nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2012‒02‒20
fifty-four papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Analysis of Participation in Multifunctional Agriculture: U.S. Rice Farms By Tur Cardona, Juan; Wailes, Eric J.; Dixon, Bruce L.; Danforth, Diana M.
  2. Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide By Fuglie, Keith; Heisey, Paul; King, John; Day-Rubenstein, Kelly; Schimmelpfennig, David; Wang, Sun Ling
  3. Changing Farm Structure and the Distribution of Farm Payments and Federal Crop Insurance By White, Kirk; Hoppe, Robert
  4. Vulnerability to risk among small farmers in Tajikistan: results of a 2011 survey By Lerman, Zvi; Wolfgramm, Bettina
  5. A Structural Land-Use Analysis of Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: A Proactive Approach By Kaminski, Jonathan; Kan, Iddo; Fleischer, Aliza
  6. Risk Management and the Role of Off-farm Income By Freshwater, David; Jette'-Nantel, Simon
  7. Land use policies and practices for reducing vulnerability in rural Tajikistan By Lerman, Zvi; Wolfgramm, Bettina
  8. Land reform and farm performance in Europe and Central Asia: a 20 year perspective By Lerman, zvi
  9. An interdisciplinary framework of limits and barriers to climate change adaptation in agriculture By Kolikow, Steven; Kragt, Marit.E.; Mugera, Amin.W.
  10. The Connection Between Cash Rents and Land Values By Ibendahl, Gregory
  11. Agricultural commodities and financial markets By Modena, Matteo
  12. Tajikistanâs Vulnerability to Climate Change By Lerman, zvi
  13. An optimal production plan under risk in Muang Pam Village, Pang Ma Pha district, Mae Hong Son province. By Panthasu I.; C. Potchanasin.
  14. Global Food Price Volatility and Spikes: An Overview of Costs, Causes, and Solutions By von Braun, Joachim; Tadesse, Getaw
  15. Land Use, Production Growth, and the Institutional Environment of Smallholders: Evidence from Burkinabè Cotton Farmers. By Kaminski, Jonathan; Thomas, Alban
  16. On Adaptation to Climate Change and Risk Exposure in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia By Salvatore Di Falco; Marcella Veronesi
  17. Agricultural Costs of Carbon Dioxide Abatement via Land-use Adaptation on organic soils By Schaller, Lena; Kantelhardt, Jochen; Drosler, Matthias; Hoper, Heinrich
  18. Changing Land Ownership Patterns in the Northern Great Plains By Hodur, Nancy M.; Bangsund, Dean A.; Coon, Randal C.; Leistritz, F. Larry
  19. On the Evolving Relationship between Corn and Oil Prices By Elmarzougui, Eskandar; Larue, Bruno
  20. International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns: An Update Using 2005 International Comparison Program Data By Muhammad, Andrew; Meade, Birgit
  21. DETERMINANTS OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ABANDONMENT IN POSTSOVIET EUROPEAN RUSSIA By Prishchepov, Alexander V.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Muller, Daniel; Dubinin, Maxim; Baumann, Matthias
  22. The Sahel's Silent Maize Revolution: Analyzing Maize Productivity in Mali at the Farm-level By Jeremy D. Foltz; Ursula T. Aldana; Paul Laris
  23. Analysis of Commodity Program Adjustments for U.S. Rice in Stochastic Framework By Chavez, Eddie C.; Wailes, Eric J.
  24. Role of agriculture in economic growth of Pakistan By Raza, Syed Ali; Ali, Yasir; Mehboob, Farhan
  25. Estimating the effects of aggregate agricultural growth on the distribution of expenditures By Ligon, Ethan A.; Sadoulet, Elisabeth
  26. Applying a bio-economic optimal control model to charcoal production: The case of slash and burn agriculture in Mexico By Arrocha, Fernando; Villena, Mauricio G.
  27. Could Societyâs willingness to reduce pesticide use be aligned with Farmersâ economic self-interest? By Boussemart, Jean-Philippe; Leleu, Herve; Ojo, Oluwaseun
  28. Disentangling the Demand-enhancing Effect and Trade-cost Effect of Technical Measures in Agricultural Trade among OECD countries By Xiong, Bo; Beghin, John C.
  29. Ranking agricultural, environmental and natural resource economics journals: A note By Halkos, George; Tzeremes, Nickolaos
  30. Incentives and nutrition for rotten kids: intrahousehold food allocation in the Philippines By Dubois, Pierre; Ligon, Ethan A.
  31. The effect of forest land use on the cost of drinking water supply: A spatial econometric analysis By Abildtrup, Jens; Garcia, Serge; Stenger, Anne
  32. Socioeconomic indicators for a multidimensional farm system typology in a forest management model – methodology and some resultsEL – METHODOLOGY AND SOME RESULTS By António Xavier; Maria de Belém Martins
  33. Integration of hydrological and economic approaches to water and land management in Mediterranean climates: an initial case study in agriculture By Bielsa, Jorge; Cazcarro, Ignacio; Sancho, Yolanda
  34. Weather index drought insurance: an ex ante evaluation for millet growers in Niger By Leblois, Antoine; Quirion, Philippe; Alhassane, Agali; Traore, Seydou
  35. Measuring Households' Vulnerability to Idiosyncratic and Covariate Shocks – the case of Bangladesh By Md. Shafiul Azam; Katsushi S. IMAI
  36. Biofuels: review of policies and impacts By Janda, Karel; Kristoufek, Ladislav; Zilberman, David
  37. Looking for Rational Bubbles in Agricultural Commodity Markets By Gutierrez, Luciano
  38. The role of financial investments in agricultural commodity derivatives markets By Alessandro Borin; Virginia Di Nino
  39. Urban Deforestation and Urban Development By Maria A. Cunha-e-Sa; Sofia F. Franco; Renato Rosa
  40. Mandatory Labelling: Evidence from the French Fromage Blanc and Yogurt Market By Allais, Olivier; Etile, Fabrice; Lecocq, Sebastien
  41. Estimation of Cost Allocation Coefficients at the Farm Level Using an Entropy Approach By Rui Fragoso; Maria Leonor Carvalho
  42. The entry price threshold in EU agriculture: deterrent or barrier? By Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano; Cioffi, Antonio
  43. Cooperation makes beliefs: climate variation and sources of social trust in Vietnam By Dang, Anh
  44. Impact of rural to urban labour migration and the remittances on sending household welfare: a Sri Lankan case study By Ranathunga, Seetha P.B.
  45. The Role of Incentives for Sustainable Implementation of Marine Protected Areas: An Example from Tanzania By Robinson, Elizabeth J.Z.; Albers, Heidi J.; Kirama, Stephen L.
  46. Econometric models of child mortality dynamics in rural Bangladesh. By Saha, U.R.
  47. Natural resource dependence in rural Mexico By Lopez-Feldman, Alejandro; Taylor, J. Edward; Yúnez-Naude, Antonio
  48. E new era in retail: Private-label production by national-brand manufacturers and premium-quality private labels. By Braak, A.M. ter
  49. End or invention of Terroirs? Regionalism in the marketing of French luxury goods: the example of Burgundy wines in the inter-war years By Gilles Laferté
  50. The Value of social networks in rural Paraguay By Ligon, Ethan A.; Schechter, Laura
  52. Voluntary Environmental Agreements in Developing Countries: The Colombian Experience By Blackman, Allen; Uribe, Eduardo; van Hoof, Bart; Lyon, Thomas P.
  53. Climate Change, Weather Insurance Design and Hedging Effectiveness By Ines Kapphan; Pierluigi Calanca; Annelie Holzkaemper
  54. Dynamics, risk, and vulnerability By Ligon, Ethan A.

  1. By: Tur Cardona, Juan; Wailes, Eric J.; Dixon, Bruce L.; Danforth, Diana M.
    Abstract: Multifunctional agriculture is particularly fundamental to some working lands conservation policies and programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), Conservation Security Program (CSP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP). Farmers can also be engaged in providing recreational and agri-tourism services such as hunting, fishing, bird-watching, farm tours, petting zoos and hospitality services. Using the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) we analyze factors associated with participation in conservation, recreation and agri-tourism activities as a function of farm structure, farm financial measures, production practices, and socio-demographic characteristics of the farm operator. To estimate the functional relationships we estimate a binary logistic model where the dependent variable takes a value equal to one if the farm operator reports in the ARMS survey participation in conservation programs, recreation or agritourism. Results show that the level of farm operator education and cultural practices that use conservation technical assistance are significant at the 0.01 and 0.10 levels, respectively, in explaining participation. Farm financial characteristics were not significant. Location (state where operator is located) is also not significant.
