nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2012‒03‒21
24 papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Philippines: Food Security versus Agricultural Exports? By Tiongco, Marites M.; Francisco, Kris A.
  2. Gender, Agricultural Commercialization, and Collective Action in Kenya By Fischer, Elisabeth; Qaim, Matin
  3. Food Price Volatility over the Last Decade in Niger and Malawi: Extent, Sources and Impact on Child Malnutrition By Giovanni Andrea Cornia; Laura Deotti; Maria Sassi
  4. Groundwater overuse and farm-level technical inefficiency: evidence from Sri Lanka By Wasantha Athukorala; Clevo Wilson
  5. Do Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices? By Ujjayant Chakravorty; Marie-Hélène Hubert; Michel Moreaux; Linda Nøstbakken
  6. Economic Contribution of the Sugarbeet Industry in Minnesota and North Dakota By Bangsund, Dean A.; Hodur, Nancy M.; Leistritz, F. Larry
  7. Improving farmers'access to agricultural insurance in India By Mahul, Olivier; Verma, Niraj; Clarke, Daniel J.
  8. The Current Situation on Farmland Values and Ownership By Duffy, Michael
  9. The economic impact of climate change on food security in Malaysia By Chuen Khee, Pek; Yet Mee, Lim; Chee Keong, Choong
  10. Index based crop insurance product design and ratemaking : the case of modified NAIS in India By Clarke, Daniel J.; Mahul, Olivier; Verma, Niraj
  11. Examining the Costs of Producing Processing Snap Beans and Green Peas in New York State By Ho, Shuay-Tsyr; Rickard, Bradley; Kikkert, Julie; Klotzbach, Kathryn; Reiners, Stephen; Smith Marc
  12. Are Foreign Aid and Remittance Inflows a Hedge against Food Price Shocks? By Jean-Louis Combes; Christian H Ebeke; Mireille Ntsama Etoundi; Thierry Yogo
  13. Determinants of health costs due to farmers’ exposure to pesticides: an empirical analysis By Wasantha Athukorala; Clevo Wilson; Tim Robinson
  14. Selling Formal Insurance to the Informally Insured By Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak; Mark Rosenzweig
  15. Price Discovery and Price Risk Management Before and After Deregulation of the South African Maize Industry By Alexander Behar
  16. Role of buffalo in international trade By Soliman, Ibrahim; Bassiony, Hala
  17. Weather based crop insurance in India By Clarke, Daniel J.; Mahul, Olivier; Rao, Kolli N.; Verma, Niraj
  18. Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in Africa By Carike Claassen; Elsabé Loots; Henri Bezuidenhout
  19. Cost of Establishment and Production of Vinifera Grapes in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, 2010 By White, Gerald B.
  20. Water Conservation versus Soil Salinity Control By Alain Ayong Le Kama; Agnès Tomini
  21. On the Environmental Effectiveness of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive By Christine Bertram, Katrin Rehdanz
  22. Combating Deforestation? – Impacts of Improved Stove Dissemination on Charcoal Consumption in Urban Senegal By Gunther Bensch; Jörg Peters
  23. Revolutionizing transport: modern infrastructure, agriculture and development in Ghana. By Jedwab, Remi; Moradi, Alexander
  24. Quality of ski resorts and competition between the Emilian Apennines and Altipiani Trentini. An estimate of the hedonic price By Alessandrini, Sergio

