LSEs but not significant. However, openness is positively influencing the productivity growth in the SMEs and significant at five percent confidence level in the LSEs
    Keywords: Food processing industry, data envelopment analysis, foreign ownership, openness and Malaysia
    JEL: M00
    Date: 2011–06
  4. By: Seven Agir (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: During the second half of the eighteenth century, the Ottoman policy-makers adopted a more liberal attitude towards price formation in the Ottoman grain markets. This was accompanied by the fiscal and administrative centralization of the grain trade. These seemingly contradictory policy changes could, in part, be explained in the context of conjectural changes in grain demand and supply, which rendered pre-emptive privileges and price controls less effective. The policy change, however, was not only a practical response to the strains on the pre-existing supply network but also reflected a new concern with the state of agricultural production along with the emergence of emulation as a development strategy.
    Keywords: Ottoman economic institutions, grain markets, liberalization
    JEL: B15 N33 N35 N43 N45
    Date: 2011–06
  5. By: Mireille NTSAMA ETOUNDI; Jean-Louis COMBES (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International); Christian EBEKE; Thierry YOGO
    Abstract: This paper measures the effects of food price shocks on both the level of household consumption per capita and the instability of the household consumption per capita growth rate in developing countries. In this vein, the paper explores specifically the role of aid and remittance inflows in the mitigation of the effects of food price shocks in the recipient economies. Using a large sample of developing countries observed over the period 1980 – 2009 and mobilizing dynamic panel data specifications, the econometric results yield three important findings. First, food price shocks significantly affect both the level and the instability of household consumption in the highly vulnerable countries. Second, remittance and aid inflows significantly dampen the effect of food price shocks in the most vulnerable countries. Third, a lower remittance-to-GDP ratio is required to fully absorb the effects of the food price shocks compared to the corresponding aid-to-GDP ratio.
    Keywords: Household consumption, food price shocks, vulnerability, Aid, Remittances
    Date: 2011
  6. By: V. Eldon Ball; Carlos San Juan Mesonada; Camilo A. Ulloa
    Abstract: This paper examines the relation between the business cycle and convergence in levels of total factor productivity (TFP) across states. First, we find evidence of convergence in TFP levels across the different phases of the business cycle, but the speed of convergence was much greater during periods of contraction in economic activity than during periods of expansion. Second, we find that technology embodied in capital was an important source of productivity growth in agriculture. As with the rate of catch-up, the embodiment effect was much stronger during low economic activity phases of the business cycle.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Convergence, Total factor productivity
    Date: 2011–06
  7. By: Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro; Mauricio Moura; Caio Piza
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of property-titling on labor supply. The role of legal ownership security is isolated by comparing the effect that being part of, or excluded from, a land title program in a unique quasi-experiment in two similar communities in the Brazilian city of Osasco. Our main innovation is the estimation of the distributive impact of land title on hours worked via the quantile regression methodology and the weighting estimator of Firpo (2007). The estimates suggest that the impact of land-titling on labor supply is heterogeneous and greater for those households with fewer hours worked before the program.
    Keywords: Brazil , Economic models , Labor markets , Labor supply , Land tenure , Real estate prices ,
    Date: 2011–06–07
  8. By: Elettra Agliardi (RCEA; University of Bologna); Mehmet Pinar (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei; University of Guelph); Thanasis Stengos (University of Guelph; RCEA)
    Abstract: An optimal weighting scheme is proposed to construct a new index of environmental quality for different countries using an approach that relies on consistent tests for stochastic dominance efficiency. The test statistics and the estimators are computed using mixed integer programming methods. The variables that are considered include countries’ greenhouse emissions, water pollution and forest benefits, as from the dataset of the World Bank. First, the stochastic efficient weighting for each set of variables is calculated to build three sub-indices (for greenhouse emissions, water pollution and land without forests) and then an overall risk index of environmental quality is constructed. One main result is that land without forest contributes the most (with around 70%), greenhouse emissions contribute with around 20% and water pollution contributes less (with around 10%). Finally, countries are ranked according to their index of environmental quality and their rankings are compared with those of the Kyoto Protocol.
