nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2012‒02‒27
twenty-one papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Agricultural Land Markets and Land Leasing in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia By Angelovska, Neda Petroska; Ackovska, Marija; Bojnec, Štefan
  2. Institutional Factors Affecting Agricultural Land Markets By Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
  4. Sales Market Regulations for Agricultural Land in EU Member States and Candidate Countries By Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
  5. Key Issues and Developments in Farmland Sales Markets in the EU Member States and Candidate Countries By Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
  6. Optimal Food Price Stabilization in a Small Open Developing Country By Christophe Gouel; Sébastien Jean
  7. Valuation of EU Agricultural Landscape By Pavel Ciaian; Sergio Gomez y Paloma
  8. Key Issues and Developments in Farmland Rental Markets in EU Member States and Candidate Countries By Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
  9. Why Was Acre a No-Go with Iowa Farmers? By Edwards, William M.
  10. Food standards and exports : evidence from China By Mangelsdorf, Axel; Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Wilson, John S.
  11. Benefits of Organic Agriculture as a Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy for Developing Countries By Muller, Adrian
  12. Rental Market Regulations for Agricultural Land in EU Member States and Candidate Countries By Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
  13. Prices and Production: Agricultural Supply Response in Fourteenth-Century England By Eric Schneider
  14. A Three-Decade “Kuhnian” History of the Antebellum Puzzle: Explaining the shrinking of the US population at the onset of modern economic growth By Komlos, John
  15. Soil endowments, production technologies and missing women in India By Carranza, Eliana
  16. Envisioning innovative groundwater regulation policies through scenario workshops in France and Portugal By Jean-Daniel Rinaudo; Marielle Montginoul; Marta Varanda; Sofia Bento
  17. Persistent Impact of Natural Disasters on Child Nutrition and Schooling: Evidence from the 1999 Colombian Earthquake By Bustelo, Monserrat; Arends-Kuenning, Mary P.; Lucchetti, Leonardo
  18. Land use dynamics and the environment. By Carmen Camacho; Agustín Pérez-Barahona
  19. A Market for Weather Risk ? Conflicting Metrics, Attempts at Compromise and Limits to Commensuration. By Isabelle Huault; Hélène Rainelli-Weiss
  20. Child labor, schooling and household wealth in African rural area: luxury axiom or wealth paradox By KOISSY KPEIN Sandrine
  21. Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya's Western Province By Pascaline Dupas; Sarah Green; Anthony Keats; Jonathan Robinson

  1. By: Angelovska, Neda Petroska; Ackovska, Marija; Bojnec, Štefan
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to identify the driving forces that shape agricultural land structures, land market and land leasing in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Institutional developments and land reforms have so far been modest in the FYROM, and have not contributed to significant changes in agricultural ownership, operational structures, or land market and land leasing arrangements. Land ownership and land use are bimodal, consisting of several small-scale family farms and a few large-scale agricultural enterprises. The small family farms own and operate land on several small parcels, which is one of the major obstacles to the modernisation of family farm production. They produce food for household subsistence with mixed crop, fruit, vegetable, grapevine and livestock production. A considerable portion of the land is uncultivated, which affects land market and land leasing values. Due to underdeveloped institutional frameworks and market institutions in support of small-scale farms, a large proportion of state-owned land is rented by agricultural enterprises.
    Date: 2012–02
  2. By: Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
    Abstract: This paper analyses the main institutional factors affecting the rental and sales markets for agricultural land. Particular attention is paid to the effects of the common agricultural policy on land markets, and more specifically the underlying mechanism through which agricultural subsidies are capitalised into land values and farmland rents. This paper also provides a broad overview of the empirical studies that estimate the impact of agricultural support policies on land rents and land prices. Various other fundamental factors that affect agricultural land markets are discussed, such as land market institutions and regulations, transaction costs, credit market constraints and levels of profitability, the legal means of contract enforcement and land use alternatives.