  1. By: Tiongco, Marites M.; Francisco, Kris A.
    Abstract: <p>This paper tries to characterize the current situation in the Philippines with respect to the goal of the Aquino administration to be food secure and self-sufficient in rice by 2016. Specifically, it aims to address the question: "Should the government continue its efforts in increasing rice productivity to achieve food self-sufficiency, or should it focus instead on increasing the production of high-value crops for exports, in the aim of achieving food security?"</p><p>The study finds that the Philippines is far from being food secure. Looking at the food-trade balance at the macro level, it was noted that food security has deteriorated through time due to increased imports. At the micro level, several indicators of food self-sufficiency and food security were identified. A negative correlation between food self-sufficiency and all four indicators of food security namely: 1) value of food consumption, 2) share of nonstaples, 3) share of animal products, and 4) proportion of households with sufficient food, was established with respect to the relationship of food security, food self-sufficiency, and well-being. Rice self-sufficiency on the other hand, was found to be positively correlated with food security and per capita expenditure, which is a measure of standard of living.</p><p>Moreover, the paper looked into the relationship of agricultural exports on food security. In particular, it examined the effect of expanding the production of high-value crops for export, and its possible contribution to food insecurity, in terms of reducing the domestic food production. Results revealed that the expansion of export crop production will not displace crop land, nor will it have a significant effect on staple crop availability or prices.</p>
    Keywords: Philippines, food security, food self-sufficiency, rice self-sufficiency, agricultural exports
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Fischer, Elisabeth; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: With the commercialization of agriculture, women are increasingly disadvantaged because of persistent gender-disparities in access to productive resources. Farmer collective action that intends to improve smallholder access to markets and technology could potentially accelerate this trend. Here, we use survey data of small-scale banana producers in Kenya to investigate the gender implications of recently established farmer groups. Traditionally, banana has been a women’s crop in Kenya. Our results confirm that the groups contribute to increasing male control over banana. While male control over banana revenues does not affect household food security, it has a negative marginal effect on dietary quality. We demonstrate that the negative gender implications of farmer groups can be reduced or avoided when women are group members themselves. In the poorest income segments, group membership even seems to have a positive effect on female-controlled income share. Some policy implications towards gender mainstreaming of farmer collective action are discussed.
    Keywords: gender, collective action, market access, agricultural technology, household food security and nutrition, Kenya, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, D71, J16, O12, O13, O31, Q13,
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: Giovanni Andrea Cornia (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche); Laura Deotti; Maria Sassi (Universita' degli Studi di Pavia)
    Abstract: Recently, considerable attention has rightly been paid to the nutritional impact of the sharp hikes in international food prices which took place in 2007-8 and, again, in 2010-11. While sacrosanct, this growing focus has somewhat obscured the effect of other factors which do affect malnutrition in the Sub-Saharan Africa context, i.e. the long term impact of agricultural policies, huge and persistent seasonal variation in domestic food prices, and the impact of famines which still regularly stalk the continent. This paper focuses on the relative weight of these factors in explaining child malnutrition (proxied by the number of child admissions to feeding centers) in Malawi and Niger, two prototypical countries in the region. The analysis shows that the drivers of domestic food staple prices and of the ensuing child malnutrition have to be found not only – or not primarily – in the changes of international food prices but mainly in the impact of agricultural policies on food production, the persistence of a strong food price seasonality, and recurrent and often poorly attended famines. Indeed, even during years of declines in international food prices, these factors often exert a huge upward pressures on domestic food prices and child malnutrition.
    Keywords: Food prices, Famines, Seasonality, Food Policy, Child malnutrition, Niger, Malawi
    JEL: I38 Q13 Q18
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Wasantha Athukorala (QUT); Clevo Wilson (QUT)
    Abstract: Extraction of groundwater for onion and other cash crop production has been increasing rapidly during the last two decades in the dry zone areas of Sri Lanka. As a result of overuse, the quantity of available groundwater is gradually declining, while water quality is deteriorating. The deteriorating water quality has a negative impact on agricultural production, especially for crops (such as onions) that are sensitive to increases in salinity levels. This issue is examined with respect to onion production in Sri Lanka. A stochastic frontier production function (SFPF) is used, in which technical efficiency and the determinants of inefficiencies are estimated simultaneously. The results show that farmers are overusing groundwater in their onion cultivation which has resulted in decreasing yields. Factors contributing to inefficiency in production are also identified. The results have important policy implications.