    Keywords: multifunctional agriculture, agri-environmental policy, rice, logistic model, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use, Q18, Q26, Q28,
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Fuglie, Keith; Heisey, Paul; King, John; Day-Rubenstein, Kelly; Schimmelpfennig, David; Wang, Sun Ling
    Abstract: Meeting growing global demand for food, fiber, and biofuel requires robust investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) from both public and private sectors. This study examines global R&D spending by private industry in seven agricultural input sectors, food manufacturing, and biofuel and describes the changing structure of these industries. In 2007 (the latest year for which comprehensive estimates are available), the private sector spent $19.7 billion on food and agricultural research (56 percent in food manufacturing and 44 percent in agricultural input sectors) and accounted for about half of total public and private spending on food and agricultural R&D in high-income countries. In R&D related to biofuel, annual private-sector investments are estimated to have reached $1.47 billion worldwide by 2009. Incentives to invest in R&D are influenced by market structure and other factors. Agricultural input industries have undergone significant structural change over the past two decades, with industry concentration on the rise. A relatively small number of large, multinational firms with global R&D and marketing networks account for most R&D in each input industry. Rising market concentration has not generally been associated with increased R&D investment as a percentage of industry sales.
    Keywords: agricultural biotechnology, agricultural chemicals, agricultural inputs, animal breeding, animal health, animal nutrition, aquaculture, biofuel, concentration ratio, crop breeding, crop protection, farm machinery, fertilizers, Herfindahl index, globalization, market share, market structure, research intensity, seed improvement, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2011–12
  3. By: White, Kirk; Hoppe, Robert
    Abstract: The distribution of commodity-related payments and Federal crop insurance indemnities to U.S. farmers has shifted to larger farms as more and more U.S. agricultural production is done on those farms. Since the operators of larger farms tend to have higher household incomes than other farm operators, commodity-related program payments and Federal crop insurance indemnities also have shifted to higher income households. By 2009, half of commodity-related program payments went to farms operated by households earning over $89,540, a quarter went to farms operated by households with incomes greater than $209,000 and 10 percent went to farms operated by households with incomes of at least $425,000. Current income eligibility caps and payment limits affect few farm households because most of them have incomes below the income caps or receive payments less than the payment limits. Based on 2009 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data, recent proposals to lower those income caps and payment limits would still affect only a small percentage of U.S. farm households, because their incomes would still fall below the proposed income caps and payment limits. Total Government program payments to U.S. farms were $12.3 billion in 2009. Total Federal crop insurance indemnity payments were $5.2 billion in 2009.
    Keywords: farm program payments, Federal crop insurance, Agricultural Resource Management Survey, structural change, income caps, payment limits., Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Industrial Organization, Public Economics,
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Lerman, Zvi; Wolfgramm, Bettina
    Abstract: Tajikistan is judged to be highly vulnerable to risk, including food insecurity risks and climate change risks. By some vulnerability measures it is the most vulnerable among all 28 countries in the World Bankâs Europe and Central Asia Region â ECA (World Bank 2009). The rural population, with its relatively high incidence of poverty, is particularly vulnerable. The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) in Tajikistan (2011) provided an opportunity to conduct a farm-level survey with the objective of assessing various dimensions of rural populationâs vulnerability to risk and their perception of constraints to farming operations and livelihoods. The survey should be accordingly referred to as the 2011 PPCR survey. The rural population in Tajikistan is highly agrarian, with about 50% of family income deriving from agriculture (see Figure 4.1; also LSMS 2007 â own calculations). Tajikistanâs agriculture basically consists of two groups of producers: small household plots â the successors of Soviet âprivate agricultureâ â and dehkan (or âpeasantâ) farms â new family farming structures that began to be created under relevant legislation passed after 1992 (Lerman and Sedik, 2008). The household plots manage 20% of arable land and produce 65% of gross agricultural output (GAO). Dehkan farms manage 65% of arable land and produce close to 30% of GAO. The remaining 15% of arable land is held in agricultural enterprises â the rapidly shrinking sector of corporate farms that succeeded the Soviet kolkhozes and sovkhozes and today produces less than 10% of GAO (TajStat 2011) The survey conducted in May 2011 focused on dehkan farms, as budgetary constraints precluded the inclusion of household plots. A total of 142 dehkan farms were surveyed in face-to-face interviews. They were sampled from 17 districts across all four regions â Sughd, Khatlon, RRP, and GBAO. The districts were selected so as to represent different agro-climatic zones, different vulnerability zones (based on the World Bank (2011) vulnerability assessment), and different food-insecurity zones (based on WFP/IPC assessments). Within each district, 3-4 jamoats were chosen at random and 2-3 farms were selected in each jamoat from lists provided by jamoat administration so as to maximize the variability by farm characteristics. The sample design by region/district is presented in Table A, which also shows the agro-climatic zone and the food security phase for each district. The sample districts are superimposed on a map of food security phases based on IPC April 2011.
    Keywords: farmers, Tajikistan, survey, risk, climate change, Tajikistanâs agriculture, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Kaminski, Jonathan; Kan, Iddo; Fleischer, Aliza
    Abstract: This article proposes a proactive approach for analyzing agricultural adaptation to climate change based on a structural land-use model wherein farmers maximize profit by allocating their land between crop-technology bundles. The profitability of the bundles is a function of four technological attributes via which climate variablesâ effect is channeled: yield potential; input requirements; yields' sensitivity to input use; and farm-level management costs. Proactive adaptation measures are derived by identifying the technological attributes via which climate variables reduce overall agricultural profitability, despite adaptation by land reallocation among bundles. By applying the model to Israel, we find that long-term losses stem from yield potential reductions driven by forecasted increases in temperature, implying that adaptation efforts should target more heat-tolerant crop varieties and technologies.
    Keywords: adaptation, agricultural land use, climate change, crop-technology bundles, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Freshwater, David; Jette'-Nantel, Simon
    Abstract: The majority of farm households in OECD countries earn more off-farm income than farm income, even including government payments. While this is a well recognized fact its implications for risk management have not been well recognized. Current efforts to reform farm support have focused on the variability of farm household income and largely ignored the variability of total farm household income. Since it is common for farm households to allocate labor and capital across both farm and non-farm opportunities, it is also likely that their attitude to risk in farming can best be understood by seeing farm risk and return in a household portfolio of income. This approach immediately leads to farm risk being less problematic the more diversified the portfolio and the less positively correlated farm risk is with other income risks. A secondary implication is the possibility that supposedly risk adverse farmers are reluctant to but actuarially fair insurance because they have already reduced farm risk by engaging in off-farm income, so they must be paid to further reduce risk beyond heir desired level.
    Keywords: off-farm income, risk management, agricultural policy, farm household, farm income, Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Farm Management, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Lerman, Zvi; Wolfgramm, Bettina
    Abstract: Tajikistan, with 93% of its surface area taken up by mountains and 65% of its labor force employed in agriculture, is judged to be highly vulnerable to risks, including climate change risks and food insecurity risks. The article examines a set of land use policies and practices that can be used to mitigate the vulnerability of Tajikistanâs large rural population, primarily by increasing family incomes. Empirical evidence from Tajikistan and other CIS countries suggests that families with more land and higher commercialization earn higher incomes and achieve higher well-being. The recommended policy measures that are likely to increase rural family incomes accordingly advocate expansion of smallholder farms, improvement of livestock productivity, increase of farm commercialization through improvement of farm services, and greater diversification of both income sources and the product mix. The analysis relies for supporting evidence on official statistics and recent farm surveys. Examples from local initiatives promoting sustainable land management practices and demonstrating the implementation of the proposed policy measures are presented
    Keywords: Vulnerability to risks, rural incomes, agriculture, land use policies, Tajikistan, climate change risks, sustainable land management, transition countries. Tajikistan, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Lerman, zvi
    Abstract: The rural sector in nearly all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has undergone a shift from predominantly collective to more individualized agriculture. At the same time, most of the land in the region has shifted from state to private ownership. These two shifts â a shift in tenure and a shift in ownership â were part of the transition from a centrally planned economy to a more marketoriented economy that began around 1990 in the huge post-Soviet space stretching from Prague to Vladivostok. The transition reforms in the region were unprecedented in their scope and pace. Some 150 million hectares of agricultural land transferred ownership in these countries in just one decade of reform (1990-2000), compared with 100 million hectares in Mexico during 75 years (1917-1992) and 11 million hectares in Brazil during 30 years (1964- 1994) (Deininger 2003). The basis of this shift from collective to individual agriculture lay in two interrelated aspects of agricultural policy reform: land reform, which concerns issues of land use rights and land ownership; and farm reform, which deals with issues of restructuring of farms into individual land holdings. Land reform, together with farm restructuring, set an agenda for the transformation of socialist farms into hopefully a more efficient farm structure with a clear market orientation
    Keywords: Land reform, farm performance, Europe, Asia, Farm Management, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Kolikow, Steven; Kragt, Marit.E.; Mugera, Amin.W.
