New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2011‒08‒22
nineteen papers chosen by

  1. Whatâs Driving Food Prices in 2011? By Abbott, Philip C.; Hurt, Christopher; Tyner, Wallace E.
  2. Price Analysis, Risk Assessment, and Insurance for Organic Crops By Ariel Singerman; Chad E. Hart; Sergio H. Lence
  3. Effects of climatic conditions and agro-ecological settings on the productive efficiencies of small-holder farmers in Ethopia By Temesgen Tadesse Deressa
  4. The Contribution of Non-Timber Forest Products to Rural Household Income in Zambia By Mulenga, Brian P.; Richardson, Robert B.; Mapemba, Lawrence; Tembo, Gelson
  5. Who is benefiting from fertilizer subsidies in Indonesia ? By Osorio, Camilo Gomez; Abriningrum, Dwi Endah; Armas, Enrique Blanco; Firdaus, Muhammad
  6. Ethanol expansion and indirect land use change in Brazil By Joaquim Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho; Mark Horridge
  7. Unpacking the Meaning of âMarket Accessâ By Chamberlin, Jordan; Jayne, Thomas
  8. Factors Affecting Poverty Dynamics in Rural Zambia. By Chapoto, Antony; Banda, Diana; Haggblade, Steven; Hamukwala, Priscilla
  9. A Comparison of Imputation Methods under Large Samples and Different Censoring Levels (PowerPoint) By Lopez, Jose A.
  10. Is population growth conducive to the sustainability of cooperation? By Stark, Oded; Jakubek, Marcin
  11. Sustainability Partnerships: Standards, Metrics & Markets By Meister, Barbara
  12. Physiological, Gastronomic and Budgetary Aspects and the Diets of Perfectly and Imperfectly Lifetime-Rational Consumers By Amnon Levy
  13. The impact of farmland readjustment and consolidation on structural adjustment: The case of Niigata, Japan By Arimoto, Yutaka
  14. Price Distortions and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa By Anderson, Kym; Brückner, Markus
  15. What do we really know? Metrics for food insecurity and undernutrition By Hartwig de Haen; Stephan Klasen; Matin Qaim
  16. Estimating Physical Capital and Land for States and Sectors of the United States, 1850-2000 By Turner, Chad; Tamura, Robert; Schoellman, Todd; Mulholland, Sean
  17. Estimating the Break-Even Price for Forest Protection in Central Kalimantan By Yuki Yamamoto; Kenji Takeuchi
  18. Value, Volume and Geography of New Wine Markets (2004-2009) By Mariani, Angela; Napoletano, Francesco; Pomarici, Eugenio

  1. By: Abbott, Philip C.; Hurt, Christopher; Tyner, Wallace E.
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2011–07
  2. By: Ariel Singerman; Chad E. Hart; Sergio H. Lence
    Abstract: In recent years, the organic sector has grown steadily and significantly. However, little economic research has been performed on risk management in organic agriculture, likely because of the lack of available data. This lack of data may also be why the creation of the current crop insurance policy for organic farmers has been so ad hoc. The Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 recognized organic farming as a “good farming practice,†making federal crop insurance coverage available for organic crops, and taking into account the idiosyncrasies of the organic production system. In addition to the production risks covered for conventional producers, organic farmers who sign up for coverage are compensated for production losses from damage due to insects, disease, and/or weeds. However, the incorporation of organic production into the crop insurance rating structure has been limited. Organic producers are charged an arbitrary 5% premium surcharge over conventional crop insurance. The actuarial fairness of this premium is, at least, questionable. In addition, in the case of crop failure, organic farmers receive compensation based on the prices of conventionally produced crops. Thus, price premiums that organic producers are able to obtain in the market are not compensated for under the current insurance policy structure. The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, which amends part of the Federal Crop Insurance Act, was written to investigate some of these claims, requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture to examine the currently offered federal crop insurance coverage for organic crops as described in the organic policy provisions of the Act (Title XII). Such provisions established the need to review, among other things, the underwriting risk and loss experience of organic crops; determine whether significant, consistent, or systematic variations in loss history exist between organic and nonorganic production; and modify the coverage for organic crops in accordance with the results. Here we present the major findings of three analyses we performed on key elements of the insurance of organic crops—prices, yields, and revenue—in an effort to contribute to the design of an organic crop insurance policy that covers organic producers according to their idiosyncratic risks.
    Keywords: crop insurance, organic agriculture.
    Date: 2011–08
  3. By: Temesgen Tadesse Deressa
    Abstract: This study argues that the adaptation measures farmers take to reduce the negative impacts of climate change do affect farmers’ efficiency of production. To support this argument, two steps were followed to understand how climatic factors especially long term average seasonal rainfall and temperature; and agro-ecological settings affect production efficiency in Ethiopian agriculture. In the first step, the stochastic frontier approach was employed to analyze the farm level technical efficiency. In the second step, the tobit regression model was adopted to analyze how climatic and agro-ecological settings affect efficiency scores derived from the first step. Results from the first step indicated that the surveyed farmers have an average technical efficiency of 0.50; with significant output elasticits of labor, draft power and tractor. Results from the tobit regression model showed that soil types, run-off, seasonal climatic conditions and agro-ecological settings affect technical efficiency in Ethiopian agriculture.
    Keywords: Technical efficiency, seasonal climate, agro-ecology, Ethiopia
    JEL: C53 Q25 Q54
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Mulenga, Brian P.; Richardson, Robert B.; Mapemba, Lawrence; Tembo, Gelson
    Abstract: Forest products play an important role in supporting rural livelihoods and food security in many developing countries. Pimentel et al. (1997) found that the integrity of forests is vital to world food security, mostly because of the dependence of the poor on forest resources. Studies of the role of forest products in household welfare in Zambia have found that such products are among the top sources of household income in some rural areas. This paper uses statistical analysis to examine the role of non-timber forest products NTFPs) in rural household welfare in Zambia, with two main objectives. First, using rural household survey data, we estimate the share of NTFP income to total household income with the aim of assessing the proportion and distribution of business activities related to NTFPs. Second, we estimate the determinants of rural household participation in the extraction and trade of NTFPs, with an interest in the characteristics of households that are more dependent on forest products for income.
    Keywords: Zambia, Non-Timber Forest Products, Rural Household Income, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011–06
  5. By: Osorio, Camilo Gomez; Abriningrum, Dwi Endah; Armas, Enrique Blanco; Firdaus, Muhammad
    Abstract: Using the Agricultural Census 2003 and the Rice Household Survey 2008 for Indonesia, this paper analyzes the distribution of benefits from fertilizer subsidies and their impact on rice production. The findings suggest that most farmers benefit from fertilizer subsidies; however, the 40 percent largest farmers capture up to 60 percent of the subsidy. The regressive nature of the fertilizer subsidies is in line with research carried out in other countries, the result of larger farms using a larger volume of fertilizer. This paper confirms that fertilizer used in adequate quantities has a positive and significant impact on rice yields, but it also provides evidence that over-using fertilizer has an adverse impact on yields (an inverted U-curve relationship).
    Keywords: Fertilizers,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Economic Theory&Research,Regional Economic Development,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2011–08–01
  6. By: Joaquim Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho (Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, Universidade de São Paulo); Mark Horridge (Centre of Policy Studies – COPS, Monash University)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) effects of ethanol production expansion in Brazil through the use of an inter-regional, bottom-up, dynamic general equilibrium model calibrated with the 2005 Brazilian I-O table. A new methodology to deal with ILUC effects is developed, using a transition matrix of land uses calibrated with Agricultural Censuses data. Agriculture and land use are modeled separately in each of 15 Brazilian regions with different agricultural mix. This regional detail captures a good deal of the differences in soil, climate and history that cause particular land to be used for particular purposes. Brazilian land area data distinguish three broad types of agricultural land use, Crop, Pasture, and Plantation Forestry. Between one year and the next the model allows land to move between those categories, or for Unused land to convert to one of these three, driven initially by the transition matrix, changing land supply for agriculture between years. The transition matrix shows Markov probabilities that a particular hectare of land used in one year for some use would be in an other use next period. These probabilities are modified endogenously in the model according to the average unit rentals of each land type in each region. A simulation with ethanol expansion scenario is performed for year 2020, in which land supply is allowed to increase only in states located on the agricultural frontier. Results show that the ILUC effects of ethanol expansion are of the order of 0.14 hectare of new land coming from previously unused land for each new hectare of sugar cane. This value is higher than values found in the Brazilian literature. ILUC effects for pastures are around 0.47. Finally, regional differences in sugarcane productivity are found to be important elements in ILUC effects of sugar cane expansion.
    JEL: C68 D58 E47 Q15 Q16
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Chamberlin, Jordan; Jayne, Thomas
    Abstract: Improving farmersâ access to markets is widely recognized as a major development challenge. A review of the literature suggests that indicators of market access may bear little relationship to the specific processes of interest and hence provide misguided evidence of the impacts of improved market access. This paper attempts to âunpackâ the dimensions of market access and, in the process, uses farm survey data from Kenya to investigate changes in multiple indicators during the post-liberalization period. Findings show that market access conditions experienced by rural Kenyans exhibit considerable variation across time, space, and indicator type. We suggest ways in which structured hypothesizing and sensitivity analysis may strengthen empirical treatments of market access issues in applied research.
    Keywords: market access, remoteness, smallholders, Africa, Kenya, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development, Marketing, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, C81, D01, D63, D83, H41, H54, R58, L99,
    Date: 2011–07
  8. By: Chapoto, Antony; Banda, Diana; Haggblade, Steven; Hamukwala, Priscilla
    Abstract: Rural poverty rates in Zambia have remained very high, at 80%, over the past decade and a half, whilst urban poverty rates have declined, from 49% in 1991 to 34% in 2006. Redressing this high rural poverty rate remains a government priority in the National Development Programs. However, solutions have proven elusive. Solid empirically based information on dynamics that have improved the welfare of small-scale farm households in Zambia, combined with an agenda for disseminating this information in public discourse, offer prospects for generating a more transparent and pro-poor policy orientation. Using longitudinal data collected from 4,286 households which participated in three nationwide surveys conducted over seven years, in 2001, 2004, and 2008, we examine the factors associated with chronic and transient poverty and use the results to draw implications for designing policies and programs for alleviating rural poverty and promoting income growth for rural Zambia households.
    Keywords: Poverty Dynamics, Zambia, rural poverty, Africa, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2011–07
  9. By: Lopez, Jose A.
    Keywords: imputation methods, multiple imputation, censored prices, protein demand, elasticities, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, C81, Q11, R21,
    Date: 2011–07–26
  10. 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 prisonerâs dilemma ârule of engagement.â 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 fatherâs farm, whereas the other son settles around another lake, along with the âotherâ 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, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Farm Management, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Land Economics/Use, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis, C72, D01, D83, J19, J62, R12, R23,
    Date: 2011–07
  11. By: Meister, Barbara
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries,
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Amnon Levy (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the qualitative and quantitative deviations of rational consumers from their physiologically optimal diets with a distinction between a nutritionally and digestively superior food and a taste and price superior food. The inclusion of a cause-and-effect relationships of these quantitative and qualitative deviations with ageing, craving, digestive discomfort, health-dependent budget, non-food consumption and utility, uncertainty about food’s classification and imperfect dynamic consideration and sophistication adds realistic features to the analysis of rational eating and junk-food tax.pages
    Keywords: Diet; Ageing; Craving; Rationality; Junk-Food Tax
    JEL: D91
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Arimoto, Yutaka
    Abstract: Improving agricultural productivity is a pressing challenge for rapidly growing economies. Farmland concentration among core famers is instrumental for reaping the economies of scale. However, farmland fragmentation often serves as a barrier to such structural adjustments. This paper studies Farmland Improvement Projects in Japan, which physically mitigate farmland fragmentation by merging and enlarging small plots and consolidating land parcels among farmers. I employ community-level panel data to make use of difference-in-differences matching estimators, in order to measure the projects’ impacts. I find positive effects of the projects on structural adjustment, in the form of machinery-work outsourcing.
