New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2013‒01‒12
seven papers chosen by

  1. Evaluating greening farm policies: A structural model for assessing agri-environmental subsidies By Marita Laukkanen; Céline Nauges
  2. Sources of Growth in Post-Conflict Burundi: From Destruction to Production By Nganou, Jean-Pascal; Kebede, Ephraim
  3. Economic and spatial modelling for estimating supply of perennial crops’ biomass in Poland By P. Mathiou; Stelios Rozakis; Rafal Pudelko; A. Faber
  4. Agent based modeling for agricultural policy evaluation: A review By Dimitris Kremmydas
  5. Flexible Tools for Unique Places - Interim Land Use and Urban Agriculture Opportunities from Berlin, Germany: Strategies for Oakland, California By Megan Neary
  6. Dimensions of Inclusive Development By Leisa Perch; Gabriel Labbate
  7. Climate Shocks, State Capacity, and Peasant Uprisings in North China during 25-1911 CE By Qiang Chen

  1. By: Marita Laukkanen; Céline Nauges
    Abstract: One quarter of the agricultural area in the European Union is registered in agrienvironmental programs. Despite the prevalence of such programs and increasing demands for environmental quality in the European Union, ex-post assessments of program benefits are rare. This study uses a structural econometric model to evaluate the impacts of agri-environmental payments provided through the Finnish Agri-Environmental Program, whose primary goal is to reduce nutrient pollution from agricultural land. Drawing on a representative sample of individual grain farms, the research quantifies the effects of agri-environmental payments on farmers? decisions on the use of agri-chemical inputs and on the allocation of land to grain production and set-aside (fallow) over the period 1996?2005. The effects of program payments are ascertained based on exogenous variation in payment rates across regions and over time. We find that the agri-environmental payments have reduced fertilizer inputs but that this impact has been modest. In terms of land allocation, the impact has been counterproductive in that the payments have slightly increased the grain area and reduced set-aside. To quantify the impact of agri-environmental payments on nutrient loading ? the environmental outcome of interest ? we then combine the predicted land allocation and fertilizer use with environmental production functions. Overall, we estimate that the payments have reduced the damage costs associated with nutrient pollution from grain farming by 11 to 12 percent.
    Keywords: agri-environmental programs, payments for ecosystem services, farm subsidies, structural models, panel data, policy evaluation, nutrient pollution, cost-benefit analysis
    JEL: Q58 Q28 Q53 Q18 H23
    Date: 2012–11–04
  2. By: Nganou, Jean-Pascal; Kebede, Ephraim
    Abstract: Burundi, a small fragile economy, went through sporadic civil war since its independence in 1962 during which rampant insecurity had adverse impact on the country’s social and economic development. While Burundi is agriculturally rich, high rate of growth of rural population places overwhelming pressure on limited land resources. It is widely recognized that without significant growth in agriculture it will be virtually impossible to address poverty reduction. Given the high population density and limited off-farm employment opportunities, enhancing agriculture productivity is key for sustainable economic growth and improving the living standard of rural families. This paper highlights the importance of: - Improved technology packages (at the production, post-harvest, processing and marketing stages). - Building the capacity of producers’ organizations. - Irrigation development (marshland irrigation systems) and conservation measures. - Basic rural infrastructure (feeder roads). - Increasing the production and improving the processing and marketing of high value export crops (coffee and tea) and diversifying agricultural exports (horticulture). To examine the roles of aforementioned factors, the paper employs a structural composition model. In so doing, it provides quantitative evidence that Burundi’s economic growth is largely determined by total factor productivity (TFP), which in turn is affected by macroeconomic policies and stability, and infrastructural and institutional quality.
    Keywords: Agriculture; Burundi; Productivity; Sources of growth; World Bank
    JEL: Q1 O5 O4 F33
    Date: 2012–06
  3. By: P. Mathiou (Department of Agricultural Economics and Development Agricultural University of Athens, Greece "); Stelios Rozakis (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, Athens 11855, Greece); Rafal Pudelko (Department of Agrometeorology and Applied Informatics, Institute of Soil Sciences and Plant Cultivation (IUNG), State Research Institute, Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland); A. Faber (Department of Agrometeorology and Applied Informatics, Institute of Soil Sciences and Plant Cultivation (IUNG), State Research Institute, Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland)
    Abstract: Among measures to promote renewable energy the electricity feed-in tariff scheme is extensively used in many countries to meet the goals set by governments related to energy independence and mitigation of greenhouse effect. In this paper, an agricultural supply spatial model is run to estimate biomass plantations adoption by Polish farmers at the municipal level. Detailed spatial and agronomic information is used limiting potential areas to the less fertile land, focusing on certain land classes where research undertaken by IUNG has provided reliable estimates for willow and miscanthus cultivation needs and production yields. Decisions on multi-year land use for dedicated energy plantations replacing conventional annual crops such as rye and triticale are driven by discounted cash flow analysis. An appropriate mathematical model is built in order to estimate biomass for energy supply for a range of hypothetical prices offered by coal fueled power plants. Parametric optimization results are shown in supply curve form in order to determine efficient price levels. Results are illustrated also in terms of crop acreages as well as spatial distribution at the national level in NUTS5 resolution
    Keywords: Willow, Miscanthus, Cost analysis, Mathematical programming, Biomass Supply, Feed-in tariffs, Spatial analysis
    JEL: Q16 Q41
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Dimitris Kremmydas (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, Athens 11855, Greece)
    Abstract: In Agent-based computational economics economy is considered a complex system where the interactions between the economic agents are of ultimate importance. Simulating the economic system by modeling the behavior of the individual encompasses many advantages and certain epistemological issues are raised. In the analysis of Agricultural Policy, the agent based modeling (ABM) approach has been employed for studying Land Use Changes (LUCC), the dynamics of structural changes, the transmission of innovations, the simulation of water use management and for environmental modeling. This approach can help overcoming various simplifying assumptions of the traditional models (like the “homogenous agent” assumption) or the difficulty in modeling interactions. In this paper we initially do a short presentation of the principles of modeling economic systems with the ABM approach quoting its features, the advantages and disadvantages. Afterwards we make a discussion on the application of the ABM for modeling and evaluating agricultural policies and present four current application (Agripolis, Reg-MAS, MP-MAS, SWISSland). We finish this paper with some conclusions and suggestions.