    Abstract: Farmers need to undertake adaptive action to protect their livelihoods from the impacts of climate change. There is an emerging discourse about existing limits (absolute obstacles) and barriers (mutable obstacles) to climate change adaptation. Given the complex, multifaceted nature of climate change, interdisciplinary research is the most effective way to improve understanding of these obstacles. However, the success of multi-disciplinary projects tends to be hindered by a lack of common definition of limits and barriers. There exists no agreed framework that integrates the different understandings of limits and barriers to agricultural adaptation. In this study, we develop an interdisciplinary framework of limits and barriers to climate change adaptation in Western Australian broad-acre farming. The framework incorporates biophysical, technological, and socio-economic factors. We show how farmers' personal characteristics and the socio-institutional context within which farmers act contribute to limits and barriers. The study revealed significant differences on how various research disciplines understand limits and barriers to adaptation. The framework developed will guide future integrative projects around the epistemological challenges that are typically encountered in multi-disciplinary research. We discuss the greatest knowledge gaps that limit our understanding of limit and barriers, and suggest areas where policy efforts should be focused to help farmers adapt to climate change.
    Keywords: Adaptation, Agriculture, Australia, Broad-acre Farming, Conceptual Modelling, Climate Change, Epistemology, Interdisciplinary Research, Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management, Q12, Q54,
    Date: 2012–01
  10. By: Ibendahl, Gregory
    Abstract: The last few years have seen big increases in land values. Cash rents have also increased but perhaps at a slower rate than land values. This paper examines the ratio of land values to cash rents to determine if how cash rents have changed in relation to land value changes. This ratio is important because it helps indicate whether cash rents are a good way of controlling farmland relative to purchasing the land. Results indicate there may be a lag in cash rents before they match the level of land prices. However, this relationship does not always hold.
    Keywords: land values, leasing, cash rents, farmland, real estate, Agricultural Finance, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Production Economics,
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Modena, Matteo
    Abstract: The sharp raise of the price of agricultural commodities between 2006 and 2008 seems to have a rationalization that goes beyond the mere interaction between supply and demand. Data evidence suggests that financial factors, rather than real determinants, played an important role in determining the dynamics of agricultural commodity prices. In particular, there seems to be a common source underlying food price changes and the financial markets dynamics. Evidence based on principal components supports the view that large fluctuations of food commodity prices can be related to portfolios adjustments of financial agents. We find robust evidence of a strong inverse correlation between financial markets’ returns and the movements of food commodity prices. Moreover, such an inverse relationship has clearly emerged during the recent financial crisis.
    Keywords: International Financial Markets; Commodity Prices; Portfolio Diversification
    JEL: C10 G11 E31 G15
    Date: 2011–07–30
  12. By: Lerman, zvi
    Abstract: Tajikistan is classified by the World Bank as one of the CIS countries that are most vulnerable to climate change risks. This paper provides a closer look at a set of variables that determine Tajikistanâs vulnerability to risk in general and to climate change risk in particular. After presenting some background information on Tajikistan (Chapter 1), we provide a conceptual introduction to vulnerability and discuss some quantitative approaches to vulnerability assessment that have been recently applied in the literature (Chapters 2-4). We then use official statistical data for Tajikistan to assess quantitatively a range of basic variables that are recognized in the literature as determinants or drivers of vulnerability (Chapter 5). These variables include measures of income and poverty, debt and financial insecurity, agricultural land and livestock endowments, as well as population density and irrigation as measures of stress on land and water resources. Farm commercialization and diversification strategies are considered as factors that increase family incomes and reduce risk, thus mitigating vulnerability. The statistical analysis provides a quantitative picture of the components of Tajikistanâs vulnerability and their changes over time. In the end we briefly consider food insecurity and its implications for Tajikistanâs vulnerability (Chapter 6). The concluding chapter presents a summary list of variables that can be used to assess the dimensions of vulnerability and resilience for Tajikistan. 1
    Keywords: Tajikistan, climate change, vulnerability, land management, Food insecurity, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Panthasu I.; C. Potchanasin. (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics,Faculty of Economics,Kasetsart University,Thailand)
    Abstract: This study analyzes the optimal production plan under price risk condition of Karen ethnic groups in Muang Pam village, Pang Ma Pha district, Mae Hong Son province. Two groups of household samples regarding land holding types are: 1) paddy and upland arable land, and 2) upland arable land only. The time series data of crop prices in crop year 2003/04-2008/09 were used. The data of crop production obtained from the research project entitled Village and Regional Model for Sustainability of Highland Agricultural Systems in Northern Thailand in Year 2005 were also used in the analysis. The optimal production plans considering price risk were analyzed through the risk programming model called MOTAD (Minimization of the Total Absolute Deviation). The results suggest various optimal production plans with respect to the individual farmers’ expected income levels. High expected income level indicates high risk-taking behavior, and vice versa. In the case of high expected income level, the optimum plan suggests farmer grow a high return crop such as garlic or peanut. In opposite, in the case of low expected income level, a crop with relatively low price variation such as maize or rice is suggested.
    Keywords: optimal production plan under risk, MOTAD risk model, linear programming model
    JEL: C61 D81 D24
    Date: 2012–02
  14. By: von Braun, Joachim; Tadesse, Getaw
    Abstract: Since the 2007â08 food crisis, many thoughtful analyses have addressed the causes and impacts of high and volatile international food prices and proposed solutions to the crisis. These studies have covered global as well as local food price dynamics and policy reactions. The food price problem is, however, far-reaching, and its impacts are wide and interrelated. The price formation mechanism has become highly complex and dynamic. Policy actions are politically and economically sensitive. This situation calls for continuous and comprehensive assessments of the problem to provide timely and evidence-based knowledge for policy makers. This paper reviews existing evidence and theories and presents new thoughts and insights from analyses to enlighten the course of actions to be taken. Our review implies that the current body of literature concentrates on high food prices. Commodity price analysis should, however, differentiate between three types of price changes: trends, volatility, and spikes. While price trends are important in the long term, volatility and spikes are more important in the short to medium terms. Descriptive statistics indicate that all three price changes are increasing over time and show strong correlations among themselves. A rising medium-term price trend has triggered extreme short-term price spikes and increased volatility. An assessment of the costs of price volatility has shown that the existing literature follows a conventional marginal-cost approach that considers only few cost components. Direct and immediate components have not been adequately analyzed, and long-term effects have been overlooked. The effect on child nutrition and health is one such long-term effect. Under-nutrition in early childhood has negative consequences for lifetime earnings capacity because of the physical and mental impairment it causes. Economy wide distortions and misallocations also threaten the long-term development of commodity-dependent economies. Measuring and estimating the cost of food price volatility should factor in ongoing processes such as economic growth and technological changes. The supply, demand, and market explanations for high and volatile global prices have been differentiated as exogenous and endogenous factors. To help further identify the drivers of food price changes, they are categorized as root causes, intermediate causes, and immediate causes. Both empirical and theoretical evaluations suggest extreme weather events from the supply side, biofuel production from the demand side, and speculation in commodity futures from the market side are the three most important root causes of observed price volatility. The theoretical and empirical effects of speculation in commodity futures are not yet well understood. However, speculative trading in commodity futures should not be viewed as a random bet that can be smoothed out through the price system. It is important to consider the market and nonmarket contexts that guide the behavioral and strategic choices of speculators. Whereas speculation caused by manipulative, disorderly behaviors and âfinancializationâ are damaging, speculation caused by demand and supply in physical markets can serve as price discovery, liquidity, and risk-hedging mechanisms. Our empirical analysis to quantify the importance of these factors shows that speculation effect is stronger than demand- and supply-side shocks for short term price spikes. Overall policy interventions at global, regional, and local levels should concentrate on reducing price spikes and protecting poor people from short- and long-term crises. The viii formulation and implementation of such policies must be supported with timely information and research-based evidence. A comprehensive portfolio of policy actions is proposed here, rather than over-extended individual measures to address the root causes or over-regulation of markets to address volatility and spikes. Evaluation of policy instruments should weigh the true costs associated with both, action versus inaction. Research must focus on developing price and food security indicators and models that will guide policy implementation also in the short run. Such models are currently missing.
