New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2013‒06‒09
twenty-one papers chosen by

  1. The agri-food sector in Russia: Current situation and market outlook until 2025 By Guna Salputra; Myrna van Leeuwen; Petra Salamon; Thomas Fellmann; Martin Banse; Oliver Ledebur
  2. Sustainable Agriculture: Potential and Strategies for Development By Singh, K.M.
  3. Proceedings of a workshop on "Wheat productivity in the EU: determinants and challenges for food security and for climate change" By Mauro Vigani; Koen Dillen; Emilio Rodriguez Cerezo
  4. Reforming Agriculture and Promoting Japan's Integration in the World Economy By Randall S. Jones; Shingo Kimura
  5. Input subsidies and demand for improved maize: Relative prices and household heterogeneity matter! By Holden, Stein
  6. Competitive Pressure and Technology Adoption: Evidence from a Policy Reform in Western Canada By Ferguson, Shon; Olfert, Rose
  7. Biofuel Taxes, Subsidies, and Mandates: Impacts on US and Brazilian Markets By Bruce A. Babcock; Marcelo Moreira; Yixing Peng
  8. Organic Food and Human Health: Instrumental Variables Evidence By Heinz Welsch
  9. Futures price volatility in commodities markets: The role of short term vs long term speculation By Matteo Manera; Marcella Nicolini; Ilaria Vignati
  10. Modelling farm structural change: A feasibility study for ex-post modelling utilizing FADN and FSS data in Germany and developing an ex-ante forecast module for the CAPRI farm type layer baseline By Alexander Gocht; Norbert Röder; Sebastian Neuenfeldt; Hugo Storm; Thomas Heckelei
  11. What Motivates Farm Couples to Seek Off-farm Labour? A Logit Analysis of Job Transitions By Biørn, Erik; Bjørnsen, Hild-Marte
  12. The impacts of the food, fuel and financial crises on households in Nigeria. A retrospective approach for research enquiry By Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel; Chiripanhura, Blessing
  13. The Expansion of the Commercial Sector and the Child Quantity-Quality Transition in a Malthusian World By Ken Tabata
  14. Increasing Trends in the Excess Comovement of Commodity Prices By OHASHI Kazuhiko; OKIMOTO Tatsuyoshi
  15. The impact of heat waves on electricity spot markets By Anna Pechan; Klaus Eisenack
  16. Six or four seasons? Perceptions of climatic changes and people's cooperative attitudes toward ood protection in Bangladesh By Moinul Islam; Koji Kotani
  17. Evolution of the Global Distribution of Carbon Dioxide: A Finite Mixture Analysis By Michele Battisti; Michael S. Delgado; Christopher F. Parmeter
  18. Fuel Conservation Effect of Energy Subsidy Reform in Iran By Hossein Mirshojaeian Hosseini; Shinji Kaneko
  19. Alternative Designs for Tariffs on Embodied Carbon:<br>A Global Cost-Effectiveness Analysis By Christoph Böhringer; Brita Bye; Taran Fæhn; Knut Einar Rosendahl
  20. Does Distance matter for Institutional Delivery in Rural India? An Instrumental Variable Approach By Kumar, Santosh; Dansereau, Emily; Murray, Chris
  21. Greenhouse Gas Emission Controls and Firm Locations in North-South Trade By ISHIKAWA Jota; OKUBO Toshihiro

  1. By: Guna Salputra (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Myrna van Leeuwen (Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI)); Petra Salamon (Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute (vTI)); Thomas Fellmann (University Pablo de Olavide); Martin Banse (Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute (vTI)); Oliver Ledebur (Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute (vTI))
    Abstract: This report gives an overview on the Russian agri-food sector and provides an outlook for the developments in agricultural markets for Russia, focussing on the main agricultural commodities. For the purpose of the study a detailed dataset and modelling structure for the main agricultural commodities in Russia has been developed and integrated into the overall AGMEMOD modelling framework.
