New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2012‒12‒22
nineteen papers chosen by

  1. Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Africa: An Overview By Linda Kleemann
  2. Impacts of Agricultural Extension on Crop Productivity, Poverty and Vulnerability: Evidence from Uganda By Md. Faruq Hasan; Katsushi S. Imai; Takahiro Sato
  3. A Supply-Response Model Under Invariant Risk Preferences By Robert Chambers; Margarita Genius; Vangelis Tzouvelekas
  4. Agricultura orgánica y desarrollo: un análisis comparativo entre países de América Latina By Sofía Boza Martínez
  5. Incomplete, slow, and asymmetric price transmission in ten product markets of Bolivia By Varela, Gonzalo J.
  6. The Calorie Consumption Puzzle in India: An Empirical Investigation By Deepanker Basu; Amit Basole
  7. Does Famine Matter For Aggregate Adolescent Human Capital Acquisition In Sub-Saharan Africa? By Julius A. Agbor and Gregory N. Price
  8. Does sharecropping affect productivity and long-term investment ? evidence from West Bengal’s tenancy reforms By Deininger, Klaus; Jin, Songqing; Yadav, Vandana
  9. Climate, ecosystem resilience and the slave trade. By James Fenske; Namrata Kala
  10. Does a renewable fuel standard for biofuels reduce climate costs? By Mads Greaker, Michael Hoel and Knut Einar Rosendahl
  11. National Data to Inform Childhood Obesity Prevention Strategies: Beverage, Dietary, and Activity Practices at Home and School. New Haven, CT: Rudd Center for Food Policy, Yale University By Ronette Briefel
  12. Regulatory Transparency in Multilateral Agreements Controlling Exports of Tropical Timber, E-Waste and Conflict Diamonds By OECD
  13. Urban Working-Class Food Consumption and Nutrition in Britain in 1904 By Andrew Newell; Ian Gazeley
  14. A Method for Assessing Food Security Information System By Temel, Tugrul; Kinlay, Dorjee
  15. Lifestyle Choices and Societal Behavior Changes as Local Climate Strategy By Mohanty, Brahmanand; Scherfler, Martin; Devatha, Vikram
  16. Does Tourism Eco-Certification Pay? Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Program By Blackman, Allen; Naranjo, María Angélica; Robalino, Juan; Alpízar, Francisco; Rivera, Jorge
  17. The Potential Contribution of the Shipping Sector to an Efficient Reduction of Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions By Nadine Heitmann; Sonja Peterson
  18. The Costs of Agglomeration: Land Prices in French Cities By Combes, Pierre-Philippe; Duranton, Gilles; Gobillon, Laurent
  19. Are Fruit and Vegetable Stamp Policies Cost-Effective?. By Dallongeville, Jean; Dauchet, Luc; de Mouzon, Olivier; Réquillart, Vincent; Soler, Louis-Georges

  1. By: Linda Kleemann
    Abstract: The development of the agricultural sector and the improvement of the food security situation are seen as essential components to sustainable development in Africa. However, continuing population growth, impacts of climate change and environmental degradation add to an unprecedented combination of pressures that threaten existing efforts and solutions. This article discusses the challenges of meeting the food security needs in a sustainable way. Due to its involvement of all three dimensions of sustainable development, economic, social and ecological, we argue that organic farming could be one possible approach to create a more sustainable agricultural system
    Keywords: sustainability, organic agriculture, food security
    JEL: O13 Q01 Q56
    Date: 2012–12
  2. By: Md. Faruq Hasan (Department of Agricultural Extension, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Bangladesh); Katsushi S. Imai (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester (UK) and RIEB, Kobe University (Japan)); Takahiro Sato (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)
    Abstract: The present study examines whether agricultural extension improves household crop productivity, reduces poverty as well as vulnerability in rural Uganda drawing upon Uganda National Panel Survey data in 2009-10. We first estimate household crop productivity using stochastic frontier analysis that can allow for stochastic shocks in the production function. Then, the effect of different types of agricultural extension programmes on the crop productivity is estimated by treatment effects model which controls for the sample selection associated with household participation in agricultural extension. In this model, the distance to agricultural extension service centre is used as an instrument for participation in agricultural extension. It is found that household crop productivity was significantly raised by household participation in all types of agricultural extension programs except NGO programs, while household expenditure per capita was also significantly increased by participation in most cases. This is consistent with the central objectives of agricultural extension to improve productivity and reduce poverty. Further evidence is provided on the role of extension in reducing vulnerability as expected poverty associated with extension programs of NAADS, large farmers and other types of extension service providers.