    Keywords: Agriculture, groundwater recharge, salinization, Sri Lanka
    Date: 2012–03–14
  5. By: Ujjayant Chakravorty (University of Alberta and Toulouse School of Economics (INRA, LERNA)); Marie-Hélène Hubert (University of Rennes 1 - CREM, (UMR 6211 CNRS)); Michel Moreaux (Toulouse School of Economics (IDEI, LERNA)); Linda Nøstbakken (Department of Marketing, Business Economics and Law, University of Alberta)
    Abstract: Biofuels have received a lot of attention as a substitute for gasoline in transportation. They have been blamed universally for recent increases in world food prices. Both the United States and the European Union have adopted mandatory blending policies that require a sharp increase in their use. Many studies have shown that these energy mandates may have a large (30-60%) impact on food prices. We develop a model that takes into account dietary preferences - the fact that with rising incomes, people in the developing world will consume more meat and dairy products, which are land-intensive relative to cereals. On the supply side, we allow for conversion of new lands to farming. We show that about half the increase in food prices can be attributed to population growth and dietary changes, and only the remaining come from biofuel policy. Moreover, with endogenous land supply, food price increases are likely to be much smaller than predicted by other studies. Finally, these biofuel policies do not lead to any reduction in carbon emissions.
    Keywords: Clean Energy, Food Demand, Land Quality, Renewable Fuel Standards, Transportation
    JEL: Q24 Q32 Q42
    Date: 2012–03
  6. By: Bangsund, Dean A.; Hodur, Nancy M.; Leistritz, F. Larry
    Abstract: Agricultural industries in small geographical areas with limited acreage tend to be overlooked by those not associated with the growing region or industry. Sugarbeets continue to be produced in a relatively small geographic area and on relatively limited acreage in Minnesota and North Dakota. These factors, along with continued debate over policies affecting domestic sugar industries and recent industry expansions, help justify a continued assessment of the economic importance of the sugarbeet industry to the regional economy. Revenues from sugarbeet production and expenditures by processors to Minnesota and North Dakota entities in fiscal 2011 represented the direct economic impacts from the industry. Expenditure information was provided by sugarbeet processing and marketing cooperatives. Secondary economic impacts were estimated using input-output analysis. The sugarbeet industry, which included the growing regions and processing plants located in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota and west central Minnesota planted 652,741 acres and processed 15.5 million tons of sugarbeets in fiscal 2011. Production and processing activities generated $1.7 billion in direct economic impacts. Gross business volume (direct and secondary effects) from the sugarbeet industry was estimated at $4.9 billion. Direct and secondary employment in the industry was 2,473 and 18,830 full-time equivalent jobs, respectively. The industry paid $15.4 million in property taxes and was estimated to generate another $105 million in sales and use, personal income, and corporate income taxes in Minnesota and North Dakota. In real terms, gross business volume of the sugarbeet industry in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota has increased 185 percent since 1987. Increases in business activity from the industry have resulted from increased production, processing, and marketing activities, as well as relatively high sugar prices during fiscal 2011.
    Keywords: sugarbeet industry, North Dakota, Minnesota, economic impact, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Production Economics,
    Date: 2012–02
  7. By: Mahul, Olivier; Verma, Niraj; Clarke, Daniel J.
    Abstract: India's crop insurance program is the world's largest with 25 million farmers insured. However, issues in design, particularly related to delays in claims settlement, have led to 95 million farmer households not being covered, despite significant government subsidy. To address this and other problems, the Government of India is piloting a modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme, a market-based scheme with involvement from the private sector. Compared with the existing scheme, the new program has a design that can offer more timely, claim settlement, less distortion in the allocation of government subsidies and cross-subsidies between farmer groups, and reduced basis risk. Implementation and technical challenges lie ahead which can be addressed but will require a comprehensive strategy, innovative solutions, and timely roll out. This paper describes and analyzes both programs, and discusses lessons learned in developing and implementing the new program.
    Keywords: Climate Change Economics,Insurance&Risk Mitigation,Hazard Risk Management,Debt Markets,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2012–03–01
  8. By: Duffy, Michael
    Abstract: Robust farm incomes have spurred farmland values to their strongest levels since the 1970s. Despite strong farmer and investor demand, most land owners, especially aging farmers are reluctant to sell farmland. Generally, current land economic fundamentals are strong and highly volatile market conditions will influence farmland values and farm ownership trends.