    Keywords: food security, prices, volatility, poverty, food policy, speculation, economic crises, Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use, Production Economics, I38, O13, O16, Q11, Q18,
    Date: 2012–01
  15. By: Kaminski, Jonathan; Thomas, Alban
    Date: 2011–02
  16. By: Salvatore Di Falco (Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics); Marcella Veronesi (The Professorship of Environmental Policy and Economics (PEPE), Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich)
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of climate change adaptation on farm households’ downside risk exposure (e.g., risk of crop failure) in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. The analysis relies on a moment-based specification of the stochastic production function. We estimate a simultaneous equations model with endogenous switching to account for the heterogeneity in the decision to adapt or not, and for unobservable characteristics of farmers and their farm. We find that (i) climate change adaptation reduces downside risk exposure; farm households that implemented climate change adaptation strategies get benefits in terms of a decrease in the risk of crop failure; (ii) farm households that did not adapt would benefit the most in terms of reduction in downside risk exposure from adaptation; and (iii) there are significant differences in downside risk exposure between farm households that did and those that did not adapt to climate change. The analysis also shows that the quasi-option value, that is the value of waiting to gather more information, plays a significant role in farm households’ decision on whether to adapt to climate change. Farmers that are better informed may value less the option to wait to adapt, and so are more likely to adapt than other farmers.
    Keywords: adaptation, climate change, endogenous switching, Ethiopia, risk exposure, stochastic production function, skewness
    JEL: D80 Q18 Q54
    Date: 2011–03
  17. By: Schaller, Lena; Kantelhardt, Jochen; Drosler, Matthias; Hoper, Heinrich
    Abstract: Increasing carbon dioxide emissions and related climate effects require mitigation strategies, thereby also emissions caused by agriculture are brought into the focus of political debate. In particular organic soil cultivation, inducing significant CO2 emissions is being discussed more and more. This study aims to answer the question of whether changes of organic soil management can serve as cost-efficient mitigation strategies for climate change. To this end we have built an economic model in which farm-individual and plot-specific CO2-abatement costs of selected landuse strategies are calculated by contrasting effects on the agricultural income with the related reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. With respect to microeconomic data we use a dataset collected in six German regions while data on emission-factors originates from co-operations with natural-scientific research groups. Results show that CO2-abatement costs vary due to different levels of land-use reorganisation. Reasonable emission reductions are mainly achieved when agricultural intensity is clearly decreased. Agricultural income forgone varies significantly due to production conditions and mitigation strategies. However, even when economic costs are high they may be balanced by high emission reductions and may not result in high abatement costs. Nevertheless, CO2-reductions benefits appear to be social and costs private. Agro-environmental programmes must be implemented to compensate resulting income losses.
    Keywords: CO2 abatement cost, climate change mitigation strategies, microeconomic consequences, organic soil management, Land Economics/Use, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Hodur, Nancy M.; Bangsund, Dean A.; Coon, Randal C.; Leistritz, F. Larry
    Abstract: Production agriculture in the 4-state area of southwestern North Dakota, southeastern Montana, northeastern Wyoming and northwestern South Dakota has faced serious economic challenges. In the mid-1990's, a growing number of recreational land buyers purchased land for wildlife habitat and hunting, rather than for farm derived income. A survey of the area was done to determine land ownership characteristics, information about land that was rented and leased out, and attitudes toward key issues facing landowners and farm and ranch operators. The average landowner owned 3,089.4 acres comprised mainly of pastureland/rangeland (2,242.6 acres) and cropland (473.3 acres). Ownership of farmland was primarily from purchases (70.6 percent) and inheritance (26.1 percent). The most popular types of ownership were sole proprietorships (52.1 percent) and family partnerships (31.7 percent). Pastureland/rangeland rented in larger tracts, with 46.8 percent over 640 acres. These contracts were most common in one-year lengths, but the lease tenure was more than 10 years for two-thirds of the respondents. Cropland was generally rented in smaller acreages, and the most common lease length was the 2- 3 year category. Rented cropland had the highest rate (66.7 percent) of absentee landowners. Renters strongly agree that absentee landowners are inclined to develop long-term relationships with tenants, and developing these relationships is critical to securing long-term agreements. Absentee landowners indicated that having a good relationship with their tenant (84.6 percent) was very important, as were the tenant conservation practices (61.3 percent) and tenant land-use intentions (51.1 percent).
    Keywords: Land ownership patterns, lease/rental agreements, absentee ownership, production agriculture, Agricultural Finance, Farm Management, Financial Economics, Land Economics/Use, Production Economics,
    Date: 2012–02
  19. By: Elmarzougui, Eskandar; Larue, Bruno
    Abstract: The relationship between corn and oil prices is not a stable one. We identified three breaks in the relationship between corn and oil prices. The first break coincides with the second oil crisis. The second break marks the end of the agricultural export subsidy war between the EU and the US in the mid 1980s while the third one occurred at the beginning of the ethanol boom at the very end of the 1990s. The relationship between corn and oil prices tends to be stronger when oil prices are highly volatile and when agricultural policies create less distortion. The ethanol boom strengthened the relation between corn and oil prices which are (were not) cointegrated in the fourth regime (first three) regime(s). Impulse response functions confirm that corn prices systematically respond to oil price shocks, but the converse is not observed.
    Keywords: Oil, corn, structural changes, cointegration, ethanol, protectionism, Agricultural and Food Policy, C32, Q11, Q17, Q40,
    Date: 2011–12
  20. By: Muhammad, Andrew; Meade, Birgit
    Abstract: In a 2003 report, International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns, ERS economists estimated income and price elasticities of demand for broad consumption categories and food categories across 114 countries using 1996 International Comparison Program (ICP) data. This report updates that analysis with an estimated two-stage demand system across 144 countries using 2005 ICP data. Advances in ICP data collection since 1996 led to better results and more accurate income and price elasticity estimates. Low-income countries spend a greater portion of their budget on necessities, such as food, while richer countries spend a greater proportion of their income on luxuries, such as recreation. Low-value staples, such as cereals, account for a larger share of the food budget in poorer countries, while high-value food items are a larger share of the food budget in richer countries. Overall, low-income countries are more responsive to changes in income and food prices and, therefore, make larger adjustments to their food consumption pattern when incomes and prices change. However, adjustments to price and income changes are not uniform across all food categories. Staple food consumption changes the least, while consumption of higher-value food items changes the most.
    Keywords: ICP 2005, high-value food products, consumption patterns, marginal share, income elasticity, price elasticity, ERS, USDA, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2011–03
  21. By: Prishchepov, Alexander V.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Muller, Daniel; Dubinin, Maxim; Baumann, Matthias
    Abstract: Socio-economic and institutional changes may accelerate the rates and determinants of land-use and land-cover change (LULCC). Our goal was to explore the determinants of agricultural land abandonment in post-soviet Russia during the first decade of transition from-state command to market driven economy from 1990 to 2000. Based on economic assumptions of the profit maximization we selected and analyzed the determinants of agricultural land abandonment for one large agro-climatic and economic region of European Russia that covered 150,500 km2 and 67 districts in Kaluga, Rjazan, Smolensk, Tula and Vladimir provinces. We integrated maps of abandoned agricultural land (five Landsat TM/ETM+ footprints 185*185 km each with 30-m resolution), environmental and geographic determinants, and socioeconomic statistics and estimated logistic regressions at the pixel-level. Our results showed that agricultural land abandonment was significantly associated with lower average grain yields in the late 1980s, distances to villages, municipalities and settlements > 500 citizens, isolated agricultural areas within the forest matrix and distances from forest edges. Hierarchical partitioning showed that average grain yields in the late 1980s contributed the most in explaining the variability of abandonment (42%, of the explained variability), followed by location characteristics of the land. The results suggest that the underling driving forces such as massive decline of state subsidies for agriculture was a key contributor for the amount of abandonment and those areas socially, economically and environmentally marginal agriculture areas were the first to be left uncultivated.
