nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2012‒09‒30
24 papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Bioenergy and Land Use Change By Pavel Ciaian; d'Artis Kancs; Miroslava Rajcaniova
  2. Deforestation in Brazilian private lands: An empirical assessment of land use changes within farms By David R. Heres; Ramon Arigoni Ortiz; Anil Markandya
  3. Does Agriculture Generate Local Economic Spillovers? Short-run and Long-run Evidence from the Ogallala Aquifer By Richard Hornbeck; Pinar Keskin
  4. Scenarios for the Agricultural Sector in South and East Mediterranean Countries by 2030 By Saad Belghazi
  5. A proven model for achieving localized food security and farmers benefit protection By Khan, Reza Ahmed/Md.
  6. "Quality Labels and Firm Survival in the French Cheese Industry" By Bontemps, Christophe; Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra; Simioni, Michel
  7. Competition for Land in the Global Bioeconomy By Hertel, Thomas; Jevgenijs Steinbuks; Uris Lantz Baldos
  8. Water Scarcity and Birth Outcomes in the Brazilian Semiarid By Rocha, Rudi; Soares, Rodrigo R.
  9. Some reflections on the current situation in China By Heberer, Thomas
  10. Self-employment in the developing world By Gindling, T. H.; Newhouse, David
  11. Comprehension and Risk Elicitation in the Field: Evidence from Rural Senegal By Charness, Gary; Viceisza, Angelino
  12. Robust Error Specification in a Production System By Rulon D. Pope; Jeffrey LaFrance
  13. Globalization and the changing institution for sustainability: The case of the Salmon farming industry in Chile By Iizuka, Michiko; Katz, Jorge
  14. Commodity price movements in a general equilibrium model of storage By David M. Arseneau; Sylvain Leduc
  15. Intertemporal Risk Management in Agriculture By Jesse Tack; Rulon Pope; Jeffrey LaFrance; Timothy Graciano; Scott Colby
  16. (Anti-)Coordination Problems with Scarce Water Resources By Katrin Erdlenbruch; Raphael Soubeyran; Mabel Tidball; Agnes Tomini
  17. Learning Through Noticing: Theory and Experimental Evidence in Farming By Rema Hanna; Sendhil Mullainathan; Joshua Schwartzstein
  18. Optimal harvest age considering multiple carbon pools – a comment By Bjart Holtsmark, Michael Hoel, and Katinka Holtsmark
  19. Identifying the Independent Sources of Consumption Variation By Matteo Barigozzi; Alessio Moneta
  20. Mandatory labelling, nutritional taxes and market forces: An empirical evaluation of fat policies in the French fromage blanc and yogurt market. By Olivier Allais;; Fabrice Etile;; Sebastien Lecocq
  21. Consumer evaluation of a typical Italian salami: an experimental auction approach By Gianluca Stefani; Alessio Cavicchi
  22. Technical and scale efficiency in the Italian Citrus Farming: A comparison between Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) and Data Envelopment Analysis(DEA) Models By Madau, Fabio A.
  23. Brand Name and Private Label Price Setting by a Monopoly Store By Jeffrey M. Perloff; Jeffrey LaFrance; Hayley H. Chouinard
  24. Valuing ecosystem diversity in South East Queensland: A life satisfaction approach By Christopher L Ambrey; Christopher M Fleming

  1. By: Pavel Ciaian; d'Artis Kancs; Miroslava Rajcaniova
    Abstract: This is the first paper that estimates the global land use change impact of bioenergy support policies. Applying the time-series analytical mechanisms to fuel, biofuel and the agricultural crops which are used to produce both food and bioenergy, we estimate the long-rung relationship between energy prices and the global land use change. Our results suggest that the bioenergy support policies contribute significantly to the global land use change. On the one hand, the share of agricultural crops being used for bioenergy production increases compared to food production. On the other hand, the total cultivated area increases, as the energy prices are rising.
    Keywords: Energy, bioenergy, prices, land use, biofuel support policies.