    Keywords: Farmland values; farmland ownership; speculative bubble; land purchases
    JEL: Q Q15
    Date: 2011–07–04
  9. By: Chuen Khee, Pek; Yet Mee, Lim; Chee Keong, Choong
    Abstract: This study estimates the economic impact of climate change on food security in Malaysia. The contingent valuation technique is employed on 456 randomly selected households in the vicinities of Selangor Darul Ehsan. The study finds that climate change mitigation programmes to ensure food security are important. The public is willing to pay extra rice price in substitution of a rice subsidy reduction impact for the mitigation programmes. More specifically, the study ascertains that households on average are willing to pay 25% more for rice in replace of the subsidy reduction impact. This value conveys a total economic value of MYR557 million per annum, based on the total annual rice consumption of Malaysians who are willing to pay for the rice subsidy reduction impact. This substantial value may help give directions to the policy makers to draft more responsible food security and climate change mitigation bills in the future.
    Keywords: willingness-to-pay; climate change; food security; contingent valuation
    JEL: N5
    Date: 2011–12–01
  10. By: Clarke, Daniel J.; Mahul, Olivier; Verma, Niraj
    Abstract: Designing and rating insurance products requires both science and judgment. In developing and emerging economies, actuarial procedures must be robust and implementable, as well as offering a sufficient degree of transparency and flexibility so as to allow expert judgment to be incorporated. This paper outlines an approach to designing and rating a portfolio of index insurance products that uses both temporal and spatial aspects of the data to increase the efficiency of statistical estimates. The approach has formed the basis for the design and ratemaking methodology implemented by the Agriculture Insurance Company of India for the modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme, which was initiated by the Government of India in late 2010.
    Keywords: Insurance&Risk Mitigation,Debt Markets,Hazard Risk Management,Emerging Markets,Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress
    Date: 2012–03–01
  11. By: Ho, Shuay-Tsyr; Rickard, Bradley; Kikkert, Julie; Klotzbach, Kathryn; Reiners, Stephen; Smith Marc
    Abstract: It has been a long time since we have seen a cost of production study for horticultural crops, notably processing vegetable crops, in New York State; however, research in this arena is completed in many other states and continues to offer useful information to industry stakeholders. This type of information is especially important in the processing vegetable sector in New York State as it has seen substantial acreage decreases in recent years. Here we develop a survey to collect data from processing vegetable growers in New York State and use it to calculate costs and net returns of producing snap beans and green peas. Our results indicate that the average cost of producing snap beans in New York State is $568 per acre and is $563 per acre for green peas; the actual producer costs drop to $402 and $361 for beans and peas if the processor pays for expenses related to seeds, pesticides, and harvesting. Lastly, we discuss some other issues—consumer demand, farm policy, and processing capacity—that may be negatively impacting markets for processing beans and peas in New York State, and suggest that further attention needs to be given to these issues to fully understand the future of the processing vegetable sector in New York State.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Break-even analysis, Cost of production, Crop budgets, New York State, Processing vegetables, Profitability analysis, Survey,
    Date: 2011–12
  12. By: Jean-Louis Combes; Christian H Ebeke; Mireille Ntsama Etoundi; Thierry Yogo
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of foreign aid and remittance inflows in the mitigation of the effects of food price shocks. Using a large sample of developing countries and mobilising dynamic panel data specifications, the econometric results yield two important findings. First, remittance and aid inflows significantly dampen the effect of food price shocks in the most vulnerable countries. Second, a lower remittance-to-GDP ratio is required in order to fully absorb the effects of food price shocks compared to the corresponding aid-to-GDP ratio.