    Keywords: Agent based modeling, Agricultural policy evaluation, Agripolis, Reg-MAS, MP-MAS, SWISSland
    JEL: Q12 Q18 C6
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Megan Neary
    Date: 2012–09–26
  6. By: Leisa Perch (International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth); Gabriel Labbate (Senior Programme Officer, UN-REDD Programme/Poverty and Environment Initiative,)
    Abstract: Growth, Equity and Sustainability: A Declaration of Interdependence Over one billion of us live without many of the basics that the other six billion take as given. Although 28 countries have moved from low-income status to middle-income status, with Ghana and Zambia among the newest Middle Income Countries, an estimated 800 million people still live in low-income countries. Of these, half live in just five countries, three of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. In these least-developed countries (LDCs), conflict, disaster and broader human insecurity impose structural limits on efforts to move from crisis to risk reduction and from growth to sustained development. So although many millions have been lifted out of poverty in the last ten years, it is also true that more people live in chronic hunger than ever before. Significant and sustained progress will require faster and better efforts. The message of this Poverty in Focus is that, ?For Growth to be inclusive, it must be sustained and sustainable and that, for it to be sustained and sustainable, it must also be equitable.? As a contribution to the dialogue around Rio+20 and to the ongoing discussions around a post-2015 MDG Agenda, this Poverty in Focus links future development to sustainability and particularly to social sustainability. Looking beyond the critical issues of ?carbon footprints?, ?low-carbon development?,? green economy? and the economics behind saving the planet, it draws attention back to the continuing challenge of ensuring that growth and development deliver for the poor and vulnerable. In its many forms?energy poverty, lack of access to water and sanitation, malnutrition or insecure access to food, and lack of access to education and health?the scale and scope of global deprivation call current development policy and practice into question. Growth, gender, poverty and the environment can no longer be treated as loosely connected components of development. Recognizing their interdependence is at the core of improved and sustained development for all. For one thing, the continuing decline of the quantity and quality of natural resources and of ecosystem functions is likely to exacerbate the likelihood of conflict over resources, particularly water. According to UNDP?s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, 35 countries had entered what could be designated a ?post-conflict phase? by 2008. The cost of conflict has been enormous, matching or surpassing, according to some estimates, the value of ODA received in the last 20 to 30 years in the same countries. Addressing topics such as the evolving debate on environmental and social justice and improved accounting frameworks to ?include? environmental assets and services in considerations of growth, the enclosed articles can help us go beyond lip-service to the notion of sustainability. They focus on the ?software? components of development, highlighting the need for equal attention to process and to results. Suggesting that inclusive and sustainable development will need to leverage ?social technologies? such as political innovations, true engagement and honest evaluation, they make a clear case for a strong, representative state and the complementary roles of civil society and the private sector in defining and achieving sustained and sustainable development. They underscore the role of formal and informal mechanisms in the negotiation and reconciliation of conflicting and competing interests. In view of the high expectations placed on the next year?s Rio+20 meeting, let us remind ourselves that ?social sustainability? will be built on the foundations of productive and social inclusion. Too often, the focus has fallen largely on productive inclusion, with limited effort to address the structural factors that cause and sustain exclusion and marginalization, be they related to gender, political processes, property rights for the poor, and so on. Moreover, a focus on ?sustained? development as well as sustainable development acknowledges that, for many countries, existing development gains are fragile and easily reversed. The acute challenges faced by countries in the Horn of Africa due to persistent drought, displacement, conflict and poverty are a case in point. A socially sustainable approach, say these authors, is one in which policy efforts do not shy away from the many interdependent multiple dynamics, processes and situations that affect vulnerability and predispose the poor and the vulnerable to harm from shocks and change. Growth, equity and sustainability are mutually compatible, if efforts have enough time and resources, are responsive to underlying structural causes and encourage the vigorous participation of the poor, allowing them to define their futures. What follows illuminates the complexity of inclusiveness as a development outcome and highlights bold action in and by the South. We hope that these articles serve as a source of further innovation and inspire more cooperation and the spread of knowledge within the South. Ours is an age of political convulsions, global economic shifts, inexorable climatic change and stubborn poverty. Informed and catalytic strategies are needed now more than ever before. by Olav Kjorven, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy Development, UNDP
    Keywords: Dimensions of Inclusive Development
    Date: 2011–11
  7. By: Qiang Chen (School of Economics, Shandong University)
    Abstract: China provides an interesting case study of civil conflict because of her long history and rich records. Using a unique dynastic panel dataset for north China during 25-1911 CE, this study finds that severe famines and dynastic age were positively correlated with peasant uprisings, whereas government disaster relief as a proxy for state capacity played a significant mitigating role. Negative climate shocks (e.g., severe drought, locust plagues) affected peasant uprisings primarily through the channel of severe famines. The effects of population density, temperature, and other climate shocks (e.g., flood, levee breaches, snow disasters, and frost) were either not robust or insignificant.
    JEL: N45 O1
    Date: 2013–01

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