    JEL: C14 C22 C51 D58 Q11 Q13 Q42
    Date: 2012–09–12
  2. By: David R. Heres; Ramon Arigoni Ortiz; Anil Markandya
    Abstract: Within the perspective of evolving negotiations for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), the opportunity costs of deforestation are regarded as the basis for constructing a REDD mitigation cost curve. This paper presents a land-use model that measures the impact of economic and physical variables on farmers´ decisions about the allocation of their land among competing uses in Brazil. It is based on a multi-output land allocation model with agricultural land as fixed and allocatable input. For the first time, to the best of our knowledge, such a land allocation model has been estimated that explicitly separates all main competing uses for forest in Brazil – soybeans, sugarcane and pasture. Our results suggest a clear substitution effect between land allocation for forest and soybeans, and for forest and pasture. The results presented here represent crucial information for estimating the opportunity costs of deforestation at the county level in Brazil.
    Keywords: REDD; Deforestation; Brazil; Land-use model JEL Classification: C30, C51, Q11, Q23, Q24
    Date: 2012–08
  3. By: Richard Hornbeck; Pinar Keskin
    Abstract: Agricultural development may support broader economic development, though agricultural expansion may also crowd-out local non-agricultural activity. On the United States Plains, areas over the Ogallala aquifer experienced windfall agricultural gains when post-WWII technologies increased farmers' access to groundwater. Comparing counties over the Ogallala with nearby similar counties, local non-agricultural sectors experienced only short-run benefits. Despite substantial persistent agricultural gains, there was no long-run expansion of local non-agricultural sectors and there are some indications of crowd-out. With the benefit of long-run historical perspective, supporting local agricultural production does not appear to generate local economic spillovers that might justify its distortionary impacts.
    JEL: N32 N52 O10 Q10 R10
    Date: 2012–09
  4. By: Saad Belghazi
    Abstract: The paper builds predictive scenarios for the agricultural sector of eleven Mediterranean countries (Med 11), namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. First, it assesses the performance trends of the Med 11 agricultural sector with a focus on production, consumption and trade patterns, incentives, trade protection policies and trade relations with the EU and productivity dynamics and their determinants. Secondly, it presents four scenarios based on the main value chains of the agriculture sector of Med 11: animal products, fruits and vegetables, sugar and edible oil, cereals and fish and other sea products. The four scenarios are: business as usual, Mediterranean One global Player, the Euro Mediterranean Area under threat and the EU and Med 11 as Regional Player.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Prospective, East and South Mediterranean, Agricultural Trade and Incentives Policy, Growth, Productivity, Structural change
    JEL: Q11 Q17 Q18 C53
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Khan, Reza Ahmed/Md.
    Abstract: Despite efforts from government and DPs it has not been possible to ensure a rational return to the farmers on their productive efforts and solving localized food insecurity. In the above light an intervention was designed and implemented in Bangladesh since 1978 and it sustained many changes in its operational mode. Presently, taking a deeper look into the model proves it as an replicable, affordable and sustainable solution for the farmers particularly of the developing countries. The model was able to provide at least 30-50%% price premium to the farmers over the general price trends.
    Keywords: BDT = Bangladeshi Taka; Faria; Bepari = local market operators acts like collectors and wholesalers; SHOGORIP = SHOSHSHO GUDAM RIN PROKOLPO; i.e. Crop Storage Credit Program
    JEL: D2 M31 Q13 I3 Q01
    Date: 2012–09–17
  6. By: Bontemps, Christophe; Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra; Simioni, Michel
    Abstract: EU regulation on quality food products (PDO labeling) is expected to sustain competitiveness within the agricultural sector. This paper examines the impact of this policy on the survival of cheese rms over the period 1990-2006 in France. We show that such a policy (Ap- pellation d'Origine Controlee) reduces exiting risk for smaller rms. However, smaller rms still have a lower survival rate compared to larger ones that cannot be compensated by the quality label eect.
