New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2013‒08‒23
23 papers chosen by

  1. Water Scarcity and International Agricultural Trade By Liu, Jing; Hertel, Thomas W.; Taheripour, Farzad; Zhu, Tingju; Ringler, Claudia
  2. Institutional Models for Accelerating Agricultural Commercialization: Evidence from Maize, Cotton and Horticulture By Chapoto, Antony; Haggblade, Steven; Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Kabwe, Stephen; Longabaugh, Steven; Sitko, Nicholas; Tschirley, David
  3. Reducing Risk for Dairy Farms: An Analysis of the Milk Supply Response to Current and Proposed Policies By Raghunathan, Uthra
  4. Improving the Use of Agricultural Technologies in Uganda By Ibrahim, Kasirye
  5. What are the Effects of Input Subsidies on Maize Prices? Evidence from Malawi and Zambia By Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob; Mason, Nicole M.; Darko, Francis; Jayne, T. S.; Tembo, Solomon
  6. Extension in India by Public Sector Institutions: An Overview By Singh, K.M.; Meena, M.S.; Swanson, B.E.
  7. The Size Distribution of Farms and International Productivity Differences By Tasso Adamopoulos; Diego Restuccia
  8. Analysis of the Soya Bean Value Chain in Zambia’s Eastern Province By Lubungu, Mary; Burke, William J.; Sitko, Nicholas J.
  9. An assessment of IFPRI’S work in Ethiopia 1995–2010: Ideology, influence, and idiosyncrasy By Renkow, Mitch; Slade, Roger
  10. Access versus Choice: testing the “food desert” construct in Champaign, IL By Jerch, Rhiannon L.; Baylis, Katherine R.; Dissanayake, Sahan T. M.
  11. Cellulosic Biofuel Supply with Heterogeneous Biomass Suppliers: An Application to Switchgrass-based Ethanol By Rosburg, Alicia; Miranowski, John; Jacobs, Keri
  12. Socio-economic Determinants of Household Food Insecurity in Pakistan By Asghar, Zahid; Muhammad, Ahmed
  13. Cellulosic Biofuel Potential Under Land Constraints: Locations, Plant Sizes and Feedstock Supply Costs By Rosburg, Alicia; Miranowski, John; Jacobs, Keri
  14. Aflatoxin Contamination of Maize in Kenya: Observability and Mitigation Behavior By Hoffmann, Vivian; Mutiga, Samuel; Harvey, Jagger; Nelson, Rebecca; Milgroom, Michael
  15. Labour in Rice Production and Value Chain : Field Observations from Jangaon, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh By Duvvuru, Narasimha Reddy; Motkuri, Venkatanarayana
  16. Role of State Agricultural Universities and Directorates of Extension Education in Agricultural Extension in India By Singh, K.M.; Meena, M.S.; Swanson, B.E.
  17. Economic and Emissions Impacts of Renewable Fuel Goals for Aviation in the US By Winchester, Niven; McConnachie, Dominic; Wollersheim, Christoph; Waitz, Ian A.
  18. Impact of product-related environmental regulations / voluntary requirements on Thai firms By Ramungul, Nudjarin; Michida, Etsuyo; Nabeshima, Kaoru
  19. Investment Behavior of Ugandan Smallholder Farmers: An Experimental Analysis By Ihli, Hanna Julia; Mußhoff, Oliver
  20. Minnesota Farm Real Estate Sales: 1990-2012 By Taff, Steven J.
  21. Does Rural Financial Development Spur Economic Growth? Evidence from Nigeria By Mr Sani Ibrahim, Saifullahi
  22. Estimating the Global Impacts of Climate Variability and Change During the 20th Century By Richard S.J. Tol; Francisco Estrada
  23. Is small better ? a comparison of the effect of large and small dams on cropland productivity in South Africa By Blanc, Elodie; Strobl, Eric

  1. By: Liu, Jing; Hertel, Thomas W.; Taheripour, Farzad; Zhu, Tingju; Ringler, Claudia
    Abstract: Agriculture’s reliance on irrigation and concerns over water scarcity raise the question of how global food output and trade could be affected if the issue of water shortfall needs to be resolved on the back of agriculture. To understand changes in food production and international agricultural trade as the responses to local water shortage, we construct a computable general equilibrium model in which irrigation water supply reliability is perturbed. The results suggest that regions under water stress cut back food production and turn into net food importers, although domestic water productivity improves. The regions’ welfare falls, primarily due to less endowment available for agriculture and decline in the terms of trade.