    Date: 2012–03–02
  13. By: Wasantha Athukorala (QUT); Clevo Wilson (QUT); Tim Robinson (QUT)
    Abstract: Pesticide spraying by farmers has an adverse impact on their health. However, in studies to date examining farmers' exposure to pesticides, the costs of ill-health and their determinants have been based on information provided by farmers themselves. Some doubt has therefore been cast on the reliability of these estimates. In this study, we address this by conducting surveys among two groups of farmers who use pesticides on a regular basis. The first group is made up of farmers who perceive that their ill-health is due to exposure to pesticides and have obtained at least some form of treatment (described in this paper as the 'general farmer group'). The second group is composed of farmers whose ill-health has been diagnosed by doctors and who have been treated in hospital for exposure to pesticides (described here as the 'hospitalised farmer group'). Cost comparisons are made between the two groups of farmers. Regression analysis of the determinants of health costs show that the most important determinants of medical costs for both samples are the defensive expenditure, the quantity of pesticides used per acre per month, frequency of pesticide use and number of pesticides used per hour per day. The results have important policy implications.
    Keywords: Pesticides, agriculture, cost of illness, Sri Lanka
    Date: 2012–03–14
  14. By: Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak (Economic Growth Center, Yale University); Mark Rosenzweig (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)
    Abstract: Unpredictable rainfall is an important risk for agricultural activity, and farmers in developing countries often receive incomplete insurance from informal risk-sharing networks. We study the demand for, and effects of, offering formal index-based rainfall insurance through a randomized experiment in an environment where the informal risk sharing network can be readily identified and richly characterized: sub-castes in rural India. A model allowing for both idiosyncratic and aggregate risk shows that informal networks lower the demand for formal insurance only if the network indemnifies against aggregate risk, but not if its primary role is to insure against farmer-specific losses. When formal insurance carries basis risk (mismatches between payouts and actual losses due to the remote location of the rainfall gauge), informal risk sharing that covers idiosyncratic losses enhance the benefits of index insurance. Formal index insurance enables households to take more risk even in the presence of informal insurance. We find substantial empirical support of these nuanced predictions of the model by conducting the experiment (randomizing both index insurance offers, and the locations of rainfall gauges) on castes for whom we have a rich history of group responsiveness to household and aggregate rainfall shocks.
    Keywords: index insurance, risk sharing, basis risk
    JEL: O17 O13 O16
    Date: 2012–02
  15. By: Alexander Behar
    Abstract: The withdrawal of the Maize Board in 1996 meant that farmers could no longer rely on its pre-planting price or “voorskot†for price discovery and price risk management. Some have claimed (UNCTAD, 2007) that the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX) can provide these functions. We test this claim and analyse the implications of it. To do so, we build on an acreage response model developed earlier by Chavas and Holt (1990) by allowing for a futures market as well as accounting for farmer heterogeneity and the relative impact of price risk and yield risk. We first establish farmers’ responsiveness to risk by determining their risk aversion and, more specifically, whether they exhibit decreasing aggregate risk aversion (DARA). We find that farmers are risk averse and display positive wealth effects, which may be due to DARA. We can say little about how farmers have reacted to the price discovery function of expected prices both before and after the withdrawal of the Maize Board. However, we can conclude that farmers have responded less to price risk post-1996, even though prices were more volatile during this period. This supports UNCTAD’s (2007) claim. Combined with the finding of positive wealth effects the policy implication is that an improvement in the financial position of farmers as well as their access to futures markets can help reduce the impact and disutility of risk and, hence, improve their welfare without the need for regulation.