    Date: 2012–04
  7. By: Hertel, Thomas; Jevgenijs Steinbuks; Uris Lantz Baldos
    Abstract: The global land use implications of biofuel expansion have received considerable attention in the literature over the past decade. Model-based estimates of the emissions from cropland expansion have been used to assess the environmental impacts of biofuel policies. And integrated assessment models have estimated the potential for biofuels to contribute to greenhouse gas abatement over the coming century. All of these studies feature, explicitly or implicitly, competition between biofuel feed stocks and other land uses. However, the economic mechanisms governing this competition, as well as the contribution of biofuels to global land use change, have not received the close scrutiny that they deserve. The purpose of this paper is to offer a deeper look at these factors. We begin with a comparative static analysis which assesses the impact of exogenously specified forecasts of biofuel expansion over the 2006-2035 period. Global land use change is decomposed according to the three key margins of economic response: extensive supply, intensive supply, and demand. Under the International Energy Agency’s "New Policies" scenario, biofuels account for nearly one-fifth of global land use change over the 2006-2035 period. The paper also offers a comparative dynamic analysis which determines the optimal path for first and second generation biofuels over the course of the entire 21st century. In the absence of GHG regulation, the welfare-maximizing path for global land use allocates 170 Mha to biofuel feed stocks by 2100, with the associated biofuels accounting for about 30% of global liquid fuel consumption. This area expansion is somewhat diminished by expected climate change impacts on agriculture, while it is significantly increased by a moderately aggressive GHG emissions target and by advances in conversion efficiency of second generation biofuels.
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Rocha, Rudi (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IE-UFRJ)); Soares, Rodrigo R. (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of rainfall fluctuations during the gestational period on health at birth. We concentrate on the semiarid region of Northeastern Brazil to highlight the role of water scarcity as a determinant of early life health. We find that negative rainfall shocks are robustly correlated with higher infant mortality, lower birth weight, and shorter gestation periods. Mortality effects are concentrated on intestinal infections and malnutrition, and are greatly minimized when the local public health infrastructure is sufficiently developed (municipality coverage of piped water and sanitation). We also find that effects are stronger during the fetal period (2nd trimester of gestation), for children born during the dry season, and for mortality in the first 6 months of life. The results seem to be driven by water scarcity per se, and not by reduced agricultural production. Our estimates suggest that expansions in public health infrastructure would be a cost-effective way of reducing the response of infant mortality to rainfall shocks in the Brazilian semiarid.
    Keywords: water, rainfall, health, birth, infant mortality, sanitation, semiarid, Brazil
    JEL: I15 I18 H51 Q54
    Date: 2012–07
  9. By: Heberer, Thomas
    Abstract: The paper examines recent political and social developments in the People's Republic of China. It highlights some of the principle features in current Chinese politics: fragmentation of both the system and its actors; the role of the Chinese state as a developmental state; the issue of whether the party state exhibits stability and legitimacy. Furthermore, the discourses on political change within Chinese politics and intellectuals are addressed, the preconditions for a stable democracy are discussed and finally the function of the current Chinese state will be assessed. --
    Keywords: China,food security,food safety,agriculture,environmental pollution,NGOs,civil society,consumer protection,grain self-sufficiency,global food trade,waste management
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Gindling, T. H.; Newhouse, David
    Abstract: This paper analyzes heterogeneity among the self-employed in 74 developing countries, representing two-thirds of the population of the developing world. After profiling how worker characteristics vary by employment status, it classifies self-employed workers outside agriculture as"successful"or"unsuccessful"entrepreneurs, based on two measures of success: whether the worker is an employer, and whether the worker resides in a non-poor household. Four main findings emerge. First, jobs exhibit a clear pecking order, with household welfare and worker education highest for employers, followed by wage and salaried employees, non-agricultural own-account workers, non-agricultural unpaid family workers, and finally agricultural workers. Second, a substantial minority of own-account workers reside in non-poor households, suggesting that their profits are often a secondary source of household income. Third, as per capita income increases, the structure of employment shifts rapidly, first out of agriculture into unsuccessful non-agricultural self-employment, and then mainly into non-agricultural wage employment. Finally, roughly one-third of the unsuccessful entrepreneurs share similar characteristics with their successful counterparts, suggesting they have the potential to be successful but face constraints to growth. The authors conclude that although interventions such as access to credit can benefit a substantial portion of the self-employed, effectively targeting the minority of self-employed with higher growth potential is important, particularly in low-income contexts. The results also highlight the potential benefits of policies that facilitate shifts in the nature of work, first from agricultural labor into non-agricultural self-employment, and then into wage and salaried jobs.