    Keywords: CGE modeling, water scarcity, irrigated and rainfed agriculture, food security, international agricultural trade, Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy, International Relations/Trade, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Q25, Q17,
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Chapoto, Antony; Haggblade, Steven; Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Kabwe, Stephen; Longabaugh, Steven; Sitko, Nicholas; Tschirley, David
    Abstract: Although a majority of Zambians work in agriculture, only a small minority of smallholders succeed in transitioning to high-productivity, high-value commercial agriculture. Only 20% of cotton farmers and less than 5% of maize and horticulture farmers succeed as top-tier commercial growers (Table 1). By tracing the long-term agricultural trajectories of successful commercial cotton, maize and horticulture farmers, this study identifies two broad agricultural pathways out of poverty. The low road, exemplified by cotton production, involves a two-generation transition via low-value but with well-structured markets. The more restrictive high road, epitomized by horticulture production, offers a steeper ascent, enabling prosperity within a single generation, but requires commensurately higher levels of financing, management and risk. Personal characteristics that define successful commercial smallholders include: • strict discipline; • treatment of farming as a business; • good management of crop production, labor and finances; • a strong propensity to save; and • willingness to invest in their children’s education. Key institutions affecting smallholder performance include: • management and marketing support provided by the cotton companies to their contract farmers; • land allocation systems, particularly those permitting land consolidation in communal areas and smallholder transitions to farm blocks in state lands; • savings systems (both financial and livestock-based) that permit successful smallholders to rebound from period shocks.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2013–05
  3. By: Raghunathan, Uthra
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Production Economics,
    Date: 2013–08
  4. By: Ibrahim, Kasirye
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Farm Management, Land Economics/Use, Production Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2013–06
  5. By: Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob; Mason, Nicole M.; Darko, Francis; Jayne, T. S.; Tembo, Solomon
    Abstract: Millions of smallholder farm households in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are net consumers of staple crops, and millions of poor urban households spend a significant share of their income purchasing staple foods. Recent research has underscored the major effects of changes in food prices on poverty, with the weight of the evidence indicating that rising food prices exacerbate poverty and food insecurity. Large-scale input subsidy programs, particularly for maize, have grown in popularity in SSA over the last decade. An important hypothesized but heretofore empirically untested benefit of these programs is that by raising maize production, the subsidies should put downward pressure on retail maize prices to the benefit of urban consumers and the rural poor, who tend to be net buyers of maize. To inform debates related to this rationale for input subsidies, this study estimates the effects of fertilizer subsidies on retail maize prices in Malawi and Zambia using market or districtlevel panel data covering the 2000/01 to 2011/12 maize marketing years. Malawi and Zambia are ideal case studies because both countries have well-known, large-scale fertilizer subsidy programs where the quantities distributed vary spatially and over time. In addition, the scale of the subsidy programs was large enough in both countries to have substantially affected national maize production, and hence have potentially discernible effects on domestic food prices. The effects of fertilizer subsidies on equilibrium retail maize prices in Malawi and Zambia are estimated via country-specific reduced form panel data econometric models of retail maize prices as a function of subsidized fertilizer and other factors. The models are estimated via first-differencing or the Arellano-Bond (AB) dynamic panel data method. Both estimators control for time constant unobserved effects. The major advantage of the AB approach is that it allows for lagged retail maize prices to affect current retail maize prices. The findings from our study are similar between Malawi and Zambia. They indicate that fertilizer subsidies have either no statistically significant effect on retail maize prices or, more commonly, a statistically significant but very small negative effect on those prices. The results suggest that roughly doubling the size of Malawi’s subsidy program (i.e., increasing the amount of subsidized fertilizer distributed to each district by 4,000 metric tons (MT) per year) only reduces real maize prices by 1.2% to 1.6% on average. In Zambia, roughly doubling the scale of the country’s subsidy program (i.e., by increasing the amount of subsidized fertilizer distributed to each district by 1,000 MT per year) only reduces real maize prices by 1.8% and 2.4% on average. The results are statistically significant at the 10% level or lower for most of the models estimated. It should be noted that even small decreases in maize prices would benefit the many poor rural and urban households that are net buyers of maize. However, empirical evidence presented here does not support the often-asserted claim that large public expenditures on input subsidies have major poverty reducing effects because the programs produce large spillover benefits in the form of substantially lower maize prices. The empirical evidence to date suggests that even the large-scale fertilizer subsidy programs in Sub-Saharan Africa may result in very small, if any, reductions in retail food prices in semi-open economies.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Demand and Price Analysis,
