New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2013‒02‒08
eighteen papers chosen by

  1. California Agricultural Cooperatives: Managers' Strategies and Attitudes Towards Finances and Risk By Blank, Steven C.; Thompson, Robert
  2. Managing High and Volatile Food Prices By Martin, William J.
  3. A double benefit of biodiversity in agriculture By Lauriane MOUYSSET; Luc DOYEN; Jean-Christophe PEREAU; Fréderic JIGUET
  4. Optimal allocation of wetlands: Study on conflict between agriculture and fishery By Natacha LASKOWSKI
  5. Globalization, Macroeconomic Imbalances and South America’s Potential to be the World’s Food Basket By Roe, Terry L.; Gopinath, Munisamy
  6. Managing grasslands biodiversity at a landscape level to foster ecosystem services in intensive cereal systems: from ecological knowledge to collective action By Vincent Bretagnolle; Elsa Berthet
  7. Do Prices and Attributes Explain International Differences in Food Purchases? By Pierre Dubois; Rachel Griffith; Aviv Nevo
  8. Irrigation Full Cost Assessment: The case of the Pinios Local Organization for Land Reclamation, Greece By Athanasios Kampas; Anna Vasilaki; Athanasios Petsakos; Angeliki Stefopoulou
  9. Modelling the Effects of Oil Prices on Global Fertilizer Prices and Volatility By Ping-Yu Chen; Chia-Lin Chang; Chi-Chung Chen; Michael McAleer
  10. Quantitative Cost Model of HACCP Implementation By Wu, Zhen; Wachenheim, Cheryl J.
  11. China's Goal of Combining Economic Self-Reliance With Its Development: Changing Perspectives and Challenges By Tisdell, Clement A.
  12. Environmental Kuznets Curve and Ecological Footprint: A Time Series Analysis By Marie-Sophie Hervieux; Olivier Darné
  13. Climatic Conditions and Productivity : An Impact Evaluation in Pre-industrial England By Stéphane Auray; Aurélien Eyquem; Frédéric Jouneau-Sion
  14. Incentives and Outcomes: China’s Environmental Policy By Jing Wu; Yongheng Deng; Jun Huang; Randall Morck; Bernard Yeung
  15. Climatic Fluctuations and the Di¤usion of Agriculture By Quamrul Ashraf; Stelios Michalopoulos
  16. Food Insecurity Among Households With Working-Age Adults With Disabilities By Coleman-Jensen, Alisha; Nord, Mark
  17. Forecast based Pricing of Weather Derivatives By Wolfgang Karl Härdle; Brenda López-Cabrera; Matthias Ritter
  18. Economic Efficiency, Environmental Effectiveness and Political Feasibility of Energy Efficiency Rebates: The Case of the Spanish Energy Efficiency “Renove†Plan By Ibon Galarraga; Luis M. Abadie; Alberto Ansuategi

  1. By: Blank, Steven C.; Thompson, Robert
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Martin, William J.
    Abstract: The recent period of high and volatile food prices has cast doubt on many longstanding assumptions such as the inevitability of declining real food prices, and brought to an end a long period of food price stability. Some of the key driving forces appear to have been declines in yield growth for major commodities and the rapid growth of biofuels. Both high and volatile food prices are justly causes for concern. Key elements of the cure for high food prices include a strong focus on agricultural research and development, as well as rural development more generally, and a reconsideration of the role of biofuels. The best cures for food price volatility aim to reduce it by improving market information and reducing output volatility. Social safety nets are the best policy for coping with its effects, while the widely-used trade and storage policy measures have many complex and uncertain effects.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2012–11
  3. By: Lauriane MOUYSSET; Luc DOYEN; Jean-Christophe PEREAU; Fréderic JIGUET
    Abstract: This paper examines the role played by biodiversity goals in the design of agricultural policies. A bio-economic model is developed with a dynamic and multi-scale perspective. It couples biodiversity dynamics, farming land-uses selected at the micro level and public policies at the macro level based on financial incentives for land-uses. The public decision maker provides optimal incentives with respect to both biodiversity and budgetary constraints. These optimal policies are then analyzed through their private, public and total costs. The model is calibrated and applied to metropolitan France at the Small Agricultural Region (SAR) scale using common birds as biodiversity metrics. Results put forward a decreasing and concave efficiency curve for different biodiversity indicators and economic scores stressing the underlying bio-economic trade-off. The analysis of total and public costs also suggests that accounting for biodiversity can generate a second benefit in terms of public budget. It is argued how a regional redistribution of this public earning to the farmers could promote the acceptability of biodiversity goals in agricultural policies.
    Keywords: Biodiversity, Land-use, Bio-economics, Modeling, Cost-effectiveness, Optimality, Scenarios, Birds.