    Keywords: Income,Labor Markets,Skills Development and Labor Force Training,Economic Theory&Research,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2012–09–01
  11. By: Charness, Gary; Viceisza, Angelino
    Abstract: In the past decade, it has become increasingly common to use simple laboratorygames and decision tasks as a device for measuring both the preferences and understanding ofrural populations in the developing world. In this paper, we report the results observed with threedistinct risk elicitation mechanisms, using samples drawn from the rural population in Senegal,West Africa. We test the understanding of and the level of meaningful responses to the typicalHolt-Laury task, to an adaptation of a simple binary mechanism pioneered by Gneezy andPotters in 1997, and to a non-incentivized willingness-to-risk scale. We find a low level ofunderstanding with the Holt-Laury task and an unlikely-to-be-accurate pattern with thewillingness-to-risk question. Our analysis indicates that the simple binary mechanism hassubstantially more predictive power than does the Holt-Laury mechanism. Our study is acautionary note regarding utilizing either relatively sophisticated risk-elicitation mechanisms ornon-incentivized questions in the rural developing world.
    Keywords: Economics, General, International Economics, Economics, Other, risk elicitation, laboratory experiments in the field, comprehension, rural Senegal
    Date: 2012–07–27
  12. By: Rulon D. Pope; Jeffrey LaFrance
    Abstract: Economists who estimate demand or supply systems are often faced with the issue of whether to estimate with shares or quantities as the dependent variables. This paper reviews the implications of making the wrong choice in the context of normalized profit functions of competitive behavior. The implication is that inconsistent estimates are obtained if one makes the wrong choice. A robust structure is proposed which nests these forms (shares or quantities) in a general system and that allows the data to suggest which form is preferable. An application to the U.S. agricultural sector follows. Our results suggest that shares and quantities are rejected in favor of an alternative functional form.
    Keywords: Netputs, robust estimation
    JEL: Q11 C51
    Date: 2012–09
  13. By: Iizuka, Michiko (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG); Katz, Jorge (Universidad de Chile)
    Abstract: The recent expansion of global demand for natural resources has created a production boom in countries endowed with natural resources. Increasing global trade and investment - globalization - offer an important opportunity for developing countries as the global flow of commodities often accompany knowledge and information to increase productivity to facilitate economic development. This positive feature of globalization has some serious drawbacks when the country is not equipped with an institution to ensure environmental sustainability. This paper sought to demonstrate this through the examination of the Chilean salmon farming case. The Chilean salmon farming industry has grown dramatically since the mid 1980s to become the number two exporter of farmed salmon in the world after Norway. The sector, however, suffered a decline in production volume due to the sanitary crisis in 2007. The case also tries to capture the on-going efforts made by the government to strengthen the institution to prevent further occurrences of environmental and sanitary crises.
    Keywords: Globalization, Environmental sustainability, Institution, Innovation, Technological change, Chile
    JEL: Q56 O20 O33 O54
    Date: 2012
  14. By: David M. Arseneau; Sylvain Leduc
    Abstract: We embed the canonical rational expectations competitive storage model into a general equilibrium framework thereby allowing the non-linear commodity price dynamics implied by the competitive storage model to interact with the broader macroeconomy. Our main result is that the endogenous movement in interest rates implied under general equilibrium enhances the effects of competitive storage on commodity prices. Compared to a model in which the real interest rate is fixed, we find that storage in general equilibrium leads to more persistence in commodity prices and somewhat lower volatility. Moreover, the frequency of stockouts is lower in general equilibrium. A key mechanism driving this result is a link between the ability of the household to smooth consumption over time and the level of storage in the stochasic equilibrium. Finally, the model is used to examine the macroeconomic effects of both biofuel subsidies for ethanol producers and, separately, subsidies designed to insulate households from high food prices.
