New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2013‒11‒14
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. Poverty and economic development of Kenya By Mohajan, Haradhan
  2. Reforming WTO Rules on Export Restrictions - Is There Any Point? By Cardwell, Ryan; Kerr, William A.
  3. Economics of Land Degradation Initiative: Methods and Approach for Global and National Assessments By Nkonya, Ephraim; von Braun, Joachim; Mirzabaev, Alisher; Le, Quang Bao; Kwon, Ho Young; Kirui, Oliver
  4. Food Standards are Good – for Middle-Class Farmers By Henrik Hansen; Neda Trifković
  5. A conceptual model of incomplete markets and the consequences for technology adoption policies in Ethiopia By Larson, Donald F.; Gurara, Daniel Zerfu
  6. The information content of implied volatility in agricultural commodity markets By GIOT, Pierre
  7. A systematic approach for assessing spatially and temporally differentiated opportunity costs of biodiversity conservation measures in grasslands By Mewes, Melanie; Drechsler, Martin; Johst, Karin; Sturm, Astrid; Wätzold, Frank
  8. Hybrid seed use and diversity of diets among women in smallholder maize: Growing households in Zambia By Smale, Melinda; Moursi, Mourad; Birol, Ekin; De Groote, Hugo
  9. Migration, Remittances and Rural Employment Patterns: Evidence from China By Sylvie Démurger; Shi Li
  10. A Brief Introduction to the History of Computing in Agricultural Economics By Debertin, David L.
  11. Biosecurity and Disease Management in China’s Animal Agriculture Sector By Xinjie Wei; Wanlong Lin; David A. Hennessy
  12. Governance Strategies and Welfare Effects: Vertical Integration and Contracts in the Catfish Sector in Vietnam By Neda Trifković
  13. An assessment of energy resources for global decarbonisation By Jean-Francois Mercure; Pablo Salas
  14. A diagnostic approach to the institutional analysis of climate adaptation By Oberlack, Christoph; Neumärker, Bernhard

  1. By: Mohajan, Haradhan
    Abstract: The economy of Kenya has been continued to be the largest in the East African region and third largest in Sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria respectively. At present Kenya is one of the most highly literate countries in sub-Saharan Africa. But more than 60% people of Kenya live below the poverty line. Rapid increases in inflation could reduce economic growth and worsen the poverty levels of the citizens of Kenya. In Kenya economic development is dependent on agricultural improvement. Kenya is the largest food and agricultural products importer in east Africa. About 82% of the total land in Kenya is classified as arid and semi-arid. Agricultural products depend on proper rainfall. Staple food of Kenya is maize, which accounted about 65% of total staple food caloric intake and 36% of total food caloric intake. The cash income of the rural people of Kenya comes from the selling of agricultural products. At present the government of the country is trying to reduce poverty. An attempt has been taken here to discuss the food and economic situation and the development of these sectors of the country.
    Keywords: Food security, Maize, Agriculture, Inflation, Health, Economic development, Climate change.
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2013–02–18
  2. By: Cardwell, Ryan; Kerr, William A.
    Abstract: A number of major agricultural exporting countries responded to high food prices from 2007 to 2010 by imposing export restrictions on agricultural commodities in efforts to constrain domestic food-price inflation. These restrictions reduced the volume of internationally traded food, and exacerbated international price spikes. Net food importing countries were faced with growing import bills, and non-governmental organisations that target food security had to scale back programme commitments and appeal for increased funding. There have subsequently been a chorus of calls for the development of a formal international framework that could discipline the use of agricultural export restrictions; the agreements of the WTO have been targeted as a possible forum for such a framework. We present a framework in which the efficacy of such disciplines can be analysed, and conclude that constraints on agricultural export restrictions are not likely to be effective within the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Understanding.