    Keywords: Economic analysis, impact assessment, Common Agricultural Policy, agricultural trade, agricultural markets, competitiveness, modelling tools, price volatility, database
    Date: 2013–02
  2. By: Singh, K.M.
    Abstract: We can ignore the state of global and national land and water resources only at our great peril. We tend to assume that environmental degradation is a contemporary condition, but there is historical evidence to show that cultures rise and fall on their agricultural base’s ability to support the rest of society. The balance between population and agricultural productivity becomes more and more precarious as a society becomes more complex and the drive for a continuing food supply to support all the non-producers places more and more demands upon land and water resources. We now face a scenario in which global exploitation of resources has expanded a local environmental phenomenon into a world-scale problem. Already, 6% of the earth’s surface is classified as extreme desert, and a further 29% is subject to varying degrees of desertification. Any expansion in the extent or intensity of agricultural production would require sustainable management of the land-water-vegetation system. The paper discussed the issues and strategies which may find an answer to ensure sustainable development of agricultural sector in India.
    Keywords: Sustainable agriculture, Organic farming, Bio-safety, Pesticide misuse
    JEL: Q01 Q2 Q51 Q57
    Date: 2013–05–15
  3. By: Mauro Vigani (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Koen Dillen (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Emilio Rodriguez Cerezo (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: Wheat is one of the world’s key staple products, with a global production of 654.7 million tons in 2010. Currently, wheat is providing 21% of the food calories and 20% of the protein to more than 4.5 billion people. Wheat production is highly concentrated in a few countries, and the European Union is by far the most important producer accounting for 21% of total world harvest (EUROSTAT). In the next decades it is expected an increase in the global demand of food, and of wheat in particular. Towards 2050 the world population may rise from 7 to 9 billion people, and the expected improved economic conditions will allow for greater food consumption. To help reaching the goal of improved wheat productivity for global food security, many important initiatives and research programs started both at national and international level. The G20 Agricultural ministries in their 2011 action plan endorsed the Wheat Initiative, to promote coordination and collaborations among national and international research programs for wheat improvement. However, the annual increase in wheat yields has fallen globally from 2.9% to 1.3% since 1966, and this rate will be not sufficient to meet the expected future food demand without a large expansion of crop production area. Given the limited possibilities of increasing the amount of cultivated area, the efficiency of the wheat production factors must improve. In this respect, Europe has a key position as main global wheat producer and exporter. Wheat yields in Europe have shown a constant growth trend during the second half of the 20th century, mainly thanks to the progress in breeding and in the use of inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation. These constant yield improvements allowed Europe to satisfy the growing internal demand after the Second World War and to consolidate its position on the global wheat market. However, since the mid 1990’s, there seems to be a decline in wheat yield growth rates, especially in the most important European producing countries, like France, Germany and the UK. Considering this background, the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) is starting a new research line with the aim to describe the current situation and analyze the elements affecting wheat yields and wheat farming productivity. To scope the issue, the JRC organised a workshop on "Wheat productivity in the EU: determinants and challenges for food security and for climate change" in Seville on 22nd and 23rd November 2012. In this JRC Scientific and Policy Reports we report the main conclusions of the meeting. It appears that the causes of this stagnation in yields are diverse, and identifying them and their individual contribution to this phenomenon is a very complex task. In some cases, scientists have carefully studied the role of specific factors, such as the genetic potential of wheat varieties, yet research addressing the other factors potentially affecting this change in yield trends such as changes in agricultural input use, agronomic and risk management practices, climate change, policy reforms and market signals is not particularly abundant. The analysis of these factors affecting wheat yields and productivity in Europe is now a priority in order to clarify present and future food security challenges and the evolution of the European wheat sector.