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: Ulrich Hoffmann
    Abstract: For a large number of developing countries, agriculture remains the single most important sector. Climate change has the potential to damage irreversibly the natural resource base on which agriculture depends, with grave consequences for food security. However, agriculture is the sector that has the potential to transcend from being a problem to becoming an essential part of the solution to climate change provided there is a more holistic vision of food security, agricultural mitigation, climate-change adaptation and agriculture’s pro-poor development contribution. What is required is a rapid and significant shift from conventional, industrial, monoculture-based and high-external-input dependent production towards mosaics of sustainable production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. The required transformation is much more profound than simply tweaking the existing industrial agricultural systems. However, the sheer scale at which modified production methods would have to be adopted, the significant governance and market-structure challenges at national and international level and the considerable difficulties involved in measuring, reporting and verifying reductions in GHG emissions pose considerable challenges.
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
    Abstract: All agricultural markets are subjected to institutional regulations that – in one way or another –affect the functioning of these markets, and this is no different for the agricultural land market in the EU. In this paper, we describe the existing regulations in the sales markets for agricultural land in selected EU member states and candidate countries. The analysis focuses on three types of sales market regulations and institutions: quantity regulations, price regulations and transaction costs. The differences in the regulatory framework between land acquisition and ownership by domestic and foreign investors are analysed, as well as the taxes associated with land sales and ownership, zoning regulations and market imperfections.
    Date: 2012–02
  5. By: Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
    Abstract: This paper describes recent developments in sales markets of agricultural land in selected member states of the European Union and its candidate countries. Analysis focuses on the importance of the sales market for agricultural land, the average size of transacted plots, and the evolution and magnitude of the land sales prices. The share of agricultural land sold on the market is relatively stable in most of the old member states, with the exception of Finland, the Netherlands and the UK, where a more dynamic market is observed. For the new member states, the sales market for agricultural land is strongly affected by public sales under the ongoing land privatisation programmes, while strong variation prevails in the private sales market. Substantial differences are also observed in both the average size of the transacted plots and the sales prices. For the latter, price regulations partially explain the heterogeneity in the evolution of sales prices.
    Date: 2012–02
  6. By: Christophe Gouel; Sébastien Jean
    Keywords: Food security, incomplete markets, storage, trade policy, export restrictions
    JEL: D52 F13 Q11 Q17 Q18 A A A A
    Date: 2012–01
  7. By: Pavel Ciaian; Sergio Gomez y Paloma
    Abstract: The present paper provides a meta-analysis of agricultural landscape valuation studies and through the estimated benefit transfer function it projects the value of EU landscape. The analyses are based on information from more than thirty European and non-European studies which use a stated preference approach to uncover society's willingness to pay (WTP) for agricultural landscape. Our calculations show that, the WTP in the EU varies between 134 and 201 €/ha with an average value of 149 €/ha in 2009. Furthermore the calculations indicate that the total value of EU landscape in 2009 is estimated to be in the range of €24.5 – 36.6 billion per year, with an average of €27.1 billion, representing around 8 percent of the total value of EU agricultural production and roughly half of the CAP expenditures.
    Keywords: Agricultural landscape, valuation, willingness to pay, meta-analysis, benefit transfer.
    JEL: H23 H31 Q12 Q51 Q57
    Date: 2011–12–20
  8. By: Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
    Abstract: In this paper, we describe recent developments in the rental market for agricultural land in selected EU member states and candidate countries. The analysis focuses on the importance of the rental market as well as on the evolution of rental prices. It appears that the share of rented land in the total utilised agricultural area varies considerably among member states. In the old member states, the share of rented land ranges between 18% in Ireland and 74% in France, while in the new member states (NMS) it ranges from 17% in Romania to 89% in Slovakia. For the former, different strategies to provide tenure security to tenants can explain differences in the importance of rental markets. Changes in the significance of land rental have also reflected changes in institutions and in economic and political conditions. In the NMS, diverse approaches to land reform have resulted in assorted ownership structures and hence in differences in the share of rented land. Regarding rental prices, governments impose price restrictions on agricultural land rents in some countries, such that large divergences are observed in rental prices between and within member states.