    Keywords: Agricultural Trade, Dispute Settlement Understanding, Export Restrictions, Food Security, Retaliation, WTO, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2013–09
  3. By: Nkonya, Ephraim; von Braun, Joachim; Mirzabaev, Alisher; Le, Quang Bao; Kwon, Ho Young; Kirui, Oliver
    Abstract: Healthy land ecosystems are essential to sustainable development, including food security and improved livelihoods. Yet, their key services have usually been taken for granted and their true value underrated, leading to land degradation becoming a critical global problem. This pattern of undervaluation of lands is about to change in view of the rapidly rising land prices, which is the result of increasing shortage of land and high output prices. Despite the urgent need for preventing and reversing land degradation, the problem has yet to be appropriately addressed. Policy actions for sustainable land management are lacking, and a policy framework for action is missing. Such a framework for policy action needs to be supported by evidence-based and action-oriented research. The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) initiative seeks to develop such a science basis for policy actions to address land degradation. The purpose of this methodological paper is to provide with sound and feasible standards for ELD assessment at global and national levels. Only if some basic standards are identified and adhered to, comparative assessments can be conducted between countries and useful aggregation of findings, based on these case studies, can be achieved. Therefore, using the Total Economic Value (TEV)framework, the paper identifies minimum core standards that need to be adhered to in all country case studies to generate comparable material for international assessment and ELD policy guidance. It also identifies additional and desirable areas of information and analyses that would add value to the country case study material. The proposed framework is also intended as a forward-looking agenda which can guide future research.
    Keywords: Economics of Land Degradation, ELD, case studies, Total Economic Value, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Land Economics/Use, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, B41, Q01, Q15, Q24, Q51,
    Date: 2013–10
  4. By: Henrik Hansen (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Neda Trifković (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effect of food standards on Vietnamese pangasius farmers’ wellbeing measured by per capita consumption expenditure. We estimate both the average effects and the local average treatment effects on poorer and richer farmers by instrumental variable quantile regression. Our results indicate that large returns can be accrued from food standards, but only for the upper middle-class farmers, i.e., those between the 50% and 85% quantiles of the expenditure distribution. Overall, our result points to an exclusionary impact of standards for the poorest farmers while the richest do not apply standards because the added gain is too small.
    Keywords: food standards, pangasius, instrumental variable, quantile regression, Vietnam, Asia
    JEL: Q13 Q18 D02 D13 D31
    Date: 2013–10
  5. By: Larson, Donald F.; Gurara, Daniel Zerfu
    Abstract: In Africa, farmers have been reluctant to take up new varieties of staple crops developed to boost smallholder yields and rural incomes. Low fertilizer use is often mentioned as a proximate cause, but some believe the problem originates with incomplete input markets. As a remedy, African governments have introduced technology adoption programs with fertilizer subsidies as a core component. Still, the links between market performance and choices about using fertilizer are poorly articulated in empirical studies and policy discussions, making it difficult to judge whether the programs are expected to generate lasting benefits or to simply offset high fertilizer prices. This paper develops a conceptual model to show how choices made by agents supplying input services combine with household livelihood settings to generate heterogeneous decisions about fertilizer use. An applied model is estimated with data from a panel survey in rural Ethiopia. The results suggest that adverse market conditions limit the adoption of fertilizer-based technologies, especially among resource-poor households. Farmers appear to respond to market signals in the aggregate and this provides a pathway for subsidies to stimulate demand. However, the research suggests that lowering transaction costs, through investments in infrastructure and market institutions, can generate deeper effects by expanding the technologies available to farmers across all pricing outcomes.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies,Climate Change and Agriculture,Markets and Market Access,Fertilizers,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2013–10–01
  6. By: GIOT, Pierre
  7. By: Mewes, Melanie; Drechsler, Martin; Johst, Karin; Sturm, Astrid; Wätzold, Frank
    Abstract: Biodiversity loss in Europe is caused to a large extent by agricultural intensification. To halt this loss and to support species and habitat types in agricultural areas, agri-environment schemes have been introduced in Europe to compensate farmers for (costly) conservation measures. Currently, agri-environment schemes for grassland in general consider only a few conservation measures with fixed dates and a payment for average opportunity costs, e.g. for later mowing. A systematic approach that calculates farmers' opportunity costs in relation to the timing of grassland use is still lacking. We fill this gap by developing a systematic agri-economic cost assessment approach. Our approach is general enough to be applicable on a large spatial scale but can still sensitively differentiate among different timings. Moreover it is straightforward and time-saving enough to be suitable for implementation in regional scale optimisation procedures. We demonstrate this by applying the systematic cost assessment in the decision support software DSS-Ecopay using the example of grassland species and habitats conservation in the German federal state of Saxony. --
    Keywords: biodiversity conservation,cost-effectiveness,ecological-economic modelling,agri-environment scheme,grassland,DSS-Ecopay
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Smale, Melinda; Moursi, Mourad; Birol, Ekin; De Groote, Hugo
    Keywords: Agrobiodiversit, Farmers, