New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2013‒07‒20
eighteen papers chosen by

  1. The effect of globalization on water consumption: a case study of spanish virtual water trade, 1849-1935 By Rosa Duarte; Vicente Pinilla; Ana Serrano
  2. Food price spikes, price insulation, and poverty By Anderson, Kym; Ivanic, Maros; Martin, Will
  3. Export performance and macro-linkages: A look at the competitiveness and determinants of cocoa exports, production and prices for Ghana By Boansi, David
  4. NGOs and participatory conservation in developing countries: why are there inefficiencies? By Vallino, Elena; Aldahsev,Gani
  5. The Outlook for China’s Growth and its Impact on New Zealand Exports By Scott Bowman; Patrick Conway
  6. Pluralistic Agricultural Extension System in India: Innovations and Constraints By Meena, M.S.; Singh, K.M.; Swanson, B.E.
  7. The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index By Sabina Alkire, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Amber Peterman, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Greg Seymour and Ana Vaz
  8. The Effect of Land Restitution on Poverty Reduction Among the Khomani San "Bushmen" in South Africa By Johane Dikgang and Edwin Muchapondwa
  9. Socio-Economic Context of Saving Biodiversity By Gul, Rjaz
  10. Disease Control, Demographic Change and Institutional Development in Africa By Margaret S. McMillan; William A. Masters; Harounan Kazianga
  11. Two contrasting experiences. The rural land market in sixteenth century Flanders and Brabant By Nicolas De Vijlder
  12. Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us? By Robert S. Pindyck
  13. A Measurement of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Guadua Angustifolia in the Carrasco National Park, Bolivia By Ricardo A. Rojas Quiroga; Tracey Li; Gonzalo Lora; Lykke Andersen
  14. DataM - Data on Agriculture, Trade and Models; a tool for flexible management, extension and integration of (model) databases By Sophie Hélaine; Arnaldo Caivano; Robert M'barek; Arnaldo Caivano
  15. The New CAFE Standards: Are They Enough on Their Own? By McConnell, Virginia
  16. The tragedy of the park: an agent-based model on endogenous and exogenous institutions for the management of a forest. By Vallino, Elena
  17. The Cognitive Effects of Micronutrient Deficiency: Evidence from Salt Iodization in the United States By James Feyrer; Dimitra Politi; David N. Weil
  18. Pricing of National Park Visits in Kenya: The Case of Lake Nakuru National Park By Peter Chacha, Edwin Muchapondwa, Anthony Wambugu and Daniel Abala

  1. By: Rosa Duarte; Vicente Pinilla; Ana Serrano
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyse the impact on water consumption of the trade expansion of the first globalization era. To that end, we choose the case of Spain, a semi-arid country with significant cyclical water shortages that excelled as an exporter of agricultural and food products in the period of study. More specifically, we are interested in answering the following questions: What was the volume of water embodied in agricultural and food products exports, how did this variable evolve over time, what factors drove this evolution and what was the volume of water incorporated in imports of these products?. In short, we want to know the impact on water resources of Spain’s entry into agriculture and food markets. To explore these issues, we will use the concepts of virtual water and virtual water trade. First, we examine virtual water trade flows in the long run. Further, we attempt to disentangle certain major drivers underlying these trajectories. In order to establish the role played by trade in the final net balance of water, a Structural Decomposition Analysis (SDA) is applied. Finally, an analysis of the implications of the increase in virtual water trade on water resources is carried out.
    Keywords: virtual water trade, environmental history, agricultural trade, water history
    JEL: N53 Q17 Q25 Q56
    Date: 2013–07
  2. By: Anderson, Kym; Ivanic, Maros; Martin, Will
    Abstract: This paper has two purposes. It first considers the impact on world food prices of the changes in restrictions on trade in staple foods during the 2008 world food price crisis. Those changes -- reductions in import protection or increases in export restraints -- were meant to partially insulate domestic markets from the spike in international prices. The authors find that this insulation added substantially to the spike in international prices for rice, wheat, maize, and oilseeds. As a result, although domestic prices rose less than they would have without insulation in some developing countries, in many other countries they rose more than they would have in the absence of such insulation. The paper's second purpose it to estimate the combined impact of such insulating behavior on poverty in various developing countries and globally. The analysis finds that the actual poverty-reducing impact of insulation is much less than its apparent impact, and that its net effect was to increase global poverty in 2008 by 8 million people, although this increase was not significantly different from zero. Since there are domestic policy instruments, such as conditional cash transfers, that could now provide social protection for the poor far more efficiently and equitably than variations in border restrictions, the authors suggest it is time to seek a multilateral agreement to desist from changing restrictions on trade when international food prices spike.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Emerging Markets,Food&Beverage Industry,Access to Markets,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2013–07–01
  3. By: Boansi, David
    Abstract: This study presents an analysis of Ghana’s performance in export of cocoa using the revealed comparative advantage and revealed symmetric comparative advantage measures of competitiveness for the periods 1964-69 (immediate years following the collapse of world price of cocoa), 1983-92 (Reform and Adjustment Period) and 2000-2010 (recent decade). In addition, the magnitude and effects of key economic determinants of cocoa exports, production and farm gate price for Ghana are estimated. RCA and RSCA figures computed in the current study show that Ghana has comparative advantage in export of both raw and processed cocoa, with its advantage being higher in exports of the raw product. Ghana’s performance in export of cocoa has improved significantly since 1983. This observation is attributed to initiation of the Economic Recovery Program in 1983(which created the right conditions for agricultural investment and helped address inefficiencies in marketing and fiscal disciplines), the Agricultural Services Rehabilitation Project (ASRP) between 1987 and 1990 (which helped in strengthening the capacity of agricultural research, extension and policy planning), opening up of the domestic market to competition through partial liberalization of internal marketing from the early 1990s, establishment of a price stabilization system and continuous government support to the sector through increased public spending on infrastructure and productivity-enhancing innovations. Improvement in the export performance, anticipated increases in global demand and world price of cocoa, wide yield gap of Ghana, positive attitude of farmers towards supply of cocoa due to increased government support, and intensification of competition on the domestic market indicate potential for further improvement in Ghana’s production and export of cocoa. However, upon estimates obtained in the current study, to realize any further improvement in the performance of the cocoa subsector, measures should be put in place to bridge the wide yield gap, ensure continuous government support to various stakeholders in the supply chain, and tighten the loose border between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to help minimize smuggling in times of increasing farm gate price of cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire
    Keywords: Competitiveness, cocoa exports, value addition, determinants, government support, price stabilization, world price of cocoa, producer price of cocoa, cocoa production
    JEL: E6 F1 F11 F13 Q11 Q13 Q14 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2013–07–12
  4. By: Vallino, Elena; Aldahsev,Gani (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Countries, under the label of participatory conservation. This implies the direct involvement of the local communities in conservation. We develop an economic model to explain why participatory conservation has been “invented”, why in many situations it does not function, and why environmental NGOs find it difficult to make it functioning. The occurrence of the tragedy of the commons in a given natural area may justify an NGO intervention. Since there is empirical evidence of failure of a top-down approach in conservation, the effort of the local stakeholders is necessary. Given that there is contract incompleteness, the NGO may apply participatory conservation. However, since local farmers live at subsistence level and are strongly risk averse, they may give priority to Agricultural income with respect to tourism income, which derives from conservation. They may not collaborate with the NGO for conservation activities if the NGO does not allocate some effort to sustain agriculture. However the NGO is funded by donors with environmental motivations.