    Keywords: Agricultural Extension, Poverty, Vulnerability, Treatment Effects Model, Uganda
    JEL: C31 I32 N57 O13
    Date: 2012–12
  3. By: Robert Chambers (University of Maryland); Margarita Genius (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece); Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: In this article we first develop a theoretically consistent supply-response model for producers with invariant preferences facing price risk, and then we empirically apply the model for a group of Cretan olive-oil producers. For doing so, we estimate a Generalized Leontief cost function and we use the price distribution historically faced by individual farmers to induce three di erent representations of price risk corresponding to the second, third and fourth lp norms. These risk measures are combined with the estimated cost-structure to provide three separate representations of the ecient frontier for the representative producer. Empirical results suggest that, regardless of risk measure used, all farmers curtail production in managing price risk.
    Keywords: price risk; invariant risk preferences; producer responses; Cretan olive-oil producers
    JEL: C33 C22 D81 Q11
    Date: 2012–11–04
  4. By: Sofía Boza Martínez (Universidad de Chile)
    Abstract: In recent years, both the number of organic agriculture hectares and the income generated by the consumption of organic food have increased worldwide. Latin America hasn’t been out of this tendency. As a consequence, it is relevant to define what would be the most appropriate strategic lines for ensuring the future progress of organic farming. This paper aims to achieve that objective through a comparative analysis of the organic farming sector evolution in four Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica). In order to do this, we study three indicators groups on a cross-country analysis. Those groups are: i) general characterization of the sector, ii) level of regulative development and iii) public and associative support. The main result of this paper is that the consolidation of participatory networks formed by agents involved in the sector is very important for development of the organic farming industry. Even in the absence of domestic legislation, these networks facilitate the balanced growth of organic farming which, in turn, supports the achievement of broader goals in development.
    Keywords: Organic farming, certification, trade, Latin America
    JEL: Q01 Q16 Q57
    Date: 2012–11–01
  5. By: Varela, Gonzalo J.
    Abstract: With food prices on the rise, understanding the transmission of price shocks, both internationally and domestically, is central for trade policy analysis. This paper examines spatial market integration and its determinants for ten key food products in Bolivia, across the four most important cities, and with the world, over the period 1991-2008. Within Bolivia, markets for onions, chicken, sugar, and to a lower extent for potatoes, cooking oil, wheat flour, and rice are integrated. However, only chicken, sugar, cooking oil, and rice are integrated with world markets, with incomplete and slow transmission. The perennial result of asymmetric price adjustment to foreign shocks also holds for Bolivia: domestic prices respond faster when the world price increases than when it decreases. This points to a perennial recommendation: the importance of stimulating competitive practices to avoid welfare redistribution due to imperfect competition. Infrastructure improvements will also contribute to accessible food prices for the poor.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Access to Markets,Emerging Markets,Food&Beverage Industry,Transport Economics Policy&Planning
    Date: 2012–12–01
  6. By: Deepanker Basu (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Amit Basole (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: Over the past four decades, India has witnessed a paradoxical trend: average per capita calorie intake has declined even as real per capita monthly expenditure has increased over time. Since cross sectional evidence suggests a robust positive relationship between the two variables, the trend emerges as a major puzzle. The main explanations that have been offered in the literature to address the puzzle are: rural impoverishment, relative price changes, decline in calorie needs, diversification of diets, a squeeze on the food budget due to rising expenditures on nonfood essentials, and decline in subsistence consumption (due to commercialization). Using a panel data set of 28 Indian states and the national capital territory of Delhi over four time periods (1993–94, 1999–00, 2004–05 and 2009–10), we test for these alternative explanations. Our results suggest that the puzzle can be explained by a combination of the following three factors: a food budget squeeze, declining subsistence consumption and diversification of diets. We do not find evidence of a strong effect of declining calorie needs. JEL Categories: O1; I130.