    JEL: Q15 Q20
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Natacha LASKOWSKI
    Abstract: The model developed here addresses the question of wetland conflict between agricultural production and fishery. Using the modification of the logistic function of growth and the introduction of agricultural activity into traditional fishing models, we consider the optimum allocation of wetlands. This depends on the profits of agents exploiting the fishing resources on the one hand and the agricultural resources on the other. Static followed by dynamic analysis of the model enable us to determine how best to allocate the use of wetlands, and then subsequently using that as a basis for developing sustainable conservation policies for resources
    Keywords: Wetlands, dynamic optimisation, carrying capacity, agriculture, fishery, conflict
    JEL: Q15 R52
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Roe, Terry L.; Gopinath, Munisamy
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2013–01
  6. By: Vincent Bretagnolle (CEBC - Centre d'études biologiques de Chizé - CNRS : UPR1934); Elsa Berthet (SADAPT - Sciences pour l'Action et le Développement : Activités, Produits, Territoires - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) : UMR1048 - AgroParisTech, CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - École Nationale Supérieure des Mines - Paris (ParisTech))
    Abstract: Effective solutions for integrating agricultural development and conservation of biodiversity at the landscape scale remain to be identified. We present a case study in an intensively farmed French cereal plain, where the reintroduction of grasslands has been proposed first for conservation purposes in order to protect the Little Bustard, a highly threatened bird species. In these highly fragmented and disturbed habitats, the presence, abundance and distribution of grasslands therefore have a critical role in ecological and environmental regulatory processes. To restore these processes, it is critical to rationalize the inclusion of grasslands in the cropping system (in time, space and according to management practices). However, currently, grasslands are severely depleted by farmers who privilege cereal crops for economic reasons . We therefore raise the issue of whether crop allocation at the landscape scale can be changed without public funding, in order to increase the proportion of grasslands. A solution explored here is to identify the interdependencies between farmers related to the ecosystem services grasslands provide at the landscape scale. The recognition of grassland emergent functions when considered at the landscape scale gives them a status of common good: a good that should be collectively managed to maximize ecosystem services. This consideration leads to involve new stakeholders such as citizens, scientists, government bodies or NGOs in the collective management of grasslands and opens an innovative way to reconcile agriculture and conservation at the landscape scale.
    Keywords: Agro-ecosystem; ecosystem services; grasslands; cereal crops; biodiversity; design; collective action; commons
    Date: 2012–10–08
  7. By: Pierre Dubois; Rachel Griffith; Aviv Nevo
    Abstract: Food purchases differ substantially across countries. We use detailed household level data from the US, France and the UK to (i) document these differences; (ii) estimate a demand system for food and nutrients, and (iii) simulate counterfactual choices if households faced prices and nutritional characteristics from other countries. We find that differences in prices and characteristics are important and can explain some difference (e.g., US-France difference in caloric intake), but generally cannot explain many of the compositional patterns by themselves. Instead, it seems an interaction between the economic environment and differences in preferences is needed to explain cross country differences.
    JEL: D12 I18 L10
    Date: 2013–02
  8. By: Athanasios Kampas (Department of Agricultural Economics & Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece); Anna Vasilaki (Department of Agricultural Economics & Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece); Athanasios Petsakos (Department of Agricultural Products Marketing and Quality Control, Technological Institute of Western Macedonia, 53100 Florina, Greece); Angeliki Stefopoulou (Department of Natural Resources Development and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera odos 75, 18855, Athens.)
    Abstract: The paper presents a rapid assessment of irrigation full cost of the Pinios Local Organization for Land Reclamation. The individual cost components (financial, environmental and resource) were estimated using the best available data and sound methodological choices. On the basis of our estimates it seems that water scarcity and its corresponding resource cost is quite important issue to be ignored. The scarcity rents falls within a range from 21% to 39% of water full cost, while the environmental cost is about 8%. The policy implications of these results are also discussed.
    Keywords: WFD, Irrigation Full Cost Account, With-Without Analysis, Water Balance, Water Scarcity Rents, Pinios Local Organization for Land Reclamation
    JEL: Q25 Q51 Q52
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Ping-Yu Chen (National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan); Chia-Lin Chang (National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan); Chi-Chung Chen (National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan); Michael McAleer (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Kyoto University, Japan, and Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of crude oil price on global fertilizer prices in both the mean and volatility. The endogenous structural breakpoint unit root test, ARDL model, and alternative volatility models, including GARCH, EGARCH, and GJR models, are used to investigate the relationship between crude oil price and six global fertilizer prices. The empirical results from ARDL show that most fertilizer prices are significantly affected by the crude oil price while the volatility of global fertilizer prices and crude oil price from March to December 2008 are higher than in other periods.