    Keywords: farmland improvement project, farmland concentration, farmland fragmentation, structural adjustment, Japan
    JEL: Q15 Q18
    Date: 2011–07
  14. By: Anderson, Kym; Brückner, Markus
    Abstract: To what extent has Sub-Saharan Africa’s slow economic growth over the past five decades been due to price and trade policies that have discouraged production of agricultural relative to non-agricultural tradables? This paper uses a new set of estimates of policy distortions to relative prices to address this question econometrically. We first test if these policy distortions respond to economic growth, using rainfall and international commodity price shocks as instrumental variables. We find that on impact there is no significant response of relative price distortions to changes in real GDP per capita. We then test the reverse proposition and find a statistically significant and sizable negative effect of relative price distortions on the growth rate of Sub-Saharan African countries. Our fixed effects estimates suggest that, during 1960-2005, a one standard deviation increase in distortions to relative prices reduced the region’s real GDP per capita growth rate by about half a percentage point per annum.
    Keywords: Agricultural incentives; Economic growth; Trade restrictions
    JEL: F14 F43 N17 O13 O55 Q18
    Date: 2011–08
  15. By: Hartwig de Haen (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Matin Qaim (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: In this article, we critically review the three most common approaches of assessing chronic food insecurity and undernutrition: (i) the FAO indicator of undernourishment, (ii) household food consumption surveys, and (iii) childhood anthropometrics. There is a striking and worrying degree of inconsistency when one compares available estimates, which is due to methodological and empirical problems associated with all three approaches. Hence, the true extent of food insecurity and undernutrition is unknown. We discuss strengths and weaknesses of each approach and make concrete suggestions for improvement, which also requires additional research. A key component will be the planning and implementation of more comprehensive, standardized, and timely household surveys that cover food consumption and anthropometry, in addition to other socioeconomic and health variables. Such combined survey data will allow much better assessment of the problems’ magnitude, as well as of trends, driving forces, and appropriate policy responses.
    Keywords: Food security measurement; hunger; undernutrition; FAO indicator of undernourishment; household surveys; anthropometrics
    Date: 2011–08–12
  16. By: Turner, Chad; Tamura, Robert; Schoellman, Todd; Mulholland, Sean
    Abstract: This paper introduces new estimates of physical capital and land for the states of the United States covering up to 150 years, from 1850{2000. The estimates of physical capital are decomposed into estimates for agriculture, manufacturing, and a residual sector, while the estimates of land are for agriculture only. The paper describes the data sources and methodology used to generate the estimates. It provides sensitivity analysis when alternative choices are possible and comparison to alternative bench-marks when available.
    Keywords: state physical capital; state land; farming; land; non-manufacturing; non-farming
    JEL: O40
    Date: 2011–06–24
  17. By: Yuki Yamamoto (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University); Kenji Takeuchi (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the break-even price in Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia and evaluates the effectiveness of a REDD+ mechanism in this area. On the basis of data collected through a field survey, we found that the break-even price is $17.14 per ton of carbon or $4.68 per ton of carbon dioxide. The figure can be even lower when we take the peat thickness of the area into account. Our analysis shows that the current level of carbon price can provide adequate compensation for Indonesian farmers.
    Date: 2011–08
  18. By: Mariani, Angela; Napoletano, Francesco; Pomarici, Eugenio
    Abstract: Short Communication presented at XXXIV World Congress of Vine and Wine âThe wine constructionâ 20-27th June â Porto â Portugal (International Vine and Wine Organization â OIV Meeting)
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Marketing,
    Date: 2011
  19. By: HARISH MANI (Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Prasanthinilayam Campus Anantapur District, (A.P.)); G. BHALACHANDRAN (Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Prasanthinilayam Campus Anantapur District, (A.P.)); V. N. PANDIT (Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Prasanthinilayam Campus Anantapur District, (A.P.))
    Abstract: Despite its reduced share in India’s GDP, agriculture continues to have a strategic importance in ensuring its overall growth and prosperity. As part of the new economic policy package introduced in the early nineties, there has been a reduction in the rate of public investment. While this may not be bad for the industrial sector, the impact of this policy on agriculture is a matter of concern, in sofar as it not only affects steady growth of agriculture but also influences the overall performance of the economy. This is more so because the agricultural sector public investment has also promoted private investment by way of what is termed as the crowding-in phenomenon. This phenomenon together with inter-sectoral linkages is used in this paper to examine the effect of higher public investment for agriculture on the stable growth of this sector as well as of the entire economy. Policy implications of this exercise are important for obvious reasons.
    Keywords: Sectoral linkages, Public Investment, crowding-in
    JEL: E22 E23 E27 H54
    Date: 2011–08

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