    Keywords: Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2011
  22. By: Jeremy D. Foltz; Ursula T. Aldana; Paul Laris
    Abstract: Since independence a quiet revolution has taken place in maize production in the Sahel with Mali increasing production more than ten-fold and yields going up ~2% a year. This research work uses farm level panel data from southern Mali's maize growing regions to demonstrate this success in agricultural production and technological change. We analyze the determinants of production to unpack increases in input use from technological change. The estimations show that farmer adoption of increased fertilizer use has driven much of the productivity growth rather than the adoption of improvements in seeds and management. Additionally, we find strong evidence of observed and unobserved heterogeneity, which affects both the choice of fertilizer amounts and the marginal returns to fertilizer use. The results demonstrate the key changes behind this silent maize revolution and point to the importance of taking into account farmer heterogeneity in estimating productivity and returns to fertilizer.
    JEL: O13 O33 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2012–02
  23. By: Chavez, Eddie C.; Wailes, Eric J.
    Abstract: Potential adjustments in U.S. commodity program for rice are evaluated in this paper using stochastic analysis in a global modeling framework. Corresponding threshold and loss-compensatory increases in target price and loan rates are determined with assumed outright and gradual elimination of direct payments. Results show that if direct payments (DP) are eliminated in 2012, a 23% increase in both the target price (TP) and loan rate (LR) triggers counter-cyclical payments (CCP) 80% of the time; and it will take an increase of 48% in TP and LR to generate CCP enough to compensate for the loss in total DP. If DP is gradually removed over 5 years, the trigger and compensatory increases in TP and LR are 41% and 46%, respectively. Furthermore, if DP is eliminated outright and TP maintained, an increase of 71% in LR triggers loan deficiency payments (LDP) 75% of the time; and it will take an increase of 130% in LR to generate enough LDP to recoup the total loss in DP. Under gradual removal of DP, the trigger and compensatory increases in LR are 71% and 92%, respectively.
    Keywords: U.S. commodity program, threshold and loss-compensatory increases, stochastic analysis, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Q18,
    Date: 2012–01
  24. By: Raza, Syed Ali; Ali, Yasir; Mehboob, Farhan
    Abstract: This research based on the role of agriculture in the economic growth of Pakistan. Secondary data has been collected from the year 1980-2010 from the government authentic websites. For this purpose simple regression applied to identify the significance relationship of agricultural sub-sectors with GDP. Results suggested that there is the significance role of agriculture sub-sectors towards the economic growth only forestry showed insignificant relationship with GDP. Another objective is based on to know the contribution of each sub-sector over the aggregate agriculture amount. Result suggest that crops and livestock’s total contribute 91% combined in the aggregate agriculture sector that represent significance contribution for the performance regarding in this sector while fisheries and forestry have minimal contribution because of many reasons, major reasons involved low investment intensity in this sector, insufficient facilities, untrained and unskillful labor force engaged with it.
    Keywords: Economic growth; major crops; minor crops; Livestock; forestry; fisheries; Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
    JEL: Q1 O47 O13
    Date: 2012–01
  25. By: Ligon, Ethan A. (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics); Sadoulet, Elisabeth (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics)
    Date: 2011–02
  26. By: Arrocha, Fernando; Villena, Mauricio G.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between rural poverty and forestland management in the context of charcoal production under slash and burn. An optimal control model determines how a representative household makes decisions on the allocation of labor and forest areas to exploit, which in turn affects the renewable resource base available to the community. The proposed optimal control model for charcoal production is built upon the agricultural model of slash and burn of Pascual and Barbier (2007). This theoretical model is calibrated with data from the community of Chunkanán, Campeche, Mexico. The simulation and comparison of the traditional forestry slash and burn management with the Forest Management Program for the Exploitation of Timber Resources (FMPETR), put forward by the regulatory authority as a policy of use and conservation of forest resources, showed that the former, and not the latter, is sustainable from an ecological point of view and efficient from an economic point of view, implying that households allocate an optimal amount of labor and forest biomass. This result suggests that the FMPETR is a suboptimal policy, showing that there is room for improvement in terms of the design and implementation of policies aimed at providing economic and social incentives leading to the sustainable management of natural resources.
    Keywords: Forest Management, Rural Poverty, Charcoal Production, Rural Households
    JEL: Q23 O13
    Date: 2011–01–15
  27. By: Boussemart, Jean-Philippe; Leleu, Herve; Ojo, Oluwaseun
    Abstract: In the context of the agreement of about 50% reduction in pesticide uses according to the accords du âGrenelle de lâenvironnementâ in France, the central part of this study involves the assessment of agricultural intensification (AI) and agricultural extensification (AE) processes in crop activities.This is done with reference to pesticide uses per ha thereby helping to proffer a solution to the lingering questions of farmers as regards the use of inputs in an intensified manner or otherwise. With respect to this, a sample of 600 farms in the Meuse department was observed over a 12-year period. The analysis was essentially to assess cost efficiency dominance between the two technologies AE and AI using non parametric cost-functions which involves different characterizations of the reference set. This therefore helps to define the relative intensive and extensive technologies in terms of pesticide uses per ha, our empirical application therefore shows that AE process is a better option than AI not only for the society but also for the producers who could significantly reduce their operating costs.
    Keywords: agricultural intensification (AI), agricultural extensification (AE), pesticide reduction, environmental performance, non parametric cost-functions, Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management,
    Date: 2011
  28. By: Xiong, Bo; Beghin, John C.
    Abstract: Domestic technical measures such as SPS and TBTs can enhance import demand via information disclosure and quality improvement, or hamper foreign export supply via imposing sizeable compliance costs, or both. The traditional gravity equation model estimates the net effect of these measures on international trade with a loss of useful inference on separate effects. We stipulate a generalized gravity equation model to disentangle the two effects. We apply the augmented approach to agricultural trade among OECD countries in 2004. We find that technical measures in agriculture often jointly enhance import demand and hinder export supply with the net effect of promoting the propensity to trade. Further disaggregated data analysis reveals heterogeneity across sectors in terms of net effects of technical measures, despite common demand-enhancing and supply-hindering effects. These measures in the net decrease the probability of intra-OECD trade in dairy products, whereas they increase that of intra-OECD trade in cereal preparations.
    Keywords: sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, technical measures, NTM, TBT, standards, gravity equation, protectionism, OECD, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2011
  29. By: Halkos, George; Tzeremes, Nickolaos
    Abstract: This paper by applying Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) ranks for the first time Economics journals in the field of Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Resource. Specifically, by using one composite input and one composite output the paper ranks 32 journals. In addition for the first time three different quality ranking reports have been incorporated to the DEA modelling problem in order to classify the journals into four categories (‘A’ to ‘D’). The results reveal that the journals with the highest rankings in the field are Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Agricultural Economics, Energy Journal, Resource and Energy Economics, Environment and Planning A, Ecological Economics and European Review of Agricultural Economics.
    Keywords: Journals Rankings; Agricultural Economics; Environmental Economics; Natural Resource Economics; Data Envelopment Analysis
    JEL: Q00 C14 C02 A10 A11
    Date: 2012–01
  30. By: Dubois, Pierre; Ligon, Ethan A. (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics)
    Abstract: Using data on individual consumption expenditures from a sample of farm households in the Philippines, we construct a direct test of the risk-sharing implications of the collective household model. We are able to contrast the efficient outcomes predicted by the collective household model with the outcomes we might expect in environments in which food consumption delivers not only utils, but also nutrients which affect future productivity. Finally, we are able to contrast each of these two models with a third, involving a hidden action problem within the household; in this case, the efficient provision of incentives implies that the consumption of each household member depends on their (stochastic) productivity. The efficiency conditions which characterize the within-household allocation of food under the collective household model are violated, as consumption shares respond to earnings shocks. If future productivity depends on current nutrition, then this can explain some but not all of the response, as it appears that the quality of current consumption depends on past earnings. This suggests that some actions taken by household members are private, giving rise to a moral hazard problem within the household.