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Jesse Tack; Rulon Pope; Jeffrey LaFrance; Timothy Graciano; Scott Colby
    Abstract: Agricultural production is subject to supply risk. Expected and realized farm outputs and output prices are unknown and unobservable when inputs are chosen. Crop and livestock production decisions are linked over time. Producers’ expectations are particularly difficult to model. This paper presents the necessary and sufficient condition to allow input demands to be specified as functions of input prices, technology, quasi-fixed inputs, and cost in place of planned/expected outputs. These are all observable when inputs are committed to production. Next we derive a flexible, exactly aggregable, economically regular econometric model of input demands. This model is consistent with any dynamic von Newman – Morgenstern expected utility function. We combine this framework with a model of the life-cycle production, investment and savings, and consumption decisions of owner/operators who face output and output price risk, and who have opportunities to invest in a conditionally risk free asset, other risky financial assets, and farm assets. The econometric framework allows for location specific technological change and production processes, cross-equation, interspatial, and intertemporal correlation among the error terms, and structural simultaneity between inputs and outputs, input and output prices, investment in durable goods used in agriculture, consumption, savings, and wealth. The result is a consistent dynamic structural model of inputs, outputs, savings, investment, and consumption under risk. We apply this model at the national-level to crop and livestock production for the years 1960-1999.
    Keywords: Aggregation, consumption, ex ante cost, expected utility, functional form, investment
    JEL: C3 D2 D8
    Date: 2012–09
  16. By: Katrin Erdlenbruch; Raphael Soubeyran; Mabel Tidball; Agnes Tomini
    Abstract: This paper deals with the interactions between farmers who can choose between two water supplies (groundwater or rainwater) which are interdependent and have different productivities. Collecting rainwater reduces the amount of water that can replenish the aquifer and allows farmers to avoid the pumping cost externality (but increases the cost of pumping groundwater). We show that multiple equilibria can exist. For a policy-maker, this immediately raises the equilibrium selection issue. This problem is worsened by the fact that the number of equilibria increases with a decrease in the recharge rate. In addition, comparative statics show that, depending on the equilibrium, a policy intervention can have opposite effects. Finally, we show that asymmetric equilibria can also exist, when one group of farmers chooses to harvest rainwater to avoid the pumping cost externality and the other group chooses to pump groundwater.
    Date: 2012–09
  17. By: Rema Hanna; Sendhil Mullainathan; Joshua Schwartzstein
    Abstract: Existing learning models attribute failures to learn to a lack of data. We model a different barrier. Given the large number of dimensions one could focus on when using a technology, people may fail to learn because they failed to notice important features of the data they possess. We conduct a field experiment with seaweed farmers to test a model of “learning through noticing”. We find evidence of a failure to notice: On some dimensions, farmers do not even know the value of their own input. Interestingly, trials show that these dimensions are the ones that farmers fail to optimize. Furthermore, consistent with the model, we find that simply having access to the experimental data does not induce learning. Instead, farmers change behavior only when presented with summaries that highlight the overlooked dimensions. We also draw out the implications of learning through noticing for technology adoption, agricultural extension, and the meaning of human capital.
    JEL: D83 J24 J43 O33
    Date: 2012–09
  18. By: Bjart Holtsmark, Michael Hoel, and Katinka Holtsmark (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: In two recent papers, Asante and Armstrong (2012) and Asante et al. (2011) considered the question of optimal harvest ages. They found that the larger are the initial pools of dead organic matter (DOM) and wood products, the shorter is the optimal rotation period. In this note, it is found that this conclusion follows from the fact that the authors ignored all release of carbon from decomposition of DOM and wood products after the time of the first harvest. When this is corrected for, the sizes of the initial stocks of DOM and wood products do not influence the optimal rotation period. Moreover, in contrast to the conclusions in the two mentioned papers, our numerical analysis indicates that inclusion of DOM in the model leads to longer, not shorter, rotation periods.