    Keywords: calorie consumption puzzle, India, panel data.
    Date: 2012–09
  7. By: Julius A. Agbor and Gregory N. Price
    Abstract: To the extent that in utero and childhood malnutrition negatively affects later stage mental and physical health, it can possibly constrain later stage human capital acquisition, which is an important driver of economic growth. This paper considers the impact of famine on aggregate adolescent human capital formation in Sub-Saharan Africa. We parameterize a joint adolescent human capital and food nutrition production function to estimate the effects of famine on primary school completion rates of individuals age 15 - 19. Mixed fixed and random coefficient parameter estimates for 32 Sub-Saharan African countries between 1980 - 2010 reveal that primary school completion rates of adolescents are proportional to the quantity of food and nutrition produced during childhood and in utero. This suggests that declines in food production and nutrition associated with famine in Sub-Saharan Africa have large negative effects on the acquisition of human capital by adolescents and on long-run material living standards. Our findings also suggest that policy makers in Sub-Saharan Africa should prioritize food security policies that prevent food shortages and famines, which would increase long-run economic growth and material living standards.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Famine, Nutrition, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: C33 I15 I25 O10 O15 O55 Q18
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Deininger, Klaus; Jin, Songqing; Yadav, Vandana
    Abstract: Although transfer of agricultural land ownership through land reform had positive impacts on productivity, investment, and political empowerment in many cases, institutional arrangements in West Bengal -- which made tenancy heritable and imposed a prohibition on subleasing -- imply that early land reform benefits may not be sustained and gains from this policy remain well below potential. Data from a listing of 96,000 households in 200 villages, complemented by a detailed survey of 1,800 owner-cum tenants, point toward binding policy constraints and large contemporaneous inefficiency of share tenancy that is exacerbated by strong disincentives to investment. A conservative estimate puts the efficiency losses from such arrangements in any period at 25 percent.
    Keywords: Political Economy,Labor Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Debt Markets,Municipal Housing and Land
    Date: 2012–12–01
  9. By: James Fenske; Namrata Kala
    Abstract: African societies exported more slaves in colder years. Lower temperatures reduced mortality and raised agricultural yields, lowering slave supply costs. Our results help explain African participation in the slave trade, which predicts adverse outcomes today. We use an annual panel of African temperatures and port-level slave exports to show that exports declined when local temperatures were warmer than normal. This result is strongest where African ecosystems are least resilient to climate change. Cold weather shocks at the peak of the slave trade predict lower economic activity today. We support our interpretation using the histories of Whydah, Benguela, and Mozambique.
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Mads Greaker, Michael Hoel and Knut Einar Rosendahl (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Recent contributions have questioned whether biofuels policies actually lead to emissions reductions, and thus lower climate costs. In this paper we make two contributions to the literature. First, we study the market effects of a renewable fuel standard. Opposed to most previous studies we model the supply of fossil fuels taking into account that fossil fuels is a non-renewable resource. Second, we model emissions from land use change explicitly when we evaluate the climate effects of the renewable fuel standard. We find that extraction of fossil fuels most likely will decline initially as a consequence of the standard. Thus, if emissions from biofuels are sufficiently low, the standard will have beneficial climate effects. Furthermore, we find that the standard tends to reduce total fuel (i.e., oil plus biofuels) consumption initially. Hence, even if emissions from biofuels are substantial, climate costs may be reduced. Finally, if only a subset of countries introduce a renewable fuel standard, there will be carbon leakage to the rest of the world. However, climate costs may decline as global extraction of fossil fuels is postponed.