    Date: 2011–02
  31. By: Abildtrup, Jens; Garcia, Serge; Stenger, Anne
    Abstract: Forest land use is often associated with the protection of water resources from contamination and the reduced cost of drinking water supply. This study attempted to measure the value of the forest on the quality of water resources from a contingent market, namely drinking water supply, by estimating variations in drinking water costs as a function of variations in land uses. Spatial correlations were taken into account because of the use of different geographical scales (i.e., water service area and land uses) and the potential existence of organizational and technological spillovers between water services. We found a significant negative effect of forest land use on water costs. We found no evidence of spatial spillovers concerning the management regime but did find that organizational choices (i.e., grouping of municipalities within a water service) and factors related to the scarcity of resources in neighboring water services have an impact on water costs.
    Keywords: Water quality, land uses, forest, water supply service, spatial spillovers, Demand and Price Analysis, Land Economics/Use, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, C21, Q23, Q25, R14,
    Date: 2011
  32. By: António Xavier (University of Algarve, Sciences and Technology Faculty, CEFAGE-UE); Maria de Belém Martins (University of Algarve, Sciences and Technology Faculty, CEFAGE-UE)
    Abstract: In the Mediterranean forests there is a diversity of agro-forest farms, with different management objectives and socioeconomic characteristics, which need to be accounted in forest management models. Therefore, the following paper presents a proposal of indicators to characterize socioeconomically the farms located within these forests in order to define typologies. Different information sources were analysed and social and economical key indicators defined. The typology created is based on four key indicators which result in 54 typologies. The indicators were applied to the Forest Intervention Zone (FIZ) Arade-Alte/S. B.Messines, using the official statistics complemented with a survey. Results show that the dominant farm type is the Small Scale-Singular producer- Forest- Family labour farm. The resulting simulations of different profit scenarios using a forest management model for the FIZ revealed the applicability of the methodology proposed to the objective.
    Keywords: Socioeconomic indicators; Farms’ typologies, Algarve; Forest management model.
    JEL: Q10 Q15 Q19 Q01
    Date: 2011
  33. By: Bielsa, Jorge; Cazcarro, Ignacio; Sancho, Yolanda
    Abstract: A distinction is commonly drawn in Hydrology between ‘green’ and ‘blue water’ in accounting for total water availability in semi-arid regions. The criterion underlying this classification is important for successful water management, because it reveals how much natural water is and/or could be used by households, industry and, especially, agriculture. The relative share of green and blue water is generally treated as a constant. In recent years, a growing hydro-geological literature has focused on a phenomenon that significantly affects the stability of the green/blue water ratio. This is the increase in land cover density and its impact on runoff in regions with a Mediterranean climate, such as the Ebro Basin in Spain. We seek to carry this knowledge over into the parameters of disciplines concerned with the economic valuation of water and territorial resources, and translate it into the language used by water management professionals in the expectation that this contribution will improve the way we assess and account for real water availability. The heart of the matter is that the increasing density of forest cover produces both positive and negative environmental and economic impacts, presenting new economic and environmental problems that must be examined and assessed in a hydrological-economic context. We will show that these positive and negative effects are sufficiently important to merit attention, whether they are measured in physical or economic terms. Finally, we make an initial proposal for the economic valuation of some of the effects produced by these hydrological changes.
    Keywords: blue water; green water; hydro-economic framework; water resources accounting
    JEL: Q23 Q24 Q01 Q25
    Date: 2011
  34. By: Leblois, Antoine; Quirion, Philippe; Alhassane, Agali; Traore, Seydou
    Abstract: In the Sudano-Sahelian region, which includes South Niger, the inter-annual variability of the rainy season is high and irrigation is scarce. As a consequence, bad rainy seasons have a massive impact on crop yield and regularly entail food crises. Traditional insurances based on crop damage assessment are not available because of asymmetric information and high transaction costs compared to the value of production. We assess the risk mitigation capacity of an alternative form of insurance which has been implemented in India since 2003: insurance based on a weather index. We compare the capacity of various weather indices to increase utility of a representative risk-averse farmer. We show the importance of using plot-level yield data rather than village averages, which bias results. We also illustrate the need for out-of-sample estimations in order to avoid overfitting. Even with the appropriate index and assuming a substantial risk aversion, we find a limited gain of implementing insurance, roughly corresponding to, or slightly exceeding, the cost of implementing such insurances observed in India. However, when we treat separately the plots with and without fertilizers, we show that the benefit of insurance is higher in the former case. This suggests that insurances may increase the use of risk-increasing inputs like fertilizers and improved cultivars, hence average yields, which are very low in the region.
    Keywords: Agriculture, index-based insurance., Crop Production/Industries, Risk and Uncertainty, G21, O12, Q12, Q18, Q54.,
    Date: 2011
  35. By: Md. Shafiul Azam (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK); Katsushi S. IMAI (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK)
    Abstract: The paper examines the level and sources of vulnerability in rural Bangladesh using a household survey. We use a simple two-level random intercept model to estimate expected mean and variance in consumption as well as to decompose the variance into idiosyncratic and covariate components. Our results indicate that both idiosyncratic and covariate shocks have considerable impact on household's vulnerability and idiosyncratic shocks seem to have greater impact on household's consumption vulnerability than the covariate shocks. Furthermore, idiosyncratic shocks appear to have a relatively higher impact on relatively well endowed (i.e. in terms of human capital, land holdings, activity status etc.), well off households and covariate shocks seem to have a relatively higher impact on poorer, less educated, household's vulnerability. Our results also reveal that rural vulnerability in Bangladesh is mainly poverty induced rather than risk induced. Around 78 per cent all who are vulnerable is accounted for by low expected mean consumption and only 22 per cent of them are due to high consumption volatility. Overall vulnerability in rural areas is estimated to be 50 per cent. The categorization of poverty into transient and chronic poverty is even more insightful. The study finds that those without education or agricultural households are likely to be the most vulnerable. The geographical diversity of vulnerability is considerable. It is suggested that ex ante measures to prevent households from becoming poor as well as ex post measures to alleviate those already in poverty should be combined.
    Keywords: poverty, vulnerability, risks, poverty dynamics, Bangladesh
    JEL: C21 C25 I32
    Date: 2012–01
  36. By: Janda, Karel (University of California, Berkeley, Charles University, Prague, University of Economics, Prague and CERGE-EI); Kristoufek, Ladislav (Charles University, Prague and Institute of Information Theory and Automation, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic); Zilberman, David (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the environmental, economical, and policy considerations related to biofuels. While the biofuel production and consumption exhibited significant increase over the first decade of the new millennium, this and further increases in biofuel production are driven primarily by government policies. Currently available first generation biofuels are with a few exceptions not economically viable in the absence of fiscal incentives or high oil prices. Also the environmental impacts of biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels are quite ambiguous. The review of the most recent economic models dealing with biofuels and their economic impacts provides a distinction between structural and reduced form models. The review ofreduced models is structured toward the time series analysis approach to thedependencies between prices of feedstock, biofuels, and fossil fuels.
    Keywords: biofuels, ethanol, biodiesel
    Date: 2011–10
  37. By: Gutierrez, Luciano
    Abstract: In this paper, we use a bootstrap methodology to helps us to compute the finite sample probability distribution of the asymptotic tests recently proposed in Phillips et al. (2009b) and Phillips and Yu (2009c). Simulation shows that the bootstrap methodology works well and allows us to identify explosive processes and collapsing bubbles. We apply the bootstrap procedure to the wheat and rough rice commodity prices. We find some evidence of price exuberance for both prices in the 2007-2008 period.
    Keywords: Rational Speculative Bubbles, Bootstrap, Unit Root Tests, Commodity Prices., Marketing, G14, Q14, C12, C15,
    Date: 2011
  38. By: Alessandro Borin (Bank of Italy); Virginia Di Nino (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between futures prices and financial investments in derivatives of the main agricultural commodities. We first provide a broad picture of how these markets function and how they have evolved, showing that traders who deal mostly in commodity index investments (swap dealers) have gained importance since the mid-2000s. However, traditional financial market participants (money managers) still show the stronger (simultaneous) correlation with price movements. Our main empirical analysis aims to gauge the influence of financial investors’ positions on both the level and the volatility of futures prices. The Granger-causality tests suggest that speculative investments usually follow – rather than precede - variations in futures returns. Employing a GARCH model, we find that the activity of money managers tends to be associated with lower volatility of futures returns, while that of swap dealers is sometimes followed by higher price variations.