    Keywords: Dead organic matter; forestry; Faustmann; carbon
    JEL: Q23 Q54 Q42
    Date: 2012–09
  19. By: Matteo Barigozzi; Alessio Moneta
    Abstract: By representing a system of budget shares as an approximate factor model we determine its rank, i.e. the number of common functional forms, or factors and we estimate a base of the factor space by means of approximate principal components. We assume that the extracted factors span the same space of basic Engel curves representing the fundamental forces driving consumers' behaviour. We identify and estimate these curves by imposing statistical independence and by studying their dependence on total expenditure using local linear regressions. We prove consistency of the estimates. Using data from the U.K. Family Expenditure Survey from 1968 to 2006, we find evidence of three common factors which are identified as decreasing, increasing and almost constant Engel curves. The household consumption behaviour is therefore driven by three factors respectively related to necessities (e.g. food), luxuries (e.g. vehicles), and goods to which is allocated the same percentage of total budget both by rich and poor households (e.g. housing).
    Keywords: Budget Shares, Engel Curves, Approximate Factor Models, Independent Component Analysis, Local Linear Regression
    Date: 2012–09–18
  20. By: Olivier Allais;; Fabrice Etile;; Sebastien Lecocq
    Abstract: This paper evaluates and compares two popular options of nutritional policy: mandatory front-of-pack labelling and the fat tax. Using household scanner data on fromages blancs and dessert yogurts, the distribution of consumer preferences for fat and for front-of-pack fat labels are separately identiÂ…ed by exploiting an exogenous difference in labelling requirements between the two product categories. The demand estimates are then used to calibrate an oligopolistic supply model, and to evaluate the impact of public policies. In the absence of producer price response, making fat labels mandatory would reduce by 38% the fat supplied by this market to regular consuming households. An ad-valorem tax of 10% (5%) on the producer price of full-fat (half-skimmed) products has a similar impact. However, after accounting for producer price response, mandatory labels yield only a 1:5% decrease in fat purchases, as against -9% for the fat tax. This is explained by the producer price response, which neutralises up to 96% of the impact of mandatory labelling on consumer demand. This illustrates how market forces can defeat any intended effect of market-based public health actions.
    Date: 2012–07
  21. By: Gianluca Stefani (University of Florence); Alessio Cavicchi (University of Macerata)
    Abstract: <div style="text-align: justify">This paper reports results of an evaluation experiment designed to provide both hedonic scores and measurements of consumer willingness to pay (WTP), on the basis of visual inspection, tasting, and presentation of information on origin, ingredients, and production processes of typical kinds of Italian salami with pig blood as their principal component. The information on the production methods and ingredients seemed to interact negatively with the sensorial perception of the product after tasting, probably because of the presence of blood and other problematic components among the ingredients.</div>
    Keywords: hedonic scores,experimental auctions,food marketing,consumer behavior
    JEL: C91 C93 D12 Q13
    Date: 2011–12
  22. By: Madau, Fabio A.
    Abstract: This paper aims to estimate technical and scale efficiency in the Italian citrus farming. Estimation was carried out from two different approach: a non parametric and a parametric approach using a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model and a Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) model, respectively. Several studies have compared technical efficiency estimates derived from parametric and non parametric approaches, while a very small number of studies have aimed to compare scale efficiency obtained from different methodological approaches. This is one of the first attempts that aims to put on evidence possible difference in scale efficiency estimations in farming due to methods used. Empirical findings suggest that the greater portion of overall inefficiency in the sample might depend on producing below the production frontier than on operating under an inefficient scale. Furthermore, we found that the estimated technical efficiency from the SFA model is substantially at the same level of this estimated from DEA model, while the scale efficiency arisen from SFA is larger than this obtained from DEA analysis.
    Keywords: Technical efficiency; Scale efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; Citrus farming;
    JEL: C13 Q12
    Date: 2012–09
  23. By: Jeffrey M. Perloff; Jeffrey LaFrance; Hayley H. Chouinard
    Abstract: A monopoly that sells to brand-name loyal customers and to price-sensitive customers must decide whether to carry both name-brand and a private-label products and how much to charge. The monopoly may charge either more or less for the brand name if it carries a private label, and the price differential between the products is sensitive to cost and taste parameters.
    Keywords: brand name, private label, monopoly, pricing
    JEL: L2 D3 D4
    Date: 2012–09
  24. By: Christopher L Ambrey; Christopher M Fleming
    Keywords: Biodiversity, ecosystem diversity, Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), life satifaction, non-market valuation
    JEL: I31 Q51 C21 R10
    Date: 2012–10

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