    Date: 2013–06
  6. By: Singh, K.M.; Meena, M.S.; Swanson, B.E.
    Abstract: Presently, Indian agricultural extension has wide mandates and despite the pluralistic extension approaches, its coverage and use of services is limited; particularly in rain-fed regions that are represented by marginal and smallholder farmers’. Hence, there is need to develop “need-based” capacity building of small-scale men and women farmers, as well as gaining access to reliable information in increasing their productivity and profitability for livelihoods improvements. There are five major agricultural public sector extension systems devoted to extension work in India: (i) the Ministry of Agriculture at central level, including the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Directorate of Extension (DoE); (ii) State Departments of Agriculture (DoA), as well as the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs); (iii) the Departments of Agriculture (DoA), Animal Husbandry (DAH), Horticulture (DoH) and Fisheries (DoF), as well as the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) and, more recently, the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) at the District level; (iv) also, there are a wide variety of producers groups, including cooperatives and federations of milk, fruits, cotton, oilseeds, coconut, spices etc.; as well as (v) civil society organizations, such as the Non-governmental Organization (NGOs). In agricultural innovation systems, there are still large gaps between research and extension approaches. Hence, there is need to evaluate the performance and socio-economic impacts of research and extension programs. Also, a greater understanding of Public Private Partnership is also required; including the mechanisms that help encourage partnerships. There is a want for a thorough evaluation of extension approaches in order to identify best practices and to understand their impact on farming communities in reaching small-scale and marginal farmers. The present study tries to analyze the role played by public sector institutions in India.
    Keywords: Public sector extension, SWOT Analysis, India
    JEL: O38 O53 Q1 Q16 Q18
    Date: 2013–08–14
  7. By: Tasso Adamopoulos; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: There are striking differences in the size distribution of farms between rich and poor countries. We study the determinants of farm-size across countries and their impact on agricultural and aggregate productivity by developing a quantitative model of agriculture and non-agriculture that features a non-degenerate size distribution of farms. We find that differences in measured aggregate factors such as capital, land, and economy-wide productivity account for 1/4 of the observed differences in farm size and productivity. Farm-level policies that misallocate resources from large and productive farms to small and less productive farms are prevalent in poor countries and have the potential to account for the remaining differences. We assess the quantitative importance of misallocation in two ways. First, we construct a summary measure of farm-size distortions across countries by exploiting within-country variation in crop-specific price distortions and their correlation with crop farm size. This measure and aggregate factors jointly account for more than 1/2 of the cross-country differences in size and productivity. Second, we quantify the effects of specific policies in developing countries: a land reform that imposes a ceiling on farm size and a progressive land tax. We find that each individual policy generates a reduction of 3 to 7 percent in size and productivity.
    Keywords: Aggregate productivity, agriculture, farm-size distortions, misallocation.
    JEL: O11 O13 O4 E0
    Date: 2013–08–12
  8. By: Lubungu, Mary; Burke, William J.; Sitko, Nicholas J.
    Abstract: The Feed the Future (FtF) program being implemented in Zambia’s Eastern Province by United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) has its goal of lifting more than a quarter of a million rural people (mostly farmers) out of poverty by 2015 (USAID 2011). The attainment of this objective will be achieved, in part, through sustained investments in several key value chains in the agricultural sector, including soya bean value chain. Despite the clear benefits of soya production for smallholders, soya production remains low. In part, this may be linked to the pervasive belief among farmers that soya markets are unreliable. However, interviews with downstream market actors suggest that there is in fact significant unmet demand for soya in Zambia. The purpose of this value chain analysis is to identify the factors limiting smallholder linkages to the growing markets for soya in Zambia, and to provide concrete strategies to overcome them. The primary data used in this study stem from qualitative research conducted in Eastern Province of Zambia. The data were collected through guided interviews with key actors at each node of the soya bean value chain. In addition to qualitative research, data from different national representative surveys were used to inform our discussion. The study highlights the following challenges: First, there is limited availability of high yielding soya seed and limited incentive for private investment in smallholder soya seed multiplication. This is partly because smallholder farmers prefer open pollinated varieties (OPVs), which can be recycled for up to five years with minimal yield loss. However, supplying recyclable seed is less profitable, so corporate suppliers tend not to promote them heavily. Another challenge concerns lack of inoculum as Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) is the sole producer within Zambia. Second, yield improving input usage in soya bean production is low. Smallholder farmers rarely use inoculum in soya bean production due to a lack of knowledge about the benefits of using inoculums, coupled with problems associated with acquisition. In Zambia, ZARI is the sole producer of inoculum. Low production is also related to poor agronomic practices, such as late planting and poor disease management Third, due to low production, farmers tend to have small quantities to sell and the earliest opportunity farmers have to turn their crop into cash is when the prices are the lowest of the marketing season during harvest time. Limited quantities of production do not justify transporting soya to potentially more remunerative markets in the district capital where buyers are willing to pay a premium on bulk purchases. Lastly, there is a large amount of trade distrust between farmers and traders, and it flows in both directions. Farmers complain of rigged scales whereas traders complain that sacks are frequently loaded with sand or stones to increase their weights. Based on the highlighted challenges, we suggest the following intervention strategies to overcome them: i. The project should work with seed suppliers and agro-dealers on forecasting demand based on project interventions. In addition, there is need for more public investment in the smallholder soya seed production and multiplication. ii. Awareness campaign on the benefits of using inoculum and how to apply it in soya bean production as well as improve accessibility. iii. Improve the extension service with regard to crop management practices. vi iv. Work with farmers on local bulking for onward sale. Need to focus efforts on improving farmers’ capacity to engage with the already existing market. v. Strategies for improving farmers’ capacity include market training on negotiation, market identification, and capacity to store.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2013–05
  9. By: Renkow, Mitch; Slade, Roger
    Abstract: This study provides an independent external assessment of the impact of IFPRI’s work in Ethiopia during 1995–2010. From 1995 to 2004, nearly all of IFPRI’s Ethiopia work was undertaken by Washington-based research teams working on specific themes under various “global research programsâ€. In each case, Ethiopia represented one of several case studies in a larger multicountry study. The international public goods generated in this way included peer-reviewed publications; collaborative research with both domestic and international researchers; and the building of national capacity for policy research. IFPRI entered into a different kind of relationship with Ethiopia in 2004 with the establishment of the Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP). The ESSP was set up to provide direct support to the Government of Ethiopia in the design and implementation of its national agricultural development strategy and to provide well-researched advice on other agricultural and rural development policy matters.
    Keywords: Ethiopia; East Africa; Africa south of Sahara; Africa; Impact assessment; Agricultural development; Development strategies; Agricultural policies; Agricultural research; Poverty; food security; Markets; Public investment; Sustainable land management
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Jerch, Rhiannon L.; Baylis, Katherine R.; Dissanayake, Sahan T. M.
    Abstract: How does one’s food environment affect food purchase decisions? Food access has received significant political and academic attention, particularly under the Obama administration. Existing literature on food access and “food deserts” mainly focuses on geographic distance or the retail of fresh fruits & vegetables versus fast food within a neighborhood to determine and identify inequitable access. In this paper I attempt to develop an endogenous measure of food access by asking how geographic placement of food retail affects food expenditure, particularly of fruits & vegetables. I use novel data on 886 households matched to food prices from a census of geocoded food retailers in Champaign County to approach this question from two perspectives. I first estimate the household’s share of grocery expenditures allocated to fresh, frozen, and canned fruits & vegetables versus other grocery items. I then use data on a person’s residence and geocoded data on food retail locations in Champaign County to test for relationships between retailer proximity, and the share of expenditure on fruits & vegetables. The next perspective uses a choice experiment to measure the tradeoff among store characteristics that determine where a consumer shops. The demand estimation reveals how much fruits & vegetables a person is actually consuming, while the choice experiment reveals whether that individual is constrained in their consumption by their existing characteristic set of stores. I find that while proximity to a grocery store is positively correlated with healthier food consumption, policy response should focus on improving store quality and product quality to induce behavioral change. I further find policy response should be cognizant of endogenous locational sorting which may require alternative means to improve health other than changing the food geography.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2013
  11. By: Rosburg, Alicia; Miranowski, John; Jacobs, Keri
    Abstract: The potential of biomass for alternative energy production has attracted considerable attention because of associated implications for energy security, food supply, and climate change. This paper considers the economic impacts of spatial variation and landowner behavior on potential biomass supply for U.S. cellulosic biofuel. We develop and apply a long-run biomass production through bioenergy conversion cost model that incorporates heterogeneity of biomass suppliers within and between local markets. An application to U.S. switchgrass-based cellulosic ethanol production suggests cost-minimizing biofuel production decisions, which include biorefinery size, biomass transportation distance, and price of biomass, vary significantly across locations. An aggregate switchgrass ethanol supply curve developed from local biofuel supply estimates is used to evaluate the potential for and cost of achieving cellulosic biofuel production targets such as the revised Renewable Fuels Standard. Empirical results suggest spatial variation in biomass production conditions plays an important role in the potential supply and distribution of U.S. cellulosic biofuel production. 