    Keywords: Productivity, Yield, Innovation, Biotechnology, Bioeconomy, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Agronomy, Policy, Competitiveness
    JEL: Q11 Q16 Q18 Q54
    Date: 2013–03
  4. By: Randall S. Jones; Shingo Kimura
    Abstract: The problems of Japanese agriculture – in particular low productivity and the prevalence of part-time farmers and small plots have been evident for the past 50 years. The high level and distortionary nature of agriculture support imposes burdens on consumers and taxpayers, undermines the dynamism of the farming sector and complicates Japan’s participation in comprehensive bilateral and regional trade agreements that would boost its growth potential. The priority is to shift to measures decoupled from production and gradually reduce border measures. Continued failure to implement necessary reforms threatens the future of the agricultural sector. In the absence of fundamental reform, the Japanese agriculture will continue to wither, trapped in a cycle of low productivity, low earnings and dependence on subsidies and import protection. The time for reform is now. A more open and market-oriented sector would also facilitate participation in comprehensive regional and bilateral trade agreements.<P>Réformer l'agriculture et promouvoir l'intégration du Japon dans l'économie mondiale<BR>Les problèmes de l’agriculture japonaise – en particulier la faiblesse de la productivité, la forte proportion d’agriculteurs exerçant cette activité à temps partiel et le nombre élevé de petites exploitations – sont bien connus depuis une cinquantaine d’années. Les aides considérables dont bénéficie l’agriculture entraînent des distorsions, et pèsent ainsi lourdement sur le consommateur et sur le contribuable ; cela nuit au dynamisme du secteur agricole et empêche le Japon de s’engager dans des accords commerciaux globaux, de portée bilatérale ou régionale, qui renforceraient son potentiel de croissance. Il faut en priorité prendre des mesures découplées de la production, et réduire progressivement les obstacles aux importations. L’incapacité persistante à mettre en oeuvre les réformes nécessaires menace l’avenir du secteur. Si le pays ne procède pas à une restructuration en profondeur de son agriculture, celle-ci poursuivra son déclin, prise au piège dans un cercle vicieux : productivité médiocre, revenus faibles et forte dépendance aux subventions et aux mesures de protection à l’encontre des importations. L’heure de la réforme a sonné. Un secteur plus ouvert et davantage axé sur le marché faciliterait en outre la participation du Japon à des accords commerciaux d'envergure, tant régionaux que bilatéraux.
    Keywords: Japan, economic partnership agreements, agricultural reform, food security, rice, farm size, Abenomics, decoupling, farm consolidation, food self-sufficiency, multifunctionality, Producer Support Estimate, production adjustment programme, Trans-Pacific Partnership, agricultural subsidies, Japon, autosuffisance alimentaire, découplage, estimation du soutien aux producteurs, multifonctionnalité, Partenariat transpacifique, programme d’ajustement de la production, réforme agricole, remembrement des exploitations, riz, sécurité alimentaire, subventions agricoles, taille des exploitations
    JEL: Q15 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2013–05–27
  5. By: Holden, Stein (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: This study uses simple non-separable farm household models calibrated to household, market, farming and policy context conditions in Central and Southern Malawi. The models are used to simulate how household characteristics, design and access to input subsidies affect the demand for improved maize seeds; how increasing land scarcity affects the cropping system and demand for improved maize; and how access to improved maize seeds affects household welfare with varying access to input subsidies. The model simulations demonstrate that a) there is a high risk that access to subsidized improved maize seeds can crowd out commercial demand for improved maize seeds but the effect is very sensitive to household characteristics, market characteristics and relative prices; b) increasing land scarcity increases the demand for improved maize seeds and improved maize facilitates intensification among others through intercropping of maize with legumes such as beans and pigeon peas; c) the welfare effects depend on households’ ability to utilize the potential of the improved varieties by combining them with complementary inputs.
    Keywords: Improved maize varieties; input subsidies; impact on seed demand; land scarcity; intensification; cash constraints; household welfare
    JEL: Q12 Q16 Q18
    Date: 2013–06–03
  6. By: Ferguson, Shon (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Olfert, Rose (Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy)
    Abstract: We measure the impact of the removal of a railway transportation subsidy on the adoption of technology for Western Canadian farms, using a unique combination of Census and freight rate data. We exploit the large regional variation in these one-time freight rate increases in order to identify causal effects of increased competitive pressure. Using a difference-in-differences methodology we find that higher freights rates – and hence lower farm gate prices – induced farmers to adopt new, more efficient production technology. We also find that farmers experiencing the greatest transportation cost increases also increased fertilizer usage and made significant land use changes.
    Keywords: Agricultural Trade Liberalization; Export Subsidy; Technical Change
    JEL: F14 O13 Q16 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2013–05–31
  7. By: Bruce A. Babcock (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); Marcelo Moreira; Yixing Peng
    Abstract: Future prospects for biofuels in the United States and Brazil depend on government policies, the prices of gasoline and feedstocks, and the ability of each country’s fleet of vehicles to use ethanol. Because trade barriers between the two countries are low, the prospects for biofuels in each country are dependent on what goes on in the other. To help sort out the complex web of interrelated markets and fuels requires a model of the markets in which the fuels are traded. In this paper we present an updated and expanded market model of biofuels in Brazil and the United States and use the model to help understand the economic impacts of the US biodiesel tax credit and a recent reduction in the tax on ethanol in Brazil. The model looks ahead to the 2013/14 corn marketing year in the United States that begins on September 1, 2013. Crop acreage is assumed known and fixed. For 500 different yield levels of US corn and soybeans, Brazilian soybean, sugarcane and recoverable sugar yields, Argentine soybean yields, gasoline prices and demand for Brazilian exports, the model solves for market-clearing prices and quantities of US corn ethanol and biodiesel, Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, and world prices of corn, soybeans, soybean oil and meal, and sugar. US biofuel mandates are a major driver of the market solutions. The competition between biodiesel and sugarcane ethanol to meet the US advanced mandate and the competition between sugarcane ethanol and corn ethanol to meet the US conventional mandate as well as ethanol demand in Brazil are what determine model solutions. The outcome of this competition is a set of equilibrium RIN (Renewable Identification Number) prices that reflect underlying biofuel supply and demand conditions. The model is calibrated to USDA’s May 2013 WASDE projections and to Brazil’s latest CONAB projections. Both sets of projections indicate that corn and sugarcane supplies are likely to increase from recent levels, lowering the cost of producing ethanol. This lower cost helps to hold down conventional biofuel RIN prices, which still must be high enough to induce ethanol consumption beyond the 10 percent blend wall in the United States. In Brazil, more abundant sugarcane supplies will result in increased ethanol production and consumption, but because the demand for ethanol in Brazil is price elastic, market prices will not drop much from recent levels. The biodiesel tax credit increases the competitiveness of US biodiesel relative to sugarcane ethanol. Thus, biodiesel production will likely exceed levels needed to meet the biomass-based diesel mandate and will result in lower imports of sugarcane ethanol. The decline in Brazilian ethanol exports decreases Brazilian domestic demand for imported US corn ethanol so the extent of two-way trade in ethanol is reduced under the tax credit. However, demand for ethanol in Brazil is strong enough, and the cost of producing corn ethanol will likely be low enough, to induce strong exports of corn ethanol to Brazil even with the tax credit. The strong demand for ethanol in Brazil due to its large fleet of flex vehicles is further boosted by the reduction in one of Brazil’s ethanol taxes. Because of the availability of corn ethanol, much of the ethanol consumption increase in Brazil caused by the lower tax is met by increased imports of US corn ethanol.
    Date: 2013–05
  8. By: Heinz Welsch (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Organic food markets in developed countries have been rapidly expanding in recent years. Though expected health benefits are a major motive for buying organic food (OF), the health effects of consuming OF are uncertain. This study uses survey data from Germany, 2007, to explore the causal relationship between OF consumption and self-rated health status. While it finds strong and statistically significant relationships between health and indicators of the intensity and duration of OF consumption, these relationships vanish when OF consumption is instrumented by respondents’ assessment of the necessity of renewable energy. Since the instrument satisfies usual validity standards, these findings suggest that the OF-health relationship may be spurious due to common unobserved factors, in particular a health-oriented lifestyle.
    Keywords: health; food; consumption; organic agriculture
    JEL: I12 D12 Q13
    Date: 2012–10
  9. By: Matteo Manera; Marcella Nicolini; Ilaria Vignati
    Abstract: This paper evaluates how different types of speculation affect the volatility of commodities’ futures prices. We adopt four indexes of speculation: Working’s T, the market share of non-commercial traders, the percentage of net long speculators over total open interest in future markets, which proxy for long term speculation, and scalping, which proxies for short term speculation. We consider four energy commodities (light sweet crude oil, heating oil, gasoline and natural gas) and seven non-energy commodities (cocoa, coffee, corn, oats, soybean oil, soybeans and wheat) over the period 1986-2010 analyzed at weekly frequency. Using GARCH models we find that speculation significantly affects volatility of returns: short term speculation has a positive and significant impact on volatility, while long term speculation generally has a negative effect. The robustness exercise shows that: i) scalping is positive and significant also at higher and lower data frequencies; ii) results remain unchanged through different model specifications (GARCH-in-mean, EGARCH, and TARCH); iii) results are robust to different specifications of the mean equation.
    Keywords: Commodities futures markets, Speculation, Scalping, Working’s T, Data frequency, GARCH models
    JEL: C32 G13 Q11 Q43
    Date: 2013–05
  10. By: Alexander Gocht (Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut); Norbert Röder (Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut); Sebastian Neuenfeldt (Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut); Hugo Storm (Bonn University); Thomas Heckelei (Bonn University)
    Abstract: The present study aims to develop a prototype analytical tool to assess structural changes at the farm level in EU-27 using the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) combined with the Farm Structure Survey (FSS). For the purpose of this study, farm structural change is related to the change in production systems, therefore a change in farm size and farm entry/exit into one sector/farm typology. In the ex-post analysis of structural change two methodologies are presented, one in which structural change is analysed from a discrete perspective using a Markov approach, whereas the second uses the continuous perspective to evaluate the type of farming over time using MCI (Multiplicative Competitive Interaction) models. The methodolgies are applied in selected German regions and the goodness of fit in the out of sample prediction is compared. In the ex-ante methodology, the existing farm module of CAPRI (Common Agricultural Policy Regionalised Impact System) is expanded by considering the findings of the statistical ex-post-analysis when projecting farm-type structural change in the baseline trends. Results show that the Markov prediction may outperform naïve prediction methods but that the quality of the prediction is critically dependent on the model specification. A higher in-sample fit does not necessarily lead to better out-of-sample prediction, which potentially indicates that the effects of specific explanatory variables may change over time. In addition, introducing structural change into the CAPRI farm type baseline improve policy impact assessment and hence a more reliable and consistent farm grid for simulations is constructed.
    Keywords: structural change, FADN, FSS, Markov Chain, MCI model, CAPRI
    JEL: C51 C52 C54 Q19
    Date: 2012–10
  11. By: Biørn, Erik (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Bjørnsen, Hild-Marte (Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute)
    Abstract: In this paper some labour market consequences of transitions in the agriculture sector are examined by combining a 20-year unbalanced panel data set from Norwegian farm couples (households) and logit modeling of one-period transition probabilities. The multi-dimensionality of the problem follows from two decision makers (partners) having four possible choices in each period: the farm operator and spouse can be working fully on the farm or having supplementary outside occupation. Transition probabilities are modeled by five alternative logit models. State dependence is represented to different extent. The most flexible model has a high number of parameters. Overall, the results indicate that transitions have mainly bee directed towards the state where both partners work off the farm. An increasing livestock reduces the probability of moving to states with substantial off-farm labour participation. Increased farm size tends to have the opposite effect. Recent on-farm investments come out with ambiguous effects, and the pattern seems to change during the observation period. Having children seems to motivate operators to withdraw from off-farm labour and spouses to stay in or entering off-farm employment.
    Keywords: Labour market transitions; Agriculture; Panel data; Markov chain; Logit analysis; State dependence; Multiple job-holding
    JEL: C23 C25 C33 C35 J43 J62
    Date: 2013–04–04
  12. By: Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel; Chiripanhura, Blessing
    Abstract: This paper examines the impacts of the financial, food and fuel crises on the livelihoods of low-income households Nigeria. It uses primary household level data from Nigeria to analyse the impacts of induced price variability on household welfare. Our results indicate that aggregate shocks have significant adverse effects on household consumption, human capital, and labour decisions with a degree of impact variability between northern and southern regions of the country. We find that the coping strategies adopted by the poor to deal with the short-term effects of the crises, and which include substitution for lower quality food, increasing the intensity of work, withdrawing children from school – especially girls – and engaging children in child labour, can lock households in a low-income equilibrium or poverty trap. Provided that covariate shocks exacerbate these effects, tackling the effects of covariate risks becomes central for present and future development policy.
    Keywords: food; fuel; financial crisis; poverty; vulnerability; sub-Saharan Africa; Nigeria
    JEL: O11 O15 O55
    Date: 2013–05–29
  13. By: Ken Tabata (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University)
    Abstract: This paper constructs a simple Malthusian model to explain per capita income differences in the Malthusian era by focusing on regional variations in the expansion of the commercial sector. This paper shows that a larger productivity improvement in the skilled intensive commercial sector relative to the improvement in the unskilled intensive agricultural sector causes a higher per capita income in the Malthusian steady-state equilibrium by enhancing the child quantity-quality transition. From the late Middle Ages, Northwestern Europe (Britain and the Netherlands) was characterized by dramatic growth of both the commercial sector and urbanization, high literacy rates, and a low-pressure demographic regime, and thus, these regions developed very differently from the rest of Europe. Our results are somewhat consistent with the relevant experiences of Northwestern Europe in the preindustrial era.
