nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2011‒08‒09
twenty-one papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Iowa Farmers’ Decisions to Enroll in the Average Crop Revenue Election (Acre) Program By Edwards, William M.
  2. The role of inventory adjustments in quantifying factors causing food price inflation By Hochman, Gal; Rajagopal, Deepak; Timilsina, Govinda; Zilberman, David
  3. Development in the Midst of Drought: Evaluating an Agricultural Extension and Credit Program in Nicaragua. By Mullally, Conner
  4. Optimal Pricing of Water: Optimal Departures from the Inverse Elasticity Rule By Sağlam, Yiğit
  5. The Effect of Climate Change on Transportation Flows and Inland Waterways Due to Climate-Induced Shifts in Crop Production Patterns By Attavanich, Witsanu; McCarl, Bruce A.; Fuller, Stephen W.; Vedenov, Dmitry V.; Ahmedov, Zafarbek
  6. Price setting in a leading Swiss online supermarket By Berka, Martin; Devereux, Michael B.; Rudolph, Thomas
  7. Risk preferences under heterogeneous environmental risk By Roland Olbrich; Martin F. Quaas; Andreas Haensler; Stefan Baumgaertner
  8. Impact of Economic Development on Provincial Relative Price of Agricultural Product to Industrial Product in China: A Note for the Analysis of Regional Income Differences by Provincial Economic Characteristics By Keiya Eto
  9. Personal norms of sustainability and their impact on management – The case of rangeland management in semi-arid regions By Roland Olbrich; Martin F. Quaas; Stefan Baumgaertner
  10. Is voluntary nutritional labelling efficient? An analysis of the biscuits and cakes sector in France By Nichèle, Véronique; Soler, Louis-Georges
  11. Commitments to save : a field experiment in rural Malawi By Brune, Lasse; Gine, Xavier; Goldberg, Jessica; Yang, Dean
  12. Portuguese Retailersâ Motivations to Adopt Front of Pack Nutrition Labels: A Qualitative Analysis By Caldeira, Monica; Sottomayor, Miguel; Souza Monteiro, Diogo
  13. Beverage Front of Package Nutrition Labels and Consumer Perception of Nutrition Information By House, Lisa; Kim, Hyeyoung; Gao, Zhifeng; Rampersaud, Gail
  14. Who is vouching for the input voucher ? decentralized targeting and elite capture in Tanzania By Pan, Lei; Christiaensen, Luc
  15. Deadly Anchor: Gender Bias under Russian Colonization of Kazakhstan, 1898-1908 By Gani Aldashev; Catherine Guirkinger
  16. Energy Production, Ecological Footprint and Socio-Economic Transformation of the Territory in an Organic Economy. The Case Study of Early Modern Madrid. By Madrazo Madrazo, Santos; Hernando Ortego, Javier; Madrazo García de Lomana, Gonzalo
  17. Supply-based Dynamic Ramsey Pricing with Two Sectors: Avoiding Water Shortages By Sağlam, Yiğit
  18. Food security in Syria: Preliminary results based on the 2006/07 expenditure survey By Wendler, Cordula; von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan; de Haen, Hartwig; Padilla Bravo, Carlos Antonio; Jrad, Samir
  19. Is population growth conducive to the sustainability of cooperation? By Stark, Oded; Jakubek, Marcin
  20. Pulling the Plug on Monopoly Power: Reform for the Canadian Wheat Board By Richard Pedde; Al Loyns
  21. World Wine Exports: What Determined the Success of the ‘New World’ Wine Producers? By Osiris Jorge Parcero; Emiliano Villanueva

  1. By: Edwards, William M.
    Abstract:   In 2009 Iowa farmers who had at least some land enrolled in the existing DCP program offered by FSA were given the opportunity to switch to an alternative called ACRE.  Despite having access to information about the program and utilizing electronic decision aids, only 27.5% of the operators surveyed enrolled at least one farm in ACRE.   Those who did enroll cited a desire for more risk protection and a belief that payments from ACRE would exceed the value of the direct payments they had to give up.  The primary reasons operators gave for not enrolling were the program was too complex, and they did not want to give up a portion of the direct payments.  Farmers who enrolled generally farmed more acres and depended more on crop production for their gross income, and were more likely to use other risk management tools such as crop insurance and pre-harvest pricing.  In general, farmers who enrolled in ACRE were more concerned about controlling financial risk in their farming operations than those who did not.