    Date: 2012–02
  9. By: Edwards, William M.
    Abstract: Abstract  In 2009 Iowa farmers had the opportunity to enroll in a new revenue support program called ACRE.  A survey showed that those who did enroll desired more risk protection and believed that payments from ACRE would exceed the value of direct payments forfeited.  Operators who did not enroll said the program was too complex, and they did not want to give up a portion of the direct payments.  Those who enrolled farmed more acres and depended more on crop production for their gross income, and were more likely to use crop insurance and pre-harvest pricing. 
    Keywords: commodity; ACRE; farm program
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2011–12–17
  10. By: Mangelsdorf, Axel; Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Wilson, John S.
    Abstract: Using a new database on Chinese food standards, this paper estimates the impact of volunta-ry and mandatory standards on its agricultural and food exports. The dataset covers seven Chinese products from 1992 to 2008. The findings here indicate that standards have a posi-tive effect on China's export performance. Standards signal to customers that products meet certain quality measures and promote information exchange. The benefits of increased ex-ports outweigh compliance costs. Our results also show that theses positive effects are larger when the standards are consistent with international norms.
    Keywords: Food&Beverage Industry,Information Security&Privacy,Labor Policies,Scientific Research&Science Parks,Science Education
    Date: 2012–02–01
  11. By: Muller, Adrian (Socioeconomic Institute, and Centre for Ethics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Organic agriculture, as an adaptation strategy to climate change and variability, is a concrete and promising option for rural communities and has additional potential as a mitigation strategy. This article is a short review of this topic. Adaptation and mitigation based on organic agriculture can build on wellestablished practice because organic agriculture is a sustainable livelihood strategy with decades of use in several climate zones and under a wide range of specific local conditions. The financial requirements of organic agriculture as an adaptation or mitigation strategy are low. Further research is needed on yields in organic agriculture and its mitigation and sequestration potential. Other critical points are information provision and institutional structures such as market access.<p>
    Keywords: adaptation; climate change; climate variability; mitigation; organic agriculture; rural development; sustainable livelihoods; vulnerability
    JEL: O13 Q18 Q54 Q56
    Date: 2012–02–16
  12. By: Ciaian, Pavel,; Kancs, d’Artis; Swinnen, Jo; Van Herck, Kristine; Vranken, Liesbet
    Abstract: In this paper, we describe the regulations governing the rental markets for agricultural land in selected EU member states and candidate countries. The analysis focuses on various kinds of regulations and institutions connected with the land rental market, including price, tenancy duration, quantity and other regulations, as well as transaction costs. The diverse government regulations on price restrictions and tenancy duration are analysed, along with the social norms observed for rental payments and contracts. The paper also examines the type and registration of contracts, the contract enforcement rules, the regulations on the inheritability of contracts and the pre-emptive right of tenants to buy the land.
    Date: 2012–02
  13. By: Eric Schneider (History Faculty and Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK)
    Abstract: This paper challenges the growing consensus in the literature (Stone, 2005; Dodds, 2007) that medieval English peasants and manorial managers were price responsive in their production decisions. Using prices of and acreages planted with wheat, barley, and oats on 49 manors held by the bishop of Winchester from 1349-70, we estimate price elasticities of supply for each grain in aggregate and on each particular manor. Aggregate price elasticities of supply for wheat and oats were not significantly different than zero, and barley aggregate elasticities of supply were significant but very low. These elasticities are low compared with price elasticities of supply estimated for developing and developed countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Attempting to explain the variation in the estimated price elasticities for individual manors, market concentration had a significant, positive effect on price elasticities of wheat and oat supply. In the end, the low levels of price responsiveness in the post-Black Death period suggest that commercialisation was not as dominant in the medieval English economy as has been argued. Thus, the institutional and structural changes highlighted by Marxist and Neo-Malthusian historians may need to take a more prominent role in explanations of medieval economic change.