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Scott Bowman; Patrick Conway (The Treasury)
    Abstract: The People’s Republic of China has become increasingly important to the New Zealand economy since the start of economic liberalisation in China more than 30 years ago, particularly in the past decade. This paper is the second of three looking at the impact of China on the New Zealand economy. The first paper (Bowman and Conway, 2013) examined China’s recent economic expansion and traced the channels through which this expansion has impacted on the New Zealand economy, concentrating on China’s demand for commodities. This paper examines the sustainability of China’s economic growth and demand for commodities, and the impact that China is likely to have on the New Zealand economy in the next decade. The third paper (Osborn and Vehbi, 2013) quantifies the impact of China’s past expansion and commodity demand on the New Zealand economy through the framework of an econometric model. This paper concludes that while there are cyclical risks to China’s economic performance in the medium term, these risks are manageable; China’s economic growth is likely to ease to a more stable and sustainable rate over the next decade compared to the previous decade. However, demand for commodities is likely to remain high over this period, as urbanisation continues and incomes grow faster than other trading partners. A gradual shift in the driver of economic growth from investment to consumption is likely to transfer demand from hard to soft commodities. Dairy and meat consumption per capita are expected to grow as incomes increase and combined with China’s large population will result in significant impacts on global markets. China’s shortage of agricultural land and water resources will limit its supply response and, along with concerns about the quality of domestic production, result in a reliance on imports of agricultural products. New Zealand’s reputation for producing quality products and its efficient supply chains, which are already well established, put it in a good position to benefit. China’s growing share of New Zealand exports will continue to increase its contribution to New Zealand’s economic growth, despite a slowdown in China’s growth.
    Keywords: China; New Zealand;; commodities; dairy; forestry; merchandise trade
    JEL: F14 F43
    Date: 2013–07
  6. By: Meena, M.S.; Singh, K.M.; Swanson, B.E.
    Abstract: The major issues before Indian extension system are: how to improve the effectiveness of extension systems? How to serve the small land holders and marginal farmers in diversified farming systems? and proper allocation of fund, human resources and its management. The ATMA model has been successful in addressing many extension problems. Hence, the model should be introduced and implemented vigilantly. ATMAs should be empowered with sufficient administrative, financial and implementation flexibilities to reach the large numbers of small and marginal farmers. There is need of coordinated attempt to synergize and converge efforts at district and block levels to improve the performance of stakeholders. It is essential to route all the state and central government extension funds and human resources through a single agency, i.e. ATMA for effective utilization of crucial resources. The state governments should provide proper financial support by allocating at least 20% of states total budget to ATMA, which in turn distributes among state departments. The development grant provided by ICAR to SAUs and KVKs should be reviewed and adequately enhanced. Scaling up of FIGs/SHGs and Farmers Associations (FAs) could be an effective mechanism for empowerment and transfer of agricultural technologies. For serving the small communities efficiently, Information and Communication Technologies could be useful tools to increase connectivity between various FIGs/SHGs. It will also reduce extension cost and the workload of extension functionaries. There is need to learn from other actors like private sector, NGOs as they have much in-depth presence with various successful model.
    Keywords: Pluralistic extension system, innovations, constraints, Indian extension system
    JEL: O13 O19 O31 Q16 Q18
    Date: 2013–07–09
  7. By: Sabina Alkire, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Amber Peterman, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Greg Seymour and Ana Vaz
    Abstract: The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) is a new survey-based index designed to measure the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agricultural sector. The WEAI was initially developed as a tool to reflect women's empowerment that may result from the United States government's Feed the Future Initiative, which commissioned the development of the WEAI. The WEAI can also be used more generally to assess the state of empowerment and gender parity in agriculture, to identify key areas in which empowerment needs to be strengthened, and to track progress over time. The WEAI is an aggregate index, reported at the country or regional level, based on individual-level data collected by interviewing men and women within the same households. The WEAI comprises two subindexes. The first assesses the degree to which women are empowered in five domains of empowerment (5DE) in agriculture. It reflects the percentage of women who are empowered and, among those who are not, the percentage of domains in which women enjoy adequate achievements. These domains are (1) decisions about agricultural production, (2) access to and decision-making power about productive resources, (3) control of use of income, (4) leadership in the community, and (5) time allocation. The second subindex (the Gender Parity Index [GPI]) measures gender parity. The GPI reflects the percentage of women who are empowered or whose achievements are at least as high as the men in their households. For those households that have not achieved gender parity, the GPI shows the empowerment gap that needs to be closed for women to reach the same level of empowerment as men. This technical paper documents the development of the WEAI and presents pilot data from Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Uganda, so that researchers and practitioners seeking to use the index in their own work would understand how the survey questionnaires were developed and piloted, how the qualitative case studies were undertaken, how the index was constructed, how various indicators were validated, and how it can be used in other settings.
    Date: 2013–02
  8. By: Johane Dikgang and Edwin Muchapondwa
    Abstract: This paper looks at the impact of land restitution involving the Khomani San “bushmen†in the Kgalagadi area of South Africa. It seeks to test whether there is a positive correlation between land restitution and poverty reduction among the beneficiaries. We run instrumental variable probit models on poverty and access to nature. Our results suggest that using restituted land by the claimants’ has no positive effect on poverty alleviation. However, a positive link with greater access to nature is established. Therefore, land restitution should become part of a broader, carefully crafted rural developmental strategy for it to be effective. Otherwise land restitution risks enabling indigenous communities to continue with their “traditional†way of life and, in fact, keep them poor.
    Keywords: Access to nature, Instrumental variable, Khomani San, Land restitution, poverty
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Gul, Rjaz
    Abstract: Since the beginning of time mankind has depended upon the available natural resources for survival, although the contribution of biodiversity to the sustainable development has recently been acknowledged. The need for this recognition arose from the fact that biodiversity provides a variety of socio- cultural and economic services for the humankind such as food, water, shelter, medicines, energy and aesthetic value. Despite realization of biodiversity as essential factor for human life and welfare, we are facing problems of global nature. Pakistan is fortunate to have a rich biodiversity and is blessed with more than nine distinct ecological zones. These ecological zones provide a range of habitats to a great variety of flora and fauna, besides a vast variety of plant species having great medicinal and food value. However, deforestation, over development, lack of awareness and control measures have negative effects on biodiversity. These actions are leading to loss of species, habitats and degradation of ecosystems. Presently, the rate of regeneration of resources is much slower than the rate at which these natural assets are being consumed inducing a socio-economical recession. There is a need to adopt a sustainable approach towards biodiversity conservation and establish a balance between gains and loss to bridge this gap between resource generation and consumption. Preservation of biodiversity without sustainability could impact the overall economic conditions leading to further poverty and affect the quality of life of the people. This paper thoroughly reviews significance of biodiversity, its socio-economic benefits and problems currently being faced to save this natural wealth.
    Keywords: Biodiversity, ecological zones, socio-economical gains, sustainability, balance
    JEL: Q23 Q26 Q57
    Date: 2013–07–17
  10. By: Margaret S. McMillan; William A. Masters; Harounan Kazianga
    Abstract: This paper addresses the role of tropical disease in rural demography and land use rights, using data from Onchocerciasis (river blindness) control in Burkina Faso. We combine a new survey of village elders with historical census data for 1975-2006 and geocoded maps of treatment under the regional Onchocerciasis Control Program (OCP). The OCP ran from 1975 to 2002, first spraying rivers to stop transmission and then distributing medicine to help those already infected. Controlling for time and village fixed effects, we find that villages in treated areas acquired larger populations and also had more cropland transactions, fewer permits required for cropland transactions, and more regulation of common property pasture and forest. These effects are robust to numerous controls and tests for heterogeneity across the sample, including time-varying region fixed effects. Descriptive statistics suggest that treated villages also acquired closer access to electricity and telephone service, markets, wells and primary schools, with no difference in several other variables. These results are consistent with both changes in productivity and effects of population size on public institutions.
    JEL: I00 Q0 Q00
    Date: 2013–07
  11. By: Nicolas De Vijlder (Department of History, Ghent University)
    Abstract: The development of factor markets during the transition from the middle ages into the early modern period was of crucial importance for long term economic growth. However, especially in the Southern Low Countries, the land market remains understudied. In this paper I focus on the late sixteenth-century rural land market, using two case-studies each consisting of three parishes. A first case-study is formed by the parishes of Sleidinge and Evergem situated inland-Flanders near the city of Ghent. The second cases-study comprises the parishes St-Kathelijne Lombeek, Wambeek and Ternat and is located about ten kilometers from Brussels. Our preliminary research garnered several interesting results. Although both case- studies are part of the larger agrosystem of Inland Flanders, market activity (type of plots sold, average acreage sold, yearly turnover etc...) differed greatly between the two regions. Our analysis shows that these contrasting experiences can be explained by a combination of institutional, socio-economic and geographical factors.