    Keywords: risk; agricultural policy; USDA; agricultural management
    JEL: Q12 Q18
    Date: 2011–08–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:isu:genres:33990&r=agr
  2. By: Hochman, Gal; Rajagopal, Deepak; Timilsina, Govinda; Zilberman, David
    Abstract: The food commodity price increases beginning in 2001 and culminating in the food crisis of 2007/08 reflected a combination of several factors, including economic growth, biofuel expansion, exchange rate fluctuations, and energy price inflation. To quantify these influences, the authors developed an empirical model that also included crop inventory adjustments. The study shows that, if inventory effects are not taken into account, the impacts of the various factors on food commodity price inflation would be overestimated. If the analysis ignores crop inventory adjustments, it indicates that prices of corn, soybean, rapeseed, rice, and wheat would have been, respectively, 42, 38, 52, and 45 percent lower than the corresponding observed prices in 2007. If inventories are properly taken into account, the contributions of the above mentioned factors to those commodity prices are 36, 26, 26, and 35 percent, respectively. Those four factors, taken together, explain 70 percent of the price increase for corn, 55 percent for soybean, 54 percent for wheat, and 47 percent for rice during the 2001-2007 period. Other factors, such as speculation, trade policy, and weather shocks, which are not included in the analysis, might be responsible for the remaining contribution to the food commodity price increases.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Economic Theory&Research,Food&Beverage Industry,Access to Markets,Currencies and Exchange Rates
    Date: 2011–08–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5744&r=agr
  3. By: Mullally, Conner
    Abstract: This essay is an evaluation of year one of the Rural Business Development (RBD) program for small rice farmers in León, Nicaragua. The RBD program is administered by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and is designed to deliver agricultural extension advice and affordable credit in the form of inputs to farm households. This essay estimates the average impact of the program on rice yields and revenues utilizing inverse propensity score weighting combined with linear regression. In conducting statistical inference, it also accounts for the fact that agricultural outcomes are likely correlated over space in a small area such as the one studied here. The results suggest that the program had no impact on average, likely due to the presence of a severe drought during the 2008 â 2009 rice growing season, but that poorer households may have done better than their wealthier counterparts. This does not account for program costs, which when factored in would likely make the overall net benefit of the program negative. There may very well be long term benefits to exploiting extension advice and better access to credit created by the RBD program, and the it appears to have shielded poorer farmers somewhat from the impact of the drought. But the results highlight the danger of introducing programs aimed at raising productivity and incomes in areas subject to system unanticipated shocks. Incorporating risk management techniques or insurance against systemic risk into extension programs may improve welfare and encourage broader participation in agricultural productivity programs going forward.
    Keywords: Development, program evaluation, agricultural extension., International Development,
    Date: 2011–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ags:aaea11:109664&r=agr
  4. By: Sağlam, Yiğit
    Abstract: I consider the problem of water usage, developing a model to analyze the optimal pricing of water within a second-best economy. Consumers are assumed to have two main needs for water|drinking and non-drinking. Water is also used to produce food: The agricultural sector has a derived demand for water. As a water supplier, the local government may price discriminate across consumers and farmers. I introduce the second-best pricing scheme, derive conditions for the marginal-cost pricing and inverse-elasticity rules to apply, and analyze when it is optimal for the government to optimally deviate from these two pricing schemes.