    Date: 2012–02–22
  14. By: Komlos, John
    Abstract: In 1979, when anthropometric history was still in its infancy, Robert Fogel and collaborators reported that the height of the US male white population began to decline quite unexpectedly around the birth cohorts of 1830. This was quite a conundrum on account of the fact that according to conventional economic theory nutritional status was not expected to diminish at the outset of modern economic growth, i.e., at a time when incomes were growing robustly. Although many hypotheses were offered, not until 1987 was the comprehensive solution to the puzzle offered that the height decline was due primarily to a decline in food consumption: agricultural productivity did not keep pace with rapid population growth and urbanization. However, it took a third of a century for a Kuhnian paradigm shift to occur until most of the participants in the debate accepted the model elucidated by Komlos in 1987.
    Keywords: Anthropometric history; Heights; Thomas Kuhn; Paradigm shift; USA; Antebellum Puzzle; Living Standards
    JEL: B20 B25 N00
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Carranza, Eliana
    Abstract: The female population deficit in India has been explained in a number of ways, but the great heterogeneity in the deficit across districts within India still remains an open question. This paper argues that across India, a largely agrarian economy, soil texture varies exogenously and determines the workability of the soil and the technology used in land preparation. Deep tillage, possible only in lighter and looser loamy soils, reduces the use of labor in cultivation tasks performed by women and has a negative impact on the relative value of girls to a household. The analysis finds that soil texture explains a large part of the variation in women's relative participation in agriculture and in infant sex ratios across districts in India.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Common Property Resource Development,Population Policies,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Labor Policies
    Date: 2012–02–01
  16. By: Jean-Daniel Rinaudo (BRGM - Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières - BRGM); Marielle Montginoul (UMR G-EAU - Gestion de l'Eau, Acteurs et Usages - CIRAD : UMR90 - IRD - CEMAGREF-UR IRMO - AgroParisTech); Marta Varanda (ICS - ICS - University of Lisbon); Sofia Bento (ISEG - ISEG - Technical University of Lisbon)
    Abstract: Groundwater management policies will need to be revised in many Mediterranean countries, in light of the impact of climate change and the increasing demand for water. In this paper, we analyze stakeholder perceptions of three groundwater policy scenarios which respectively assume a strengthening of state intervention, the introduction of market regulation mechanisms, and the transfer of regulation responsibility to farmers. The method consists of organizing scenario workshops with experts, institutional representatives, and farmers. It is applied in two case studies in France and Portugal. From a methodological viewpoint, the research demonstrates the farmers' ability to contribute to an exploratory assessment of possible future water management scenarios. From a policy viewpoint it clarifies expectations concerning State intervention and self-regulation by farmers. It also provides some insights regarding the acceptability of tradable groundwater permits in two European contexts.
    Keywords: Climate change; groundwater management; water markets; self-regulation; France; Portugal; scenario workshops.
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Bustelo, Monserrat (Inter-American Development Bank); Arends-Kuenning, Mary P. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Lucchetti, Leonardo (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the 1999 Colombian Earthquake on child nutrition and schooling. The identification strategy combines household survey data with event data on the timing and location of the earthquake, exploiting the exogenous exposure of children to the shock. The paper uniquely identifies both the short- and medium-term impacts of the earthquake, combining two cross-sectional household surveys collected before the earthquake and two cross-sectional household surveys collected one and six years after the earthquake. Colombia provides a unique setting for our study because the government launched a very successful reconstruction program after the earthquake. Findings report a strong negative impact of the earthquake on child nutrition and schooling in the short-term. Relevantly, amid the aid received by the affected area, the negative consequences of the earthquake persist with a lesser degree in the medium-term, particularly for boys.