    Keywords: Biofuels; Non-renewable resources; Land-use changes; Climate costs
    JEL: H23 Q30 Q42 Q54
    Date: 2012–12
  11. By: Ronette Briefel
    Keywords: Childhood Obesity, Beverage, Dietary, Activity, home, school
    JEL: I0 I1
    Date: 2012–11–07
  12. By: OECD
    Abstract: Export restrictions can be problematic if trading partners question either their conformity with international obligations or their possibly unintended negative impacts on others. Regulatory transparency can help. This paper examines how three multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) incorporate transparency into their regulatory regimes: CITES (endangered species, especially tropical timber), the Basel Convention (hazardous e-waste), and the Kimberley Process (conflict diamonds). All three require producing countries to control exports of sensitive commodities, while allowing (Basel) or requiring consuming countries to control imports. Export and import restrictions are usually intended to affect relative prices, but in these three MEAs the ultimate objective is to limit the negative consequences, whether economic, environmental or societal, associated with improper exploitation of the covered commodities. In each case all trade in the target commodities ought to be covered, no export permits should be issued that do not meet the standards established by the MEA, and no imports should take place without the appropriate documentation. In order to have a consistent comparative basis for assessing the contribution of regulatory transparency to the success of these regimes, we use an analytic framework based on three major transparency principles: publication of the rules (the “right to know”); peer review by governments (monitoring and surveillance); and public engagement (reporting on results, and a role for non-governmental organisations, NGOs). The paper concludes with some observations about characteristics that appear to make transparency more or less effective.
    JEL: D7 F1 F5 L6 L7 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q53
    Date: 2012–12–10
  13. By: Andrew Newell (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, UK; IZA, Bonn, Germany); Ian Gazeley (Department of History, University of Sussex, UK)
    Abstract: This article re-examines the food consumption of working class households in 1904 and compares the nutritional content of these diets with modern measures of adequacy. We find a fairly steep gradient of nutritional attainment relative to economic class, with high levels of vitamin and mineral deficiency among the very poorest working households. We conclude that the average unskilled-headed working households was better fed and nourished than previously thought. When proper allowance is made for the likely consumption of alcohol, household energy intakes were significantly higher still. We investigate the likely impact of contemporary cultural food distribution norms and conclude on the basis of the very limited evidence available that women were receiving about 0.8 of the available food, which was consistent with their nutritional needs. We adjust energy requirements for likely higher physical activity rates and smaller stature and find that except among the poorest households, early twentieth century diets were sufficient to provide energy for reasonably physically demanding work. This is consistent with recent attempts to relate the available anthropometric evidence to long-run trends in food consumption. We also find that the lower tail of the household nutrition distribution drops away very rapidly, so that few households suffered serious food shortages.
    Keywords: nutrition, well-being, Britain, early 20th century.
    JEL: I14 I32 N34
    Date: 2012–12
  14. By: Temel, Tugrul; Kinlay, Dorjee
    Abstract: This paper develops a method for assessing food security information system with respect to its structure, connectedness and performance. The paper illustrates how to set up an operational food security information system, identify its leverage components and pathways of information flow, and qualitatively measure its performance in terms of utility obtained from the information. Both a workshop and a questionnaire are designed as means of gathering the data required for the measurement of the performance. The workshop identifies priority information flow patterns and the associated utilities, while the questionnaire gathers the data for the estimation of the organizational learning and information dissemination capacities. Finally, the evaluation of the system is put in perspective by integrating the traditional structure-conduct-performance approach into the method developed.