    Keywords: water, model, optimal, pricing,
    Date: 2011–02–18
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:1533&r=agr
  5. By: Attavanich, Witsanu; McCarl, Bruce A.; Fuller, Stephen W.; Vedenov, Dmitry V.; Ahmedov, Zafarbek
    Abstract: This study was funded by the the University Transportation Center for Mobility, Texas Transportation Institute
    Keywords: Grain Transportation, Climate change and agriculture, Climate change and transportation, Land use change, Supply of grain, Demand for grain, Crop production patterns, Inland waterways, Mississippi River Basin, Climate change adaptation, Welfare distribution, Corn transportation, Soybeans transportation, Crop Production/Industries, Demand and Price Analysis, Environmental Economics and Policy, International Relations/Trade, Land Economics/Use, C61, L91, L92, Q15, Q17, Q54, R14, R41, R13,
    Date: 2011
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ags:aaea11:109241&r=agr
  6. By: Berka, Martin; Devereux, Michael B.; Rudolph, Thomas
    Abstract: We study a newly released data set of scanner prices for food products in a large Swiss online supermarket. We find that average prices change about every two months, but when we exclude temporary sales, prices are extremely sticky, changing on average once every three years. Non-sale price behavior is broadly consistent with menu cost models of sticky prices. When we focus specifically on the behavior of sale prices, however, we find that the characteristics of price adjustment seems to be substantially at odds with standard theory.
    Keywords: online supermarket, price behavior, sticky price,
    Date: 2011–07–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:1685&r=agr
  7. By: Roland Olbrich (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany); Martin F. Quaas (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany); Andreas Haensler (Terrestrial Hydrology Group, Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany); Stefan Baumgaertner (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: We study risk preferences and their determinants for commercial cattle farmers in Namibia who are subject to high and heterogeneous precipitation risk, using data from questionnaire and field experiments, simulated data for on-farm precipitation risk and data on famers’ previous place of residence. We find that the relationship between risk preferences and precipitation risk is contingent on early-life experience with this risk. We also find that adult farmers self-select themselves onto farms according to their risk preferences. Results are not confounded by background risks or liquidity constraint.
    Keywords: risk preferences, environmental risk, experimental elicitation, endogenous preferences, self-selection, field experiment
    JEL: D81 Q12 Q57
    Date: 2011–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lue:wpaper:208&r=agr
  8. By: Keiya Eto
    Date: 2011–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd11-198&r=agr
  9. By: Roland Olbrich (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany); Martin F. Quaas (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany); Stefan Baumgaertner (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: We empirically study personal norms of sustainability, conceptualized according to the normactivation theory and operationalized under the notion of strong ecological-economic sustainability, for commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands of Namibia, a system that is subject to extensive degradation. We characterize farmers’ personal norms, study their determinants, and analyze their impact on actual management based on the dual-preferences model. We find personal norms of sustainability that are heterogeneous across farmers, but vary little with socio-demographic or environmental characteristics. We find no evidence for a significant impact of personal norms on actual management behavior, which may be due to farmers not feeling capable for averting adverse long-term consequences of their management. This may contribute to the observed degradation of rangelands in Namibia.
    Keywords: commercial cattle farming, Namibia, norm-activation theory, personal norms, dual-preferences model, semi-arid rangelands, sustainability
    JEL: D63 Q12 Q57
    Date: 2011–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lue:wpaper:209&r=agr
  10. By: Nichèle, Véronique; Soler, Louis-Georges
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2011–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ags:aaea11:109191&r=agr
  11. By: Brune, Lasse; Gine, Xavier; Goldberg, Jessica; Yang, Dean
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of a field experiment that randomly assigned smallholder cash crop farmers formal savings accounts. In collaboration with a microfinance institution in Malawi, the authors tested two primary treatments, offering either: 1)"ordinary"accounts, or 2) both ordinary and"commitment"accounts. Commitment accounts allowed customers to restrict access to their own funds until a future date of their choosing. A control group was not offered any account but was tracked alongside the treatment groups. Only the commitment treatment had statistically significant effects on subsequent outcomes. The effects were positive and large on deposits and withdrawals immediately prior to the next planting season, agricultural input use in that planting, crop sales from the subsequent harvest, and household expenditures in the period after harvest. Across the set of key outcomes, the commitment savings treatment had larger effects than the ordinary savings treatment. Additional evidence suggests that the positive impacts of commitment derive from keeping funds from being shared with one's social network.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Emerging Markets,Banks&Banking Reform,Debt Markets,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2011–08–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5748&r=agr
  12. By: Caldeira, Monica; Sottomayor, Miguel; Souza Monteiro, Diogo
    Abstract: Nutrition is an important food marketing differentiation criterion. There is growing evidence of the relation between diets and health conditions. Thus there is a potential conflict between industry and public health authorities over the use of nutrition labels. Understanding industry motivations for simplified nutrition labels use is paramount to scrutinize market dynamics, improve label policy design and its evaluation. The aim of this research is to ascertain how retailers perceive consumerâs attitudes to nutrition labels and what motivates their use. We conducted in-depth semi-structure interviews with senior managers in leading Portuguese retail chains. Our results suggest that retailersâ adopt FOP to aid their customersâ food choices, as a response to competitorsâ moves and preempt labeling regulations. However, respondents were concerned on whether nutrition labels added value to their business, has a negative impact on sales in certain food categories and may hinder relations with suppliers.