    Keywords: futures markets, commodities, speculation, GARCH, volatility
    JEL: D84 G12 G13 G14 Q13
    Date: 2012–01
  39. By: Maria A. Cunha-e-Sa; Sofia F. Franco; Renato Rosa
    Abstract: This paper has developed a model of a single forest owner operating with perfect foresight in a dynamic open-city environment that allows for switching between alternative competing land uses (forest and urban use) at some point in the future. The model also incorporates external values of an even-aged standing forest in addition to the value of timber when it is harvested. Timber is exploited based on a multiple rotation model a la Faustmann with clear-cut harvesting. In contrast to previous models, our alternative land use to forest land is endogenous. Within this framework, we study the problem of the private owner as well as that of the social planner, when choosing the time to harvest, the time to convert land and the intensity of development. We also examine the extent to which the two-way linkage between urban development and forest management practices (timber production and provision of forest amenities) contributes to economic efficiency and improvements in non-market forest benefits. Finally, we consider policy options available to a regulator seeking to achieve improvements in efficiency including anti-sprawl policies (impact fees and density controls) and forest policies such a yield tax. Numerical simulations illustrate our analytical results. JEL codes:
    Keywords: Deforestation, Urban Development, Forest Management Practices, Anti-Sprawl Policies, Yield Taxes
    Date: 2012
  40. By: Allais, Olivier; Etile, Fabrice; Lecocq, Sebastien
    Abstract: A number of public health advocates and consumer associations urge policy makers to strengthen nutrient labelling rules, in order to help people to make healthier and better informed food choices. Yet, little is known about the e¤ectiveness of mandatory labelling. This research evaluates the impact of a mandatory fat label policy on consumer choices in the fromages blanc and dessert yogurt market. While fat labels are mandatory since 1988 for fromages blancs, this is not the case for yogurts. This is a natural source of variation to identify separately consumer preferences for labels and for fat. We use a mixed logit discrete choice model and household scanner data collected in 2007 to estimate the distribution of the Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) for fat labels and simulate various counterfactual policy scenarios in a sample of casual fromages blancs and dessert yogurts consumers. The WTP is negative for about one third of this population, especially for consumers of full-fat dessert yogurts. The …rst simulation results suggest that a mandatory labelling policy would make these individuals switch to full-fat fromages blancs or to the outside option, and mandatory labelling would have more impact than a fat tax on the consumption of full-fat products. Hence, variations in labelling rules have been exploited by producers to develop dessert yogurts and increase market segmentation. We plan to re…ne these results, by taking into consideration manufacturersÂand retailersÂstrategic reactions to these policies.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Marketing,
    Date: 2011
  41. By: Rui Fragoso (University of Évora, Department of Management, CEFAGE/ICAAM); Maria Leonor Carvalho (University of Évora, Department of Economics, ICAAM/CEFAGE)
    Abstract: This paper aims to estimate the farm cost allocation coefficients from whole farm input costs. An entropy approach was developed under a Tobit formulation and was applied to a sample of farms from the 2004 FADN data base for Alentejo region, Southern Portugal. A Generalized Maximum Entropy model and Cross Generalized Entropy model were developed to the sample conditions and were tested. Model results were assessed in terms of their precision and estimation power and were compared with observed data. The entropy approach showed to be a flexible and valid tool to estimate incomplete information, namely regarding farm costs.
    Keywords: Generalized maximum entropy; costs; estimation; Alentejo, FADN.
    Date: 2011
  42. By: Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano; Cioffi, Antonio
    Abstract: The paper investigates the effects of the entry price scheme for fresh fruit and vegetables. The analysis is conducted on the European prices of tomatoes, lemons and apples for some of the main competing countries on the European domestic markets: Morocco, Argentina, Turkey and China. The econometric analysis is based on testing and estimating a switching vector autoregressive model with endogenous threshold entry price level. The model shows the isolation effects and the accumulation of Standard Import Values above the trigger entry price. This paper contributes to clarify the role played by the Entry Price System in avoiding or deterring low priced imports from main European partner Countries.
    Keywords: Trade policy; Non-tariff barrier; Entry price system; Fruits and vegetables; TVAR
    JEL: F13 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2012–01–30
  43. By: Dang, Anh
    Abstract: I investigate the origins of social trust within Vietnam. Combining a unique contemporary survey of households with historic data on climate variation, I show that individuals who were heavily threatened by negative climate fluctuation exhibit more trust in neighbors and other people in close group. The evidence indicates that the effects of climate variation on social trust transmitted through strengthening the cooperation among village peasants in coping with risk and uncertainty. The results also indicate that households with higher proportion of agricultural incomes tend to rely more on village members in the case of emergency. However, the increased village relationship does not erode family ties.
    Keywords: Climate variation; social trust; Vietnam
    JEL: O13 Z13 Q54
    Date: 2011–11
  44. By: Ranathunga, Seetha P.B.
    Abstract: Migration is the oldest action against poverty. Thus, temporary labour migration from rural to urban areas is a common phenomenon in the developing world. Since 1977, with more open economic policies, there has been a huge trend of young people migrating from rural to urban for industrial employment in Sri Lanka. Export Processing Zones (EPZ) are the main attraction for this temporary labour migration. The sample survey was conducted in Sri Lanka from February to April 2011, covering 377 respondents who have temporarily migrated from rural farm households in 20 urban factories. The paper employs Probit, Tobit analysis in an effort to examine the determinants of remittances and usage of remittances in sending communities. Results demonstrated the remittance accounts for one fifth of household income in the place of origin. The decision to remit regularly depends positively on the monthly income, number of students of the household, and negatively depends on the amount of farmland owned by the household.
    Keywords: Keyword: Rural urban migration; remittances; sending communities; Sri Lanka
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2011–08–25
  45. By: Robinson, Elizabeth J.Z.; Albers, Heidi J.; Kirama, Stephen L.
    Abstract: Although Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provide an increasingly popular policy tool for protecting marine stocks and biodiversity, they pose high costs for small-scale fisherfolk who have few alternative livelihood options in poor countries. MPAs often address this burden on local households by providing some benefits to compensate locals and/or induce compliance with restrictions. We argue that MPAs in poor countries can only contribute to sustainability if management induces changes in resource-dependent households’ incentives to fish. With Tanzania’s Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park (MBREMP) and its internal villages as an example, we use an economic decision modeling framework as a lens to examine incentives, reaction to incentives, and implications for sustainable MPA management created by park managers’ use of enforcement (“sticks”) and livelihood projects (“carrots”). We emphasize practical implementation issues faced by MBREMP managers and implications for fostering marine ecosystem sustainability in a poor country setting.
    Keywords: marine protected areas, sustainable marine reserves, Tanzania, practical enforcement, marine-dependent livelihoods
    Date: 2012–02–08
  46. By: Saha, U.R. (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: Child mortality remains an important issue in Bangladesh. This thesis consists of four empirical studies on child mortality using data on Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) in Matlab, Bangladesh. The first study investigates the inter-family observed and unobserved heterogeneity in child deaths and the causal effect of death of one child on survival chances of the next child. The second study investigates the relationships between birth spacing, child survival and fertility allowing for the simultaneous nature of these processes, and controlling for both observed and unobserved heterogeneity in the outcomes of interest. The third study investigates the causal role of contraceptive use on birth spacing allowing for simultaneous nature of these processes and controlling for both observed and unobserved heterogeneity in the outcomes of interest. The fourth study analyzes the underlying epidemiology of child deaths taking into account competing risks associated with both observed and unobserved heterogeneity. The studies distinguish the differences in child mortality dynamics in rural Bangladesh between two areas ICDDR,B and comparison with and without extensive health services.
    Date: 2012
  47. By: Lopez-Feldman, Alejandro; Taylor, J. Edward; Yúnez-Naude, Antonio
    Abstract: The relationship between poverty and natural resources is complex and the empirical evidence to date, mostly from studies of forest activities and poverty, is inconclusive. The main purpose of this paper is to empirically identify the effects of household characteristics and of inequality at the village level on natural resource extraction and dependence. To do so we use data from the Mexico National Rural Household Survey (ENHRUM). Our results show that in rural Mexico natural resource extraction is predominantly an activity carried out by poor households. The same is true for dependence. We also show that there are important differences across Mexico in terms of both participation and dependence on resource income. These differences are most evident when one compares the south and north of the country. We also show that when relatively rich households participate in resource extraction their natural resource income is considerably higher than that of the poor.