    JEL: N13 N33 N93 P13 P25
    Date: 2013–05
  12. By: Robert S. Pindyck
    Abstract: Very little. A plethora of integrated assessment models (IAMs) have been constructed and used to estimate the social cost of carbon (SCC) and evaluate alternative abatement policies. These models have crucial flaws that make them close to useless as tools for policy analysis: certain inputs (e.g. the discount rate) are arbitrary, but have huge effects on the SCC estimates the models produce; the models' descriptions of the impact of climate change are completely ad hoc, with no theoretical or empirical foundation; and the models can tell us nothing about the most important driver of the SCC, the possibility of a catastrophic climate outcome. IAM-based analyses of climate policy create a perception of knowledge and precision, but that perception is illusory and misleading.
    JEL: D81 Q5 Q54
    Date: 2013–07
  13. By: Ricardo A. Rojas Quiroga (Centro de Investigación y Promoción del Campesinado (CIPCA)); Tracey Li (Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)); Gonzalo Lora (Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)); Lykke Andersen (Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD))
    Abstract: The carbon sequestration potential of an unmanaged and previously unstudied Guadua angustifolia bamboo forest in the Carrasco National Park of Bolivia has been studied, by estimating the total aboveground biomass contained in the forest. It was found that the aboveground biomass consisting of stems, branches, and foliage, contains a total of 200 tons per hectare, leading to an estimated 100 tons of carbon being stored per hectare aboveground, which is comparable to some species of tree such as the Chinese Fir; this bamboo species therefore has the potential to play a significant role in the mitigation of climate change. The relation between the biomass, M, of each component (stems, branches, and foliage) and the diameter, d, of the plant was also studied, by fitting allometric equations of the form M = adß. It was found that all components fit this power law relation very well (R2 > 0.7), particularly the stems (R2 > 0.8) and branches (R2 > 0.9) for which the relation is found to be almost linear.
    Keywords: Climate change, migration, carbon sequestration, bamboo
    JEL: Q23 Q54
    Date: 2013–07
  14. By: Sophie Hélaine (European Commission – DG AGRI); Arnaldo Caivano (Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR) @ University of Bonn, Germany); Robert M'barek (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Arnaldo Caivano (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: In 2007, JRC-IPTS started to develop concepts for data consolidation, harmonisation and management together with external partners. Building on the experience of this project, JRC-IPTS began a second initiative in 2009, together with the PROGNOZ software company to design and implement a software platform for data harmonisation and management. The resulting product, DataM, is a database management tool intended to simplify the daily data work of analysts and modellers. DataM helpsfacilitates them feeding economic models with data, checking statistical information or analysing results.
    Keywords: agriculture, trade, models, harmonisation, management, modelling
    Date: 2013–04
  15. By: McConnell, Virginia (Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: New Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were recently passed in the United States with the twin goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and oil use. The new standards represent a dramatic change from recent policy. This paper examines the key features of the new rules, and compares them to previous CAFE standards in terms of flexibility and structure. The importance of consumer preferences and market forces on CAFE outcomes are identified. In the second part of the paper, the perspective of the consumer is explored. Consumer assessments of fuel economy savings with more fuel-efficient vehicles may be biased or incomplete, leading many to argue that there is an “energy efficiency gap” in consumer demand for vehicles. Reasons for such a gap, such as market failures, behavioral responses, and market barriers, are summarized. The implications for policy are discussed, including the role of combining CAFE with other policies.