    Keywords: child nutrition, child schooling, natural disaster, earthquake, Colombia
    JEL: J22 I25 Q54
    Date: 2012–02
  18. By: Carmen Camacho (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Agustín Pérez-Barahona (INRA)
    Abstract: We build a model to study optimal land use, encompassing land use activities, pollution and climate change. This benchmark set-up allows us to identify the spatial drivers behind the interaction between land use and the environment. Pollution generates local and global damages since it flows across locations following a Gaussian Plume. In constrast to the previous literature on spatial dynamics, we prove that the social optimum problem is well-posed, i.e., the solution exists and is unique. We close the paper with a numerical analysis which illustrates the richness of our model, and its global dynamics. We study the different drivers of spatial heterogeneity. In particular, abatement technology stands out as a fundamental ingredient to achieve steady state solutions, which are compatible with the emergence of spatial patterns.
    Keywords: Land use, spatial dynamcis, pollution.
    JEL: C6 Q15 Q53 R1
    Date: 2012–02
  19. By: Isabelle Huault (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine); Hélène Rainelli-Weiss (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the process of risk commodification involved in the creation of a market for weather derivatives in Europe. We approach this issue through an in-depth qualitative study in which we focus on the commensuration process by which promoters try to draw weather risk into the financial world. By offering a concrete description of a derivatives market as a meeting place between different metrics, our results highlight the failure of a process of commensuration - a phenomenon rarely studied empirically in the literature - and its unexpected results. Compared to existing research, we use the theoretical framework provided by Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) to enrich the literature on commensuration specifically as regards the different forms of agreement to which commensuration attempts can lead. Our results highlight the crucial role of a common interest for commensuration to succeed, and the conditions necessary for this common interest to occur. We conclude that there are limits to the thesis of financial theory, according to which all kinds of risk can be transformed into financial risk, and exchanged on financial markets.
    Keywords: commensuration, compromise, derivatives market, risk commodification, social studies of finance
    Date: 2011
  20. By: KOISSY KPEIN Sandrine
    Abstract: This work uses MVPROBIT model and MICS surveys from rural areas of 8 sub-Saharan African countries to highlight the link between household wealth and child labor. It opposes “wealth paradox” approach of Bhalotra and Heady (2003) to “luxury axiom” approach of Basu and Van (1998). Our analysis is based on the assumption of differences in the wealth’s effect according to the gender and the type of labor. The results suggest that heterogeneity among children (gender) and labor activities leads to heterogeneous rules concerning the link between child labor and household wealth.
    Keywords: child labor; schooling; luxury axiom; wealth paradox
    Date: 2012–02
  21. By: Pascaline Dupas; Sarah Green; Anthony Keats; Jonathan Robinson
    Abstract: Most people in rural Africa do not have bank accounts. In this paper, we combine experimental and survey evidence from Western Kenya to document some of the supply and demand factors behind such low levels of financial inclusion. Our experiment had two parts. In the first part, we waived the fixed cost of opening a basic savings account at a local bank for a random subset of individuals who were initially unbanked. While 63% of people opened an account, only 18% actively used it. Survey evidence suggests that the main reasons people did not begin saving in their bank accounts are that: (1) they do not trust the bank, (2) service is unreliable, and (3) withdrawal fees are prohibitively expensive. In the second part of the experiment, we provided information on local credit options and lowered the eligibility requirements for an initial small loan. Within the following 6 months, only 3% of people initiated the loan application process. Survey evidence suggests that people do not borrow because they do not want to risk losing their collateral. These results suggest that, while simply expanding access to banking services (for instance by lowering account opening fees) will benefit a minority, broader success may be unobtainable unless the quality of services is simultaneously improved. There are also challenges on the demand side, however. More work needs to be done to understand what savings and credit products are best suited for the majority of rural households.
    JEL: D14 G21 O16
    Date: 2012–02

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