    JEL: Q11 Q13 Q18 C33
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Soliman, Ibrahim; Bassiony, Hala
    Abstract: Although buffalo populations expand in 43 courtiers in the world, only four countries are producing more than 98% of the world buffalo milk in 2007 and around 73% of the world buffalo meat in the same year. These are China, India, Pakistan, and Egypt. Egypt is almost the only country in Africa that raises buffalo. There was a growth rate in the number of milking buffaloes and the percentage of milking buffaloes in the total stock is around 44%. The average annual milk yield per head increased from 957 kilograms in 1991 to about 1394 in 2007, at an annual growth rate 3%. There was an increase in the number of slaughtered animals at 1.5% a year, associated with an increase in the average carcass weight from 133 Kg to 174 Kg at annual rate of 1.9%. The buffaloes in Africa produce 50% of milk and 42% of red meat. The buffalo systems recognize higher profitability and return to investment, and lower net production costs of milk (4% fat), than both local and exotic cattle breeds. Egypt has apparent comparative advantage in producing milk rather than meat from buffalo. Therefore, the development plan should focus upon raising buffalo milk productivity, making meat production as a secondary joint product. Buffalo production is an approach towards rural development. Rural women have a major role in either decision making or labor share of buffalo enterprising. The progressive buffalo farms showed potential productive and reproductive performances. They are nucleus farms providing the traditional farms with improved genetic makeup
    Keywords: Comparative advantage; Buffalo production systems; Rural development; Progressive farms
    JEL: O1 Q17
    Date: 2011–04–25
  17. By: Clarke, Daniel J.; Mahul, Olivier; Rao, Kolli N.; Verma, Niraj
    Abstract: The weather index insurance market in India is the world's largest, having transitioned from small-scale and scattered pilots to a large-scale weather based crop insurance program covering more than 9 million farmers. This paper provides a critical overview of this market, including a review of indices used for insurance purposes and a description and analysis of common approaches to design and ratemaking. Products should be designed based on sound agronomic principles and further investments are needed both in quantifying the level of basis risk in existing products, and developing enhanced products with lower basis risk. In addition to pure weather indexed products, hybrid products that combine both area yield and weather indices seem promising, with the potential to combine the strengths of the individual indices. A portfolio approach to pricing products, such as that offered by Empirical Bayes Credibility Theory, can be significantly more efficient than the standalone pricing approaches typically employed in the Indian market. Legislation for index insurance products, including consumer protection legislation, should be further enhanced, for example by requiring disclosure of claim payments that each product would have made in the last ten years. The market structure for weather based crop insurance products could better reward long-term development of improved product designs through product standardization, longer term contracts, or separating the roles of product design and delivery.
    Keywords: Climate Change Economics,Debt Markets,Insurance&Risk Mitigation,Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress,Hazard Risk Management
    Date: 2012–03–01
  18. By: Carike Claassen; Elsabé Loots; Henri Bezuidenhout
    Abstract: The eyes of the world have, in recent years, been steadfastly focused on China’s economic progress. As China has in recent years emerged as a major player on the world economic stage, its growing relations with other developing regions received much attention. Of particular note is the way in which Sino-African relations have increased since 2000. This paper aims to put Chinese FDI in Africa into perspective and provide some answers on the nature and possible impact of these flows to the continent. The research discloses that China’s outward FDI to Africa is concentrated in diversified, medium growth economic performers, with Southern Africa being the most popular regions for Chinese outward FDI. A literature survey on Chinese investment deals concluded in Africa demonstrates a definite Chinese interest in mining, oil and infrastructure in Africa. The empirical analysis of Chinese FDI in Africa reveals that agricultural land, market size and oil are important determinants of Chinese FDI. Though agricultural land and oil conform to the general notion of resource-driven Chinese FDI in Africa, the fact that market size is important indicates that Chinese investment is not solely resource-driven. As regards the possibility that Chinese FDI could positively contribute towards economic growth in Africa, causality tests conclude that the relationship between African GDP and Chinese FDI is bi-directional, while uni-directional relationships were established between Chinese FDI and African infrastructure and corruption, respectively.
    JEL: F21 O16
    Date: 2011
  19. By: White, Gerald B.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries,
    Date: 2011–07
  20. By: Alain Ayong Le Kama; Agnès Tomini
    Abstract: This paper tackles the increasingly significant problem of irrigation-induced soil salinity within a groundwater management model. Irrigation can result not only in heavier salt concentrations, but also in the removal of salt from the soil through return flows. Given these contradictory observations, we are interested in the effects on soil salt concentration if irrigation efficiency is improved. We develop a model of salt concentration patterns in both soil and groundwater. We introduce a negative externality to the production process by assuming that soil degradation due to higher soil salinity affects total factor productivity. Within this framework, we show that in the presence of this externality, increasing irrigation efficiency can lead to higher or lower soil salt concentration, depending on the social cost of transferring salt from one reservoir to another.