    Keywords: Commercial Sector, Sectoral Productivity Improvement, Child Quantity-Quality Transition, Malthusian Era
    JEL: J10 N10 O11 O33
    Date: 2013–05
  14. By: OHASHI Kazuhiko; OKIMOTO Tatsuyoshi
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate whether excess correlations among seemingly unrelated commodity returns have increased recently, and if so, how they were achieved. To this end, we generalize the model of excess comovement, originated by Pindyck and Rotemberg (1990) and extended by Deb, Trivedi, and Varangis (1996), to develop the smooth-transition dynamic conditional correlation (STDCC) model that can capture long-run trends and short-run dynamics in excess comovements. Using commodity returns data from 1983 to 2011, we find that significant increasing long-run trends in excess comovements have appeared since around 2000 in all pairs of agricultural raw materials, beverages, metals, and oils. We confirm that these increasing trends are robust and are not artifacts of the recent financial crisis or changes in the effects of common macroeconomic factors. Moreover, unlike the results above, we find no significant increasing trends in excess comovements among off-index commodity returns. Those findings provide additional evidence for the recent debates about the effect of financialization on commodity-return correlations.
    Date: 2013–05
  15. By: Anna Pechan (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics); Klaus Eisenack (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Thermoelectric power plants depend on cooling water drawn from water bodies. Low river run-off and/or high water temperatures limit a plant’s production capacity. This problem may intensify with climate change. To what extent do such capacity reductions affect electricity spot markets? Who bears the consequent costs? How is this influenced by climate change and a change in the electricity generation system? We quantify these effects by means of a bottom-up power generation system model. First, we simulate the German electricity spot market during the heat wave in 2006, and then conduct a sensitivity study that accounts for future climatic and technological conditions. We find an average price increase of 11%, which is even more pronounced during times of peak demand. Production costs accumulate to additional but moderate e15.9 m during the two week period. Due to the price increase producers gain from the heat wave and consumers disproportionately bear the costs. Carbon emissions increase during the heat wave. The price and cost effects are more pronounced and significantly increase if assumptions on heat-sensitive demand, hydro power capacity, net exports and capacity reductions are tightened. These are potential additional effects of climate change. Hence, if mitigation fails or is postponed<br>globally, the impacts on the current energy system are very likely to rise. Increases in feed-in from renewable resources and demand-side management can counter the effects to a considerable degree. Countries with a shift to renewable energy supply can be expected to be much less susceptible to water scarcity than those with a high share of nuclear and coal-fired power plants.
    Keywords: Electricity Market, Heat Wave, Germany, Climate Change
    JEL: Q41 Q54
    Date: 2013–06
  16. By: Moinul Islam (Tohoku University); Koji Kotani (International University of University)
    Abstract: Bangladesh is vulnerable to climatic changes, and there has been a serious debate about the occurrence and the relationship of a change in climate to the frequency of ooding. For example, areas of Dhaka are hypothesized to possess four seasons rather than the six seasons that have traditionally comprised the annual calendar. Despite the importance of this topic, it has received little research attention. Thus, we examine (i) whether a change in climatic patterns is occurring, and (ii) the perceptions and attitudes of people living in this area. We conducted face-to-face surveys with 1,011 respondents of different social and demographic strata and seven experts in Bangladesh. Using these data, we analyze how closely people's perceptions align with climate data, and whether six seasons are becoming four seasons. Finally, we characterize the determinants of people's cooperative attitudes toward ood controls by examining their willingness to pay (WTP).We obtain the following principal results. First, most people correctly perceive the nature of climate variables. Moreover, people's perceptions and our statistical analysis of climate are identical in indicating that the annual calendar is transitioning to four seasons. Second, people who correctly perceive climatic changes tend to express a higher WTP than those who do not. Overall, these ndings suggest that a change in seasonal climatic patterns is occurring in the area. Informational and educational efforts related to accurate climate perceptions are keys to increasing cooperation into managing climatic change and related disasters.
    Keywords: climatic change, seasonal change, perception, willingness to pay, food
    Date: 2013–06
  17. By: Michele Battisti (Department of Law, Politics and Society, University of Palermo); Michael S. Delgado (Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University); Christopher F. Parmeter (Department of Economics, University of Miami)
    Abstract: Economists and environmental policymakers have recently begun advocating a bottom-up approach to climate change mitigation, focusing on reduction targets for groups of nations, rather than large scale global policies. We advance this discussion by taking a quantitative perspective, focusing on econometric identification of groups of countries that have statistically similar distributions of carbon emissions using a broad range of finite mixture models. Nearly all of our results yield a consistent pattern: after 1980, there are two distinct emissions distributions, and that these distributions continue to evolve over time. We provide a rigorous analysis of these distributional differences along several important dimensions: polarization, mobility, and volatility. We discuss how this robust quantitative evidence may aid policymakers in forging a heterogeneous carbon abatement policy.
    Keywords: Carbon emissions; Emissions groups; Heterogeneity; Abatement policy; Finite mixture models
    JEL: C30 C38
    Date: 2013–05–08
  18. By: Hossein Mirshojaeian Hosseini (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University); Shinji Kaneko (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University)
    Abstract: To prevent further increases in energy consumption, the Iranian government commenced energy subsidy reform in 2010. This paper investigates the fuel conservation effects of the reform in Iran using a homothetic translog cost function that provides estimates of the own- and cross-price elasticities of fuel demands. The percentage reduction in fuel demands is estimated using the likely effect of the reform on fuel prices. The results reveal that the reform may not be as successful as assumed. Under optimistic assumptions, the reform may reduce energy consumption marginally, and under pessimistic assumptions, it may increase energy consumption because of inelastic fuel demands and substantial substitution between fuels.
    Keywords: Energy subsidy reform, Energy conservation, Iran, Translog cost function
    JEL: C32 Q38 Q43
    Date: 2013–01
  19. By: Christoph Böhringer (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, Germany); Brita Bye (Statistics Norway, Oslo, Norway); Taran Fæhn (Statistics Norway, Oslo, Norway); Knut Einar Rosendahl (Statistics Norway, Oslo, Norway)
    Abstract: In the absence of effective world-wide cooperation to curb global warming, import tariffs on embodied carbon have been proposed as a potential supplement to unilateral emissions pricing. We consider alternative designs for such tariffs, and analyze their effects on global welfare within a multi-region, multi-sector computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of global trade and energy. Our analysis suggests that the most cost-efficient policy could be region-specific tariffs on all products, based on direct plus electricity emissions. In the end, however, the potential cost savings through carbon tariffs must be weighed against the administrative costs as well as legal issues and political considerations.
    Keywords: carbon leakage, embodied carbon, border tariffs
    JEL: Q43 Q54 H2 D61
    Date: 2012–06
  20. By: Kumar, Santosh; Dansereau, Emily; Murray, Chris
    Abstract: Skilled attendance at childbirth is crucial for decreasing maternal and neonatal mortality, yet many women in low- and middle-income countries deliver outside of health facilities, without skilled help. Distance to health facility is considered to be an important non-monetary barrier that impede utilization of health facilities. In this paper, we examine if access to health facilities affects institutional births in a resource-constrained country like India. We use Two-Stage Residual Inclusion (2SRI) and IV-Probit models to account for endogenous placement of health facilities. Our findings indicate that women living closer to health facilities have a higher probability of giving birth in health facility. An increase of one kilometer in the distance to the nearest health facility decreases the probability of institutional delivery by 4.4%. The results from policy simulation suggest that restricting the maximum distance to 5 kilometers would increase institutional delivery by 10%. Overall, our findings show that distance is an important barrier to service utilization and increasing the density of health facilities or improving transport infrastructure may be an important policy tool to improve facility-based delivery in developing countries.
    Keywords: In-facility delivery, access, distance, India.
    JEL: I0 I15 I18
    Date: 2012–10–01
  21. By: ISHIKAWA Jota; OKUBO Toshihiro
    Abstract: This paper studies greenhouse gas (GHG) emission controls in the presence of international carbon leakage through international firm relocation. In a trade and geography framework with two countries ("North" and "South"), only North sets a target for GHG emissions. We compare the consequences of emission quotas, emission taxes, and emission standards under trade liberalization for the location of pollution-intensive and less pollution-intensive sectors and the degree of carbon leakage. With low trade costs, further trade liberalization increases global emissions by facilitating carbon leakage. Regulation by quotas leads to spatial sorting with less carbon leakage and less global emissions than regulation by taxes and standards.
    Date: 2013–05

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