    Keywords: Fertilizer Price; Oil Price; Volatility
    JEL: Q14 C22 C58
    Date: 2013–01–25
  10. By: Wu, Zhen; Wachenheim, Cheryl J.
    Abstract: Foodborne illness is an important public health problem in the United States. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is widely acknowledged as an effective method to ensure product quality and control foodborne hazards. The case-study method is applied to the Prevention-Appraisal-Failure model to identify contributing sources of cost associated with the implementation of HACCP plans in meat and specialty grain processing plants in the Red River Valley and develop a cost estimation model for calculating total quality cost.
    Keywords: food safety, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, HACCP, Prevention-Appraisal-Failure Model., Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2013–01
  11. By: Tisdell, Clement A.
    Abstract: The attainment of self-reliance (zi li geng sheng) is an important goal for China. However, approaches to achieving it have altered greatly since the People’s Republic was established in 1949. Following the split between China and the Soviet Union in 1960, Mao Zedong claimed that China could achieve this goal by promoting economic self-sufficiency at the national level as well as at subnational levels. This approach resulted in a considerable economic burden for China. While national economic self-sufficiency probably was forced on China by the hostility of foreign nations towards it, subnational self-sufficiency was not. Following the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the eventual rise to power of Deng Xiaoping, China’s market reforms began in 1978. With the introduction of the household responsibility system in agriculture, China gave up relying on communes and collectives for its agricultural production. The market reforms began in rural areas but were only slowly extended to urban areas because of some opposition to some politbureau numbers to the market reforms. The process of the market reforms since 1978 is outlined with some attention being given to the political hurdles involved in achieving these reforms. As a result of these reforms, the goal of subnational economic self-sufficiency has well and truly been abandoned and national self-sufficiency is no longer practised. These changes have brought new economic risks for China and the Chinese people. The benefit, however, has been greater economic growth and the enhanced global status of China. While economic self-sufficiency is no longer an over-riding goal for China, one part of zi li geng sheng is still very important for it nationally, namely, to control one’s destiny, that is, to be in charge of one’s own affairs, goals and decision-making.
    Keywords: China, Deng Xiaoping, economic self-reliance, economic self-sufficiency, Mao Zedong, market reforms, political economy, Richard Nixon, United States., International Development, Political Economy, O2, P21, P31, P52,
    Date: 2013–01
  12. By: Marie-Sophie Hervieux (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272); Olivier Darné (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis using the Ecological Footprint (EF), a more comprehensive indicator of environmental degradation, through a time-series analysis for 15 countries covering the 1961-2007 period. We rst test the EKC hypothesis from traditional linear, quadratic and cubic functions, with standard and logarithmic speci cations. The EKC hypothesis is only supported for Chile and Uruguay with the quadratic functional form. We also nd that most of the countries exhibit a positive linear relationship between the EF and GDP. Finally, we study the long-term relationship between the EF and GDP. The results show evidence of long-term relationship between income and EF for some countries (Brazil, Chile, China, and Uruguay). More particularly, Spain displays a cubic relationship, in an N-shaped function form.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve ; Ecological Footprint
    Date: 2013–01–28
  13. By: Stéphane Auray (ENSAI); Aurélien Eyquem (Université de Lyon); Frédéric Jouneau-Sion (Université de Lille)
    Abstract: In this paper, we bridge economic data and climatic time series to assess the vulnerability of a pre-industrial economy to changes in climatic conditions. We propose an economic model to extract a measure of total productivity from English data (real wages and land rents) in the pre-industrial period. This measure of total productivity is then related to temperatures and precipitations. We find that lower (respectively higher) than average precipitations (respectively temperatures) enhance productivity. Further, temperatures have non-linear effects on productivity: large temperature variations lower productivity. Quantitatively, a permanent two degree rise in temperatures lowers the level of productivity by more than 22%, and production by more than 26%. This historical impact evaluation may serve as an informative benchmark for currently under-developed economies in front of the upcoming climatic change
    Keywords: Climatic conditions TFP shocks, land rent
    JEL: C22 N13 O41 Q54
    Date: 2012–10
  14. By: Jing Wu; Yongheng Deng; Jun Huang; Randall Morck; Bernard Yeung
    Abstract: In generating fast economic growth, China is also generating growing concern about its environmental record. Using 2000-2009 data, we find that, while spending on environmental infrastructure has visible positive environmental impact, city spending is strongly tilted towards transportation infrastructure. Investment in transportation infrastructure correlates strongly with both real GDP growth, a measure of tangible economic growth relevant to city-level Party and government cadres’ promotion odds, and with land prices, which affect city governments’ revenues from land lease sales. In contrast, city governments’ spending on environmental improvements is at best uncorrelated with cadres’ promotion odds, and is uncorrelated with local GDP growth and land prices. These findings suggest that, were environmental quality explicitly linked to a cadre’s chance of promotion, or were environmental quality to affect land prices substantially, city-level public investment in environmental improvement would rise.