    Keywords: biofuel; biomass; cellulosic ethanol; RFS2; switchgrass
    JEL: Q11 Q16 Q41 Q42 Q48
    Date: 2013–08–13
  12. By: Asghar, Zahid; Muhammad, Ahmed
    Abstract: This study investigates the determinants of food insecurity for both general and farmer households. It is based on Pakistan Social and Living standard Measurement (PSLM) 2007-08 survey conducted by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan. After having descriptive analysis of the important determinants of food insecurity, we have used logit model to find the probability for being household secure or insecure. The model is initially fitted with 16 (for general) and 19 (for farmer households) variables, selected from factors identified by previous researchers that affect food insecurity. Twelve out of 19 variables for farmer households are found to be significant such as household size, household size square, household income, number of rooms, dependency ratio, electricity connection, irrigation facility, age and age square of household head. To our surprise female education variable is insignificant for general household model. The results obtained are further analyzed to compute partial effects on continuous variables and change in the probabilities on discrete variables for the significant factors in the logistic models. Household size, education of household head, annual income and agricultural income are some of the most important factors influencing the household’s food insecurity status.
    Keywords: Food Security, Discrete Choice Model
    JEL: C1 C5 Q18
    Date: 2013–08–14
  13. By: Rosburg, Alicia; Miranowski, John; Jacobs, Keri
    Abstract: We develop a long-run cost model for cellulosic biofuel production that accounts for locational differences in biomass production conditions.  The cost model minimizes the per-gallon cost of biofuel when feedstock costs vary within local biomass-producing regions and plant size is determined by local feedstock supply and size economies.  Applying the model, we estimate U.S. ethanol supply costs from both corn stover and switchgrass.  Model results are used to identify the locations and specific plant sizes from which stover-and switchgrass-based ethanol would meet cellulosic biofuel targets at least cost. 
    Keywords: biofuel; biomass; cellulosic ethanol; land use; switchgrass; corn stover; RFS2
    JEL: Q11 Q16 Q41 Q42 Q48
    Date: 2013–08–13
  14. By: Hoffmann, Vivian; Mutiga, Samuel; Harvey, Jagger; Nelson, Rebecca; Milgroom, Michael
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset of maize samples and consumer interviews form Eastern Kenya, we find that the presence of the fungal contaminant aflatoxin is negatively associated with the use of maize flour for food. While food remains the most common use of maize regardless of the presence of the toxin, contaminated maize is relatively more likely to be used for the production of alcoholic beverages, livestock feed, or sale. Retail maize prices are strongly correlated with an easily observable quality attribute, discoloration, but the correlation between price and aflatoxin contamination is not statistically distinguishable from zero. This suggests that consumers observe attributes that are correlated with aflatoxin upon careful inspection, or perhaps consumption of a portion of maize from a particular batch, and that their use of flour is based on this information. The apparently limited observability of attributes associated with aflatoxin contamination implies that problems associated with asymmetric information may affect this market. A comparison of maize quality by source provides evidence of such problems: purchased maize is more likely to be contaminated with aflatoxin than maize households have grown themselves, despite the fact that maize from larger producers is less likely to be contaminated.
    Keywords: food safety, asymmetric information, Kenya, maize, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, International Development, O12, O13, O15,
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Duvvuru, Narasimha Reddy; Motkuri, Venkatanarayana
    Abstract: As a part of larger research project a field survey was conducted in the Janagaon region of Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh. A qualitative part focussing on the labour use in value chain of rice marketing is carried out in the study area. In order to understand the labour use in value chain, it is limited to a part of whole sale marketing. In other words it covered labour use in Agriculture Grain Market Yards, Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) rice Godowns and Rice Mills. The qualitative part of the study is based on the focus group discussion (FGDs) among labourers engaged in rice production and value chain, informal discussion with the management of FCI and Rice Mill Owners and Technical Staff. It is to capture the changes in labour use and the impact of technology on it in the rice production cycle and value chain. Particularly, changes in the nature of employment, conditions of work, wages and employment relations with respect to rice cultivation.