    Keywords: CAFE, vehicle regulation, energy efficiency, environmental policy
    JEL: Q42 Q48 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2013–05–01
  16. By: Vallino, Elena (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Many scholars of common pool resources discovered that institutions may solve the tragedy of the commons. I will address a particular situation of management of natural resources: that of a protected area. In this situation interests differ. Local rural inhabitants care about the quality of their environment, but also need to exploit the resources for livelihood reasons. An external entity, being the State or a donor, or an NGO, or all of them together, decides that there is the need of nature Conservation in that area. Because of some evidence of failure of strictly top-down conservationist approach, the external entity decides to apply the concept of participatory conservation: the local inhabitants become stakeholders in the management of the area and they become collectively responsible for conservation, having in turn the right to exploit the resources up to so me degree. I argue that project designers try to find a solution to nature conservation through the creation of a situation of a commons: creating a community that has rights and duties towards a particular natural area that is endowed with some resources. Many scholars rely mostly on institutions which are endogenously created within the users’ community in order to avoid the “tragedy”. However, what happens if institutions are imposed? In participatory conservation initiatives the community has collective rights over the resources, and in this sense the issue of endogenous rules for the commons management is relevant. However, the level to which the community should exploit the resource is usually i mposed by the external project designers. Using agent-based simulations we develop a theoretical model in order to look at the consequences of an imposed institution on the state of a forest and on the profit of the users, taking into account the possibilities of violating the imposed rules, and that of facing enforcement. We compare the consequences of this imposed institution with those deriving from an endogenously created institution. We will also analyze the interaction between the different kinds of institutions and the individual perceptions of each agent. Many results of the model confirm quantitative and qualitative findings of the literature: the presence of institutions and enforcement improve the management of the resource with respect to an open access situation, with different degree of success depending on the kind of institution in place. The two main counterintuitive findings are the following. First, an exogenous institution imposed by external agents may crowd out agents’ intrinsic environmental motivations. Second, when an imposed exogenous institution is in place, the most effective rule is one allowing sufficient degree of access to the resources for the agents, provided that an adequate rule enforcement is implemented.
    Date: 2013–05
  17. By: James Feyrer; Dimitra Politi; David N. Weil
    Abstract: Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation in the world today. The condition, which was common in the developed world until the introduction of iodized salt in the 1920s, is connected to low iodine levels in the soil and water. We examine the impact of salt iodization on cognitive outcomes in the US by taking advantage of this natural geographic variation. Salt was iodized over a very short period of time beginning in 1924. We use military data collected during WWI and WWII to compare outcomes of cohorts born before and after iodization, in localities that were naturally poor and rich in iodine. We find that for the one quarter of the population most deficient in iodine this intervention raised IQ by approximately one standard deviation. Our results can explain roughly one decade's worth of the upwardtrend in IQ in the US (the Flynn Effect). We also document a large increase in thyroid related deaths following the countrywide adoption of iodized salt, which affected mostly older individuals in localities with high prevalence of iodine deficiency.
    JEL: I18 I28 J24 N32
    Date: 2013–07
  18. By: Peter Chacha, Edwin Muchapondwa, Anthony Wambugu and Daniel Abala
    Abstract: This study analyses the factors influencing pricing of National Park visits in Kenya. A two step regression procedure is used to develop a pricing mechanism for Lake Nakuru National Park (LNNP). In the first stage, count data models are applied to estimate the Trip generating function to LNNP and in the second, the results from count data models are used to simulate visitation as price varied through an increase in the gate fee to LNNP. The simulated data is used to estimate the demand curves for LNNP. The finding shows that the current price set-up at LNNP of Ksh. 7,050 for international tourists and Ksh. 1,000 for domestic tourists is in fact cost recovery. However, there is greater scope to raise more revenue from an increase in entry fees. The study proposes price increase for international visits from the current Ksh. 7,050 (US$75) to Ksh.20,000 (US$230) in the medium term. This will yield a total revenue estimated at Ksh. 2,823 million (US$33 million) without major decline in visitation days. With regard to domestic visitors, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) can increase the price from the current Ksh. 1,000 (US$11.8) to Ksh. 2,000 (US$ 22) over the same horizon. This price increase will yield revenue equivalent to Ksh. 288 million (US$ 3.4 million) but also lead to a decline in visitation levels from domestic group by 30 percent.
    Keywords: Pricing, protected areas, international and domestic visits, travel costs
    JEL: C24 C25 I31 Q26
    Date: 2013

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