    JEL: G0 H54 P2 P26 Q56 Q58 R11
    Date: 2013–02
  15. By: Quamrul Ashraf; Stelios Michalopoulos
    Abstract: This research examines variations in the di¤usion of agriculture across countries and archaeological sites. The theory suggests that a society?s history of climatic shocks shaped the timing of its adoption of farming. Speci?cally, as long as climatic disturbances did not lead to a collapse of the underlying resource base, the rate at which foragers were climatically propelled to experiment with their habitats determined the accumulation of tacit knowledge complementary to farming. Thus, di¤erences in climatic volatility across hunter-gatherer societies gave rise to the observed spatial variation in the timing of the adoption of agriculture. Consistent with the proposed hypothesis, the empirical investigation demonstrates that, conditional on biogeographic endowments, climatic volatility has a non-monotonic e¤ect on the timing of the adoption of agriculture. Farming di¤used earlier across regions characterized by intermediate levels of climatic ?uctuations, with those subjected to either too high or too low intertemporal variability transiting later.
    Keywords: Hunting and gathering, agriculture, Neolithic Revolution, climatic volatility, Broad Spectrum Revolution, technological progress
    Date: 2013
  16. By: Coleman-Jensen, Alisha; Nord, Mark
    Abstract: Prior research has shown that food insecurity is more common among U.S households with an adult who has a work-limiting disability than among other households. To provide more detail on the prevalence of food insecurity by a range of types of disabilities, we analyzed data from the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (2009 and 2010). We focused on two groups of households that include adults with disabilities: (1) households with a working-age adult with a disability that prevented work (not in labor force-disabled); and (2) those with a working-age adult with a specified disability (hearing, vision, mental, physical, self-care, or going-outside-home disability) and no indication that their disability prevented them from working (other reported disabilities). Food insecurity was most prevalent among households with an adult who was not in labor force-disabled (33.5 percent), followed by those with a working-age adult with other reported disabilities (24.8 percent). Households with no working-age adult with a disability had a much lower prevalence of food insecurity (12.0 percent). Close to two in five households with very low food security included an adult with a disability. The study findings demonstrate the importance of disabilities as a determinant of food insecurity.
    Keywords: Disability, food security, food insecurity, Current Population Survey, Food Security Supplement, labor force, working-age adult, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty, Health Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2013–01
  17. By: Wolfgang Karl Härdle; Brenda López-Cabrera; Matthias Ritter
    Abstract: Forecasting based pricing of Weather Derivatives (WDs) is a new approach in valuation of contingent claims on nontradable underlyings. Standard techniques are based on historical weather data. Forward-looking information such as meteorological forecasts or the implied market price of risk (MPR) are often not incorporated. We adopt a risk neutral approach (for each location) that allows the incorporation of meteorological forecasts in the framework of WD pricing. We study weather Risk Premiums (RPs) implied from either the information MPR gain or the meteorological forecasts. The size of RPs is interesting for investors and issuers of weather contracts to take advantages of geographic diversification, hedging effects and price determinations. By conducting an empirical analysis to London and Rome WD data traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), we find out that either incorporating the MPR or the forecast outperforms the standard pricing techniques.
    Keywords: Weather derivatives, seasonal variation, temperature, risk premia
    JEL: G19 G29 G22 N23 N53 Q59
    Date: 2012–03
  18. By: Ibon Galarraga; Luis M. Abadie; Alberto Ansuategi
    Abstract: Energy labels are used to promote the purchase of efficient appliances. Many countries in Europe use subsidies (namely energy efficiency rebates) to support these purchases as it is the case of Spain. A figure ranging from 50 to 105€ subsidy has been granted in the past for the acquisition of the most efficient appliances. This paper first analyses the impact of a 80€ subsidy on the dishwasher market and compares the results with a 40 € tax for non-labelled ones. The results take into account the effects that the policies generate in the market segment that is a close substitute, that is, cross effects. The paper shows that the subsidy is expensive for the Government, generates some welfare losses and it also generates a rebound effect as a consequence of the increase in the total number of appliances sold. The 40 € tax does not cost money to the Government, it generates a lower welfare loss and reduces the energy bill. However, the analysis is extended to go beyond the two extreme scenarios: subsidies without taxes and taxes without subsidies. Different combinations of both instruments are suggested and they are assessed based on their performance regarding economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness and political feasibility.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency rebates, deadweight losses, rebound effect
    Date: 2013–02

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