    Keywords: Groundwater Management, Optimal Control of Water Consumption, Soil Salinity
    JEL: Q24 Q25 C61 D61
    Date: 2012
  21. By: Christine Bertram, Katrin Rehdanz
    Abstract: Marine and coastal ecosystems – and thus the benefits they create for humans – are subject to increasing pressures and competing usages. For this reason, the European Union (EU) adopted the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), which is to guide future maritime policy in the EU and aims at achieving or maintaining a good environmental status (GES) of the European seas by 2020. To this end, the MSFD requires the development of improvement measures, which have to be assessed inter alia by examining their cost-effectiveness and by carrying out cost-benefit analysis (CBA) before their implementation. In this paper, we investigate the applicability of environmental CBA in the marine context and identify and discuss problems that may hamper the environmental effectiveness of the MSFD. For example, marine ecosystem services are much less tangible than terrestrial ecosystem services. This implies greater challenges for the quantification of societal benefits in a marine context. One finding is that the limitations of environmental valuation methods regarding their ability to capture the whole total economic value of improvement measures are a potential source of problems, as the MSFD allows countries to disregard measures with disproportionately high costs. The trans-boundary nature of the main European seas adds to the complexity of the valuation task, e.g. due to the danger that benefits that occur outside of national territories are neglected. Moreover, the current state of knowledge on the functioning of complex marine ecosystems and the links to socio-economic impacts and human well-being seems insufficient to meet the MSFD requirements
    Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis, ecosystem services, environmental valuation, EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Europe
    JEL: Q51 Q53 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2012–03
  22. By: Gunther Bensch; Jörg Peters
    Abstract: With 2.7 billion people relying on woodfuels for cooking in developing countries, the dissemination of improved cooking stoves (ICS) is frequently considered an effective instrument to combat deforestation particularly in arid countries. This paper evaluates the impacts of an ICS dissemination project in urban Senegal on charcoal consumption using data collected among 624 households. The virtue of our data is that it allows for rigorously estimating charcoal savings by accounting for both household characteristics and meal-specific cooking patterns. We find average savings of 25 percent per dish. In total, the intervention reduces the Senegalese charcoal consumption by around 1 percent.
    Keywords: Impact evaluation; energy access; cooking fuels; deforestation; Africa
    JEL: O13 O22 Q41 Q56
    Date: 2011–12
  23. By: Jedwab, Remi; Moradi, Alexander
    Abstract: We study the impact of colonial investments in modern transportation in- frastructure on agriculture and development in Ghana. Two railway lines were built between 1901 and 1923 to connect the coast to mining areas and the large hinterland city of Kumasi. This unintendedly opened vast expanses of tropical forest to cocoa cultivation, allowing Ghana to become the world's largest producer. Using data at a very fine spatial level, we find a strong effect of railroad connectivity on cocoa production in 1927, generating rents in the order of 4.5% of GDP. We show that the economic boom in cocoa-producing areas was associated with demographic growth and urbanization. We find no effect for lines that were not built yet, and lines that were planned but never built. Lastly, railway construction had a persistent impact: railway districts are more developed today despite a complete displacement of rail by other means of transport
    Date: 2012–03
  24. By: Alessandrini, Sergio
    Abstract: We use the hedonic framework to estimate and simulate the hedonic ticket prices of 19 ski resorts in the Emilian Apennines and Altipiani Trentini. To do so, we combine data on lift facilities and slopes from several sources as well as climatic data and characteristics of the ski resorts over the 2008‐2011 winter seasons. Hedonic linear and logarithmic regression models are estimated for weekdays and weekends ticket prices. Our robust regression of changes in hedonic prices with respect to the characteristic of the ski resorts yield precise and consistent estimates of positive effects on ticket prices. We find that willingness to pay (WTP) for the length of winter season tends to be higher than transport capacity, length and the altitude of the slopes or the other characteristic of the chairlifts and ski runs. Then, we use our estimates to predict the ticket price level as a measure of the quality of the ski resort. We found that the perception of skiers is very selective and their choices are based on the characteristic of the ski resort.
    Keywords: Hedonic price; ski resorts; Emilian Apennines; predicted prices
    JEL: C3 D4 R5
    Date: 2012–02–02

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