    Keywords: Rice Cultivation, Labour, Rural Labour, Labour in Rice, Andhra Pradesh
    JEL: J23 J30 Q10
    Date: 2013–08
  16. By: Singh, K.M.; Meena, M.S.; Swanson, B.E.
    Abstract: In India, the first SAU was established in 1960 at Pantnagar in Uttar Pradesh. The SAUs were given autonomous status and direct funding from the state governments. They were autonomous organizations with state-wide responsibility for agricultural research, education and training or extension education. The establishment of the SAUs, based on a pattern similar to that of the land-grant universities in the United States, was a landmark in reorganizing and strengthening the agricultural education system in India. These universities became the branches of research under the ICAR and became the partners of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS). The green revolution, with its impressive social and economic impact, witnessed significant contributions from the SAUs, both in terms of trained, scientific work force and the generation of new technologies. However, most of the agricultural universities in India continue to be dominated by top-down, monolithic structures that follow a limited extension mandate. None of the post-Training-and-Visit (T&V) system extension reforms could revitalize it to meet the demands of a changing agricultural context. The profusion of uncensored information through mass media and cyber sources has long-term consequences of generating public distrust and alienation from agriculture. This is attributed to the lack of a proper mechanism for verifying the accuracy and viability of the information transmitted. As in most of the developing countries, transfer of technology remained largely in the domain of the State Department of Agriculture (DOA), and SAUs are mandated to serve only a limited extension role in technology dissemination activities. The paper tries to critically review the extension activities of the SAUs and their Directorates of extension Education in India.
    Keywords: Pluralistic extension system, State Agricultural Universities, Directorate of Extension Education, ICAR, India
    JEL: O15 O21 O33 O38 Q16
    Date: 2013–08–15
  17. By: Winchester, Niven; McConnachie, Dominic; Wollersheim, Christoph; Waitz, Ian A.
    Abstract: The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a goal that one billion gallons of renewable jet fuel is consumed by the US aviation industry each year from 2018. We examine the economic and emissions impacts of this goal using renewable fuel produced from a Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) process from renewable oils. Our approach employs an economy-wide model of economic activity and energy systems and a detailed partial equilibrium model of the aviation industry. If soybean oil is used as a feedstock, we find that meeting the aviation biofuel goal in 2020 will require an implicit subsidy from airlines to biofuel producers of $2.69 per gallon of renewable jet fuel. If the aviation goal can be met by fuel from oilseed rotation crops grown on otherwise fallow land, the implicit subsidy is $0.35 per gallon of renewable jet fuel. As commercial aviation biofuel consumption represents less than two per cent of total fuel used by this industry, the goal has a small impact on the average price of jet fuel and carbon dioxide emissions. We also find that, under the pathways we examine, the cost per tonne of CO2 abated due aviation biofuels is between $50 and $400.
    Keywords: Aviation, Biofuels, Climate Change, Emissions abatement, Environmental Economics and Policy, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2013–08
  18. By: Ramungul, Nudjarin; Michida, Etsuyo; Nabeshima, Kaoru
    Abstract: The rules governing the trade of goods in global markets have shifted toward non-tariff measures related to environmental and chemical safety. Unlike traditional environmental/safety requirements, the scope of modern regulations covers products’ environmental performance and chemical safety. To comply with these modern regulations, production practices along the entire supply chain must be realigned to manage certain chemical substances incorporated into the final product. This paper examines the implications of product-related environmental and chemical safety regulations on different firms operating in Thailand.
    Keywords: Thailand, Environmental law, Environmental protection, Exports, Industrial policy, Environment, Regulation
    JEL: F18 O25 Q56
    Date: 2013–02
  19. By: Ihli, Hanna Julia; Mußhoff, Oliver
    Abstract: In this study, we experimentally analyze the investment behavior of smallholder farmers in Uganda. We consider a problem of optimal stopping, stylizing an option to invest in a project. We ascertain whether, and to what extent, the real options approach and the classical investment theory can predict farmers’ investment behaviors. We also examine differences in the investment behavior with respect to the presence of a price floor, which is often used to stimulate investments. Furthermore, we look at learning effects. Our results show that both theories do not exactly explain the observed investment behavior. However, our results suggest that real options models better predict the decision behavior of farmers than the classical investment theory. The presence of a price floor and learning from personal experience during the experiment do not significantly affect the investment behavior. However, we find that specific socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics affect the investment behavior of farmers.