    Keywords: Environmental Quality; Emissions; Water Pollution; Nonparametric Stochastic Dominance, Mixed Integer Programming
    JEL: C4 C5 C14 Q01 Q5 Q51
    Date: 2011–07
  9. By: Costa, Cinthia Cabral da; Cunha, Marcelo Pereira da; Guilhoto, Joaquim José Martins
    Abstract: Sustainable energy strategies require decision-makers in government, industry, academia and civil society alike to make choices among tradeoffs. Within the transport sector alone, ethanol has been shown to be the dominant solution among viable, low carbon options to date, yet questions remain over the economic and ecological impacts of this industry. In Brazil - the largest producer of sugarcane-based ethanol and a country with over three decades of ethanol development – we find a strong basis for evaluating the ethanol industry’s role in a national economy. In the mid 1970’s, Brazilian ethanol production received an important boost with the launch of the “Proálcool” program. The ethanol industry has subsequently evidenced flux until its consolidation in the period following 2000. Over the course of three decades, economic, institutional, technological and environmental determinants have factored in the success of Brazilian ethanol diffusion. In economic terms, price tradeoffs for ethanol vs. sugar and ethanol vs. gasoline played a role in scale-up of the biofuel together with balance of payment considerations. From an institutional standpoint, support for the Proálcool program, deregulation of the sugar-cane sector in the 1990’s and fuel pump adaptations also factored. With respect to technology, the development of flex fuel cars, greater use of mechanized harvesting, and launch of domestic, co-generated, electrical power were key drivers. Finally, in environmental terms, challenges associated with pollution and public health in major cities as well as questions related to climate change gained visibility. In this paper, we analyze a set of input-output tables for the Brazilian economy from 1975 to 2006, taking the above factors into consideration. Deriving a series of indicators, such as multipliers and linkages, we study the evolution of the ethanol sector’s role in the Brazilian economy and its relation to the productive structure of the country
    Keywords: Brazil; Ethanol; Input-Output; Productive Structure
    JEL: R15
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Caio Piza (Department of Economics, University of Sussex); Mauricio José Serpa Barros de Moura (International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects property rights on credit access using a unique data set based on a Brazilian land-titling program affecting 85,000 families. The causal role of land title is isolated by comparing two communities in Osasco, where some residential units are allocated titles and others not. Survey data is collected from residents before and after the title granting. In order to estimate land title impact, we have undertaken the Difference-in- Differences methodology. Some of our results suggest that land title increases the access to credit for about 60%. Additionally, land title impact by gender and credit type is presented and also positive.
    Keywords: Property Rights, Land Title, Credit, Difference-in-Difference, and Differencein- Differences Matching Estimator
    JEL: D23 O43 J22
    Date: 2011–04
  11. By: Abd Razak Ahmad; Wan Fauziah Wan Yusoff; Haris Md Noor; Ahmad Kaseri Ramin (Faculty of Technology Management, Business and Entrepreneurship, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia)
    Abstract: Rural entrepreneurship is acknowledged as an important component that contributes to the economic development of a country. In Malaysia, until recent much attention has been given by the government to ensure the success of the program. Nevertheless, the development of the program has not meeting the government plan. Therefore, this study aims to explore the rural entrepreneurship program in Johor. Specifically the objective of the study is to identify entrepreneurs’ understanding towards the program and the effectiveness of the programs. The data of the study was captured using structured questionnaires involving 32 rural entrepreneurs who had participated in the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development programs. The study revealed that level of understanding of the program was high. The mean score of the five measurements of understanding (promotion awareness, promotion content, suitability of the program, program content and program activities) was 4.4. In term of the effectiveness of the program, although overall mean score was at high level (3.7) two aspects; integration and coordination found to be less effective with the average score of 2.3 and 2.4 respectively . It can be concluded although the entrepreneurs highly understood about the program, the program need further improvement in term of integration and coordination. It is hoped that this study can provide some information that can be used by the respective ministry in enhancing the rural entrepreneurship development program in Malaysia
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Rural Entrepreneurship, Rural Areas
    JEL: M00
    Date: 2011–06

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.
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