    Keywords: food security information system; system performance; learning and dissemination capacities; informed policy making
    JEL: D23 D83 D85 Q18
    Date: 2012–12–08
  15. By: Mohanty, Brahmanand (Asian Development Bank Institute); Scherfler, Martin (Asian Development Bank Institute); Devatha, Vikram (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing rapid economic growth. Along with rising incomes, the lifestyles of the large middle class are moving quickly towards a buy-and-discard consumer model that involves carbon-intensive products and services. This paper attempts to identify lifestyle changes at the individual level, and behavioral changes at the community level that could offer high carbon abatement potential. It also provides some good practices of public policies and policy recommendations that can be pivotal in making a business case of low-carbon and eco-efficient lifestyles, strengthening collective awareness, and influencing public decision-making in developing countries in Asia.
    Keywords: local climate strategy; renewable resources; conservation; environmental management; environmental modeling
    JEL: F18 H23 Q20 Q21 Q28
    Date: 2012–12–04
  16. By: Blackman, Allen (Resources for the Future); Naranjo, María Angélica; Robalino, Juan; Alpízar, Francisco; Rivera, Jorge
    Abstract: Tourism associated with beaches, protected areas, and other natural resources often has serious environmental impacts. The problem is especially acute in developing countries, where nature-based tourism is increasingly important and environmental regulation is typically weak. Eco-certification programs—voluntary initiatives certifying that tourism operators meet defined environmental standards—promise to help address this problem by creating a private-sector system of inducements, monitoring, and enforcement. But to do that, they must provide incentives for tourism operators to participate, such as price premiums and more customers. Rigorous evidence on such benefits is virtually nonexistent. To help fill this gap, we use detailed panel data to analyze the effects of the Blue Flag Program, a leading international eco-certification program, in Costa Rica, where nature-based tourism has caused significant environmental damage. We use new hotel investment to proxy for private benefits, and fixed effects and propensity score matching to control for self-selection bias. We find that past Blue Flag certification has a statistically and economically significant effect on new hotel investment, particularly in luxury hotels. Our results suggest that certification has spurred the construction of 12 to 19 additional hotels per year in our regression samples. These findings provide some of the first evidence that eco-certification can generate private benefits for tourism operators in developing countries and therefore has the potential to improve their environmental performance.
    Keywords: Costa Rica, eco-certification, propensity score matching, tourism
    JEL: Q13 Q20 Q26 Q54
    Date: 2012–11–08
  17. By: Nadine Heitmann; Sonja Peterson
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze how much the shipping sector could contribute to global CO2 emission reductions from an efficiency point of view. To do this, a marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) for the shipping sector is generated that can be combined with a MACC for conventional CO2 abatement in the production and consumption sectors around the world. These two MACCs are used to assess the following as regards the various global reduction targets: (a) what the maximum global cost savings would be that could be achieved by abating emissions in the shipping sector, (b) how much the shipping sector could contribute to abating emissions cost efficiently, and (c) what the potential additional costs of implementing a separate solution for the shipping sector would be. The focus is on the year 2020. We find that the shipping sector could always contribute to efficient global emission reductions and thus could always achieve global cost savings, but also that the size of the contribution and the size of cost savings depend heavily on the MACC case assumed, i.e., on how the existence of negative abatement costs is treated in a MACC, and on the reduction potentials and costs of measures assumed
    Keywords: climate change, shipping sector, CO2 emissions, marginal abatement cost curve
    JEL: Q52 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2012–12
  18. By: Combes, Pierre-Philippe (GREQAM, University of Aix-Marseille); Duranton, Gilles (University of Toronto); Gobillon, Laurent (INED, France)
    Abstract: We develop a new methodology to estimate the elasticity of urban costs with respect to city population using French land price data. Our preferred estimate, which handles a number of estimation concerns, stands at 0.041. Our approach also yields a number of intermediate outputs of independent interest such as a distance gradient for land prices and the elasticity of unit land prices with respect to city population. For the latter, our preferred estimate is 0.72.
    Keywords: urban costs, land prices, land use, agglomeration
    JEL: R14 R21 R31
    Date: 2012–11
  19. By: Dallongeville, Jean; Dauchet, Luc; de Mouzon, Olivier; Réquillart, Vincent; Soler, Louis-Georges
    JEL: D61 I18 Q18
    Date: 2012–06–28

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