    Keywords: experimental economics, investment, price floors, real options, Uganda, Farm Management, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Political Economy, Risk and Uncertainty, C91, D03, D81, D92,
    Date: 2013–07
  20. By: Taff, Steven J.
    Abstract: This report is a summary of the data contained on the farmland sales portion of the Minnesota Land Economics (MLE) web site ( ) as of August 1, 2013. It is formally reissued each year, as new sales data become available. The present document consists largely of graphs and tables summarizing sales over the past twenty-three years. It provides averages at the multi-county region and at the statewide levels of aggregation. Individual transaction data are available for downloading and analysis at the MLE web site.
    Keywords: Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2013–07
  21. By: Mr Sani Ibrahim, Saifullahi
    Abstract: Robust economic development is not possible without financial deepening more especially in rural community where vast majority of the populace of Less Developed Countries (LDCs) resides. This paper analyses the impact of rural financial development on economic growth of Nigeria. The study uses time series data covering 1980 to 2011 periods paving the way for the application of Johansen and Juselius model of cointegration to detect the long-run relation among the variables in question. Accordingly, Dynamic Ordinary Least Square (DOLS) method was applied to unveil relationship between rural financial development and economic growth. The cointegration test result reveals the presence of long run relation between rural financial development and economic growth of Nigeria. Moreover, the DOLS results found a significant positive relationship between rural financial development and the growth of Nigerian economy. It has been confirmed in this study that rural finance serves as an engine of growth in the country. It could therefore be concluded that enhancing productive credit especially in rural areas could free the disadvantaged entrepreneur and thus enable them to contribute immensely toward the growth of Nigerian economy. The study therefore recommends among other things, barriers to the productive credit allocation in rural community should be reduced to the barest minimum.
    Keywords: Rural development, credit allocation, financial development
    JEL: E44 O16 O55
    Date: 2013–03–01
  22. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tinbergen Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Francisco Estrada (Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico)
    Abstract: Estimates of the impacts of observed climate change during the 20th century obtained by different integrated assessment models (IAMs) are separated into their main natural and anthropogenic components. The estimates of the costs that can be attributed to natural variability factors and to the anthropogenic intervention with the climate system in general tend to show that: 1) during the first half of the century, the amplitude of the impacts associated to natural variability is considerably larger than that produced by anthropogenic factors and according to most models the effects of natural variability were mainly negative. These non-monotonic impacts are mostly determined by the low-frequency variability and the persistence of the climate system; 2) IAMs do not agree on the sign (nor on the magnitude) of the impacts of anthropogenic forcing but indicate that they steadily grew over the first part of the century, rapidly accelerated since the mid 1970's, and decelerated during the first decade of the 21st century. The economic impacts of anthropogenic forcing range in the tenths of percentage of the world GDP by the end of the 20th century; 3) the impacts of natural forcing are about one order of magnitude lower than those associated to anthropogenic forcing and are dominated by the solar forcing. Human activities became dominant drivers of the infrapolated economic impacts at the end of the 20th century, rivaling in magnitude with those of natural variability. FUNDn3.6 allows to further decompose the natural and anthropogenic contributions into different sectors. The benefits of anthropogenic contribution in agriculture and energy are shown to outweigh the losses in health and water resources.
    Keywords: climate change; impacts; 20th century
    JEL: Q54
    Date: 2013–08
  23. By: Blanc, Elodie; Strobl, Eric
    Abstract: This study estimates and compares the effects of small and large irrigation dams on cropland productivity in South Africa. To this end, a panel data set of South African river basins is constructed. The econometric analysis reveals that although large dams increase cropland productivity downstream, they have a negative effect on cropland within the vicinity. However, their existence can enhance the relatively small positive impact of local small dams. Although a cost-benefit analysis of irrigation benefits shows that small dams may be more viable than large ones, large dams can play a potentially important role within a system of both types of dams.
    Keywords: River Basin Management,Dams and Reservoirs,Hydro Power,Water and Energy,Water Supply and Systems
    Date: 2013–08–01

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.