    Keywords: resource dependence; Mexico; poverty; inequality; natural resources
    JEL: Q56 Q0 O12
    Date: 2011–12
  48. By: Braak, A.M. ter (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: Private labels have witnessed considerable growth in grocery retailing. While existing academic studies have provided valuable insights concerning the evolution of private labels, several issues remain largely unexplored. First, in the face of these large private-label volumes, private-label production opportunities arise. Due to increased private-label competition, national-brand manufacturers increasingly pursue a dual-branding strategy and engage in private-label production next to their national-brand activities. In chapter two of this dissertation, a major motivation for national-brand manufacturers to engage in private-label production, namely whether it creates retailer goodwill, is investigated. It shows that private-label production is indeed rewarded: national-brand manufacturers involved in private-label production for a discounter have a higher likelihood of obtaining national-brand shelf presence at that discounter. The third chapter focuses on one of the main reasons why retailers push private labels, i.e. because they generate high margins, and considers how a retailer’s private-label margins vary within categories. It demonstrates that a retailer’s private-label margins depend on the nature of the private-label supplier-retailer relationship, that they differ across quality tiers and package sizes, and that they are affected by a supplier’s extent of national-brand focus next to its private-label production for the retailer. Finally, this dissertation concentrates on the recent premium private-label trend. Even though premium private labels are seen as “one of the hottest trends in retailing,” retailers are selective in picking their battles with top-quality national brands and do not feel the need to extend their standard private label with a premium private label in every category. The fourth chapter provides insight into why retailers offer premium private labels in some categories, but not in others. The research presented in this dissertation is among the first to empirically investigate the phenomenon of private-label production, and to shed light on the recent trend of premium private labels.
    Date: 2012
  49. By: Gilles Laferté
    Abstract: French rural worlds have been historicized over the last thirty years. This paper presents a research approach that attempts to reconcile cultural history and social history. Recent studies of regionalism in France have drawn extensively on the constructivist model of the nation and have sought to denaturalize its representations. But in articulating this history of representations with the economic uses made of them -and particularly the specialization of the French economy in luxury markets- it is best to eschew the routine phraseology of ?identity? and prefer the combination of ?social image? and ?affiliation?. This provides a better understanding of how discourse and social structures interlock. Social spheres gravitating around regionalism in the inter-war years were very much interdependent. The nineteenth-century model that portrayed luxury goods as aristocratic was superseded by a model in which luxury products conveyed traditionalist values. The shift in the balance of power in the wine market away from winemerchants and toward vineyard owners can be understood only in the light of the political and cultural networks that vineyard owners managed to develop.
    Keywords: Wine, Folklore, Regionalism, Terroir, Rural Sociology, Ethnology of France
    JEL: Z1
    Date: 2012–01–30
  50. By: Ligon, Ethan A. (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics); Schechter, Laura (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
    Abstract: We conduct field experiments in rural Paraguay to measure the value of reciprocity within social networks in a set of fifteen villages. These experiments involve conducting dictator- type games; different treatments involve manipulating the information and choice that individuals have in the game. These different treatments allow us to measure and distinguish between different motives for giving in these games. The different motives we're able to measure include a general benevolence, directed altruism, fear of sanctions, and reciprocity within the social network. We're further able to draw inferences from play in the games regarding the sorts of impediments to trade which must restrict villagers' ability to share in states of the world when no researchers are present running experiments and measuring outcomes.
    Date: 2011–02
  51. By: Boivin, Pascal; Guine, Veronique
    Abstract: Up to 95% of the contamination of surface water by pesticides comes from on-farm point sources in connection with washing and preparation operations. This contamination is a growing concern for environment and human health. Because of their efficiency, their low cost and their friendly and simple use, Biobeds were recognized as the best tool to treat these pesticide effluents. Assuming a single passage of the effluent through the Biobed followed by release of the percolate, the research focused on the efficiency of the depuration after a single percolation. Accounting for unknown hazards such as metabolites and bound residues leads, however, local rules in Europe to enjoin a recycling of the effluent until full evaporation to prevent any release in the environment. Managed as such, we show that the Biobeds are waterlogged and no longer perform the elimination of the effluent. This induces large hazards of either direct volatilization or effluent release, and goes with increased costs, dissatisfaction or demotivation of the farmers, thus jeopardizing the development of this solution. Accounting for these new depuration conditions leads to a new Biobed paradigm, namely optimization of the transpiration of the water rather than optimization of the single percolation depuration, which leads to sharp changes in Biobed forms, content and management. Moreover, the corresponding new system shows larger performance, decreased space and maintenance requirements, and improved aesthetics. This is shown in the present study based on compared monitoring of the systems performance, hydrodynamics and substrate conditions during use.
    Keywords: Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011
  52. By: Blackman, Allen (Resources for the Future); Uribe, Eduardo; van Hoof, Bart; Lyon, Thomas P.
    Abstract: According to proponents, voluntary agreements (VAs) negotiated with polluters sidestep weak institutions and other barriers to conventional environmental regulation in developing countries. Yet little is known about their effectiveness. We examine VAs in Colombia, a global leader in the use of these policies. We find that the main motive for using VAs has been to build capacity needed for broader environmental regulatory reform. Their additional effect on environmental performance has been questionable. These findings suggest that in developing countries, VAs may be best suited to capacity building, not environmental management per se.
    Keywords: voluntary environmental agreement, pollution, Colombia
    JEL: Q01 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2012–02–08
  53. By: Ines Kapphan (Agri-food & Agri-environmental Economics Group (AFEE), Institute for Environmental Decisions IED, ETH Zurich); Pierluigi Calanca (Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, Zurich); Annelie Holzkaemper (Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, Zurich)
    Abstract: The insurance industry has so far relied on historical data to develop and price weather insurance contracts. In light of climate change, we examine the effects of this practice in terms of the hedging effectiveness and profitability of insurance contracts. We use simulated crop and weather data for today’s and future climatic conditions to derive optimal weather insurance contracts. We assess the hedging effectiveness and profits of adjusted contracts that are designed with data that accounts for the changing distribution of weather and yields due to climate change. We find that, with climate change, the benefits from hedging with adjusted contracts almost triple and expected profits increase by about 240%. Furthermore, we investigate the effect on risk reduction (for the insured) and profits (for the insurer) from hedging future weather risks with non-adjusted contracts, which are based on historical weather and yield data. When offering non-adjusted insurance contracts, we find that insurers either face substantial losses, or generate profits that are significantly smaller than profits from offering adjusted insurance products. Non-adjusted insurance contracts that create profits in excess of the profits from adjusted contracts cause at the same time negative hedging benefits for the insured. We observe that non-adjusted contracts exist that create simultaneously positive profits and hedging benefits, however at a much larger uncertainty compared to the corresponding adjusted contracts.
    Keywords: weather insurance design, climate change, non-stationarity, hedging effectiveness
    Date: 2011–09
  54. By: Ligon, Ethan A. (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics)
    Abstract: Recent research on household `vulnerability' has led to an increased appreciation of the welfare costs of risk. Measuring the risk borne by a particular household has generally involved the use of panel data, and in particular the use of time series variation in household expenditures to estimate the risk borne by the household in any given period. This has led researchers to focus on static measures of vulnerability, since once used to identify the distribution of consumption expenditures in a single period the time series variation can no longer be used to describe the intertemporal profile of the distribution of consumption expenditures- -simultaneous estimation of inequality, risk, and time series variation in household vulnerability requires the additional structure of a dynamic model. Unfortunately, our present understanding of the economic circumstances in which most households are situated seems too limited to permit general agreement on what the right dynamic model is. We show that simple restrictions on households' intertemporal smoothing can be used to simultaneously estimate household risk preferences in a manner which is robust to a variety of different assumptions about the economic environment. Further, these simple restrictions and estimated preferences can then be used to robustly characterize the welfare costs of different sorts of variation in consumption expenditures.
    Date: 2011–02

This nep-agr issue is ©2012 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.