    Keywords: Nutrition labels, retailers, semi-structured interviews, content analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Q18, M31, M38, M14,
    Date: 2011–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ags:aaea11:109189&r=agr
  13. By: House, Lisa; Kim, Hyeyoung; Gao, Zhifeng; Rampersaud, Gail
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2011–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ags:aaea11:109190&r=agr
  14. By: Pan, Lei; Christiaensen, Luc
    Abstract: Input subsidy programs carry support as instruments to increase agricultural productivity, provided they are market-smart. This requires especially proper targeting to contain the fiscal pressure, with decentralized targeting of input vouchers currently the instrument of choice. Nonetheless, despite clear advantages in administrative costs, the fear of elite capture persists. These fears are borne out in the experience from the 2008 input voucher pilot program in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, examined here. Elected village officials received about 60 percent of the distributed vouchers, a factor that significantly reduced the targeting performance of the program, especially in more unequal and remote communities. When targeting the poor, greater coverage and a focus on high trust settings helped mitigate these concerns. The findings highlight the continuing need for scrutiny when relying on decentralized targeting. A clearer sense of purpose (increasing productivity among poorer farmers versus increasing aggregate output) could also enhance the targeting performance.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Economic Theory&Research,Housing&Human Habitats,Services&Transfers to Poor,Regional Economic Development
    Date: 2011–05–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5651&r=agr
  15. By: Gani Aldashev (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur); Catherine Guirkinger (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)
    Abstract: We study the impact of a large-scale economic crisis on gender equality, using historical data from Kazakhstan in the late 19th – early 20th century. We focus on sex ratios (number of women per man) in Kazakh nomadic population between 1898 and 1908, in the midst of large-scale Russian in-migration into Kazakhstan that caused a sharp exogenous increase in land pressure. The resulting severe economic crisis made the nomadic organization of the Kazakh economy unsustainable and forced most Kazakh households into sedentary agriculture. Using a large novel dataset constructed from Russian colonial expedition materials, we document a low and worsening sex ratio (in particular, among poor households) between 1898 and 1908. The theoretical hypothesis that garners most support is that of excess female mortality in poorer households (especially among adults), driven by gender discrimination within households under the increasing pressure for scarce food resources.
    Date: 2011–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nam:wpaper:1111&r=agr
  16. By: Madrazo Madrazo, Santos (Departamento de Historia Moderna (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)); Hernando Ortego, Javier (Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría e Historia Económica (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)); Madrazo García de Lomana, Gonzalo (Departamento de Análisis Geográfico Regional y Geografía Física (Universidad Complutense de Madrid))
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to evaluate the impact of Madrid’s fuel demand on the near surrounding territory in the early modern period, both from an economic and an ecological viewpoint. Fuel supply (charcoal and timber) to Madrid required the raising of resources from a vast territory of inland Spain, and caused a process of specialization of forests in fuel extraction and commercialization. The economic structures of the villages of Castile adapted to the rising needs, and rural populations could take an active part in transportation of fuel and charcoal production. This paper also aims to define the area affected by the city’s charcoal production in order to analyze the ecological footprint in an organic economy.
    Keywords: energy history, ecological footprint, forest history, urban supply, preindustrial transport.
    JEL: N53 N73 Q41 R41 L73
    Date: 2011–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:uam:wpapeh:201103&r=agr
  17. By: Sağlam, Yiğit
    Abstract: In many countries, current water-pricing policies are dictated by the sole objective of breaking-even in each period. This results in large withdrawals, which are not sustainable in the long-run, hence not optimal. In this paper, I derive the optimal dynamic water resource management policy of a benevolent government, which supplies water to households and agriculture. I compare the efficiency implications of the current and the optimal pricing policies using simulations. I endogenize crop-choice decisions and estimate the changes in the crop composition with the generalized method of moments. Using data from Turkey, I nd that, under the policy of break-even prices, the average number of years before the government runs into the water shortage, when it cannot meet the sectoral demands, is eight years. In contrast, if the government were to choose water prices optimally, then water shortages would be practically nonexistent over the next century.
    Keywords: Ramsey Pricing, Water Shortages, Water Pricing, Dynamic Programming, Irrigation,
    Date: 2011–02–18
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:1534&r=agr
  18. By: Wendler, Cordula; von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan; de Haen, Hartwig; Padilla Bravo, Carlos Antonio; Jrad, Samir
    Abstract: --
    Date: 2011
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:daredp:1106&r=agr
  19. By: Stark, Oded; Jakubek, Marcin
    Abstract: This paper asks whether population growth is conducive to the sustainability of cooperation. A simple model is developed in which farmers who live around a circular lake engage in trade with their adjacent neighbors. The payoffs from this activity are governed by a prisoner's dilemma rule of engagement. Every farmer has one son when the population is not growing, or two sons when it is growing. In the former case, the son takes over the farm when his father dies. In the latter case, one son stays on his father's farm, whereas the other son settles around another lake, along with the other sons of the other farmers. During his childhood, each son observes the strategies and the payoffs of his father and of the trading partners of his father, and imitates the most successful strategy when starting farming on his own. Then mutant defectors are introduced into an all-cooperator community. The defector strategy may spread. A comparison is drawn between the impact in terms of the sustainability of cooperation of the appearance of the mutants in a population that is not growing, and in one that is growing. It is shown that the ex-ante probability of sustaining the cooperation strategy is higher for a community that is growing than for a stagnant community. --
    Keywords: Population growth,Imitation,Sustainability of cooperation
    JEL: C72 D01 D83 J19 J62 R12 R23
    Date: 2011
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:tuewef:15&r=agr
  20. By: Richard Pedde (Farmer); Al Loyns (University of Manitoba)
    Abstract: Change is in store for the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), which has the legal authority to purchase all Western Canadian wheat and barley produced for export and for domestic human consumption. The CWB defends the continuation of this legal authority on the premise that by selling together, Western Canadian farmers exert more market power in wheat markets and receive higher returns than they could if competing against each other. However, the declining global market share of Canadian wheat makes it increasingly unlikely that the CWB is able to exert market power: the CWB is a price taker in many markets. In the absence of strong evidence that the CWB is able to achieve its policy goal of higher returns to farmers because of the compulsory purchase of grains, its monopoly over Western Canadian wheat and most barley sales should be reconsidered with an eye to ending it.
    Keywords: Governance & Public Institutions, Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), monopoly
    JEL: Q13 Q17 F13
    Date: 2011–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cdh:ebrief:118&r=agr
  21. By: Osiris Jorge Parcero; Emiliano Villanueva
    Abstract: This paper looks at the evolution of the world wine industry in the period 1961-2005. A particular stylized fact is the appearance of non-traditional producing and exporting countries of wine from the beginning of the nineties. We show that the success of these new producing and exporting countries can be explained by the importance of the demand from non-producing countries with little or no tradition of wine consumption, relative to the world demand. This stylized fact is consistent with a testable implication of the switching cost literature and to the best of our knowledge this is the first time that this implication is tested.
    Keywords: exports, wine, industry dynamics, switching costs, new entrant.
    JEL: Q13 Q17 N50
    Date: 2011–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:san:crieff:1103&r=agr

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 http://nep.repec.org. For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <director@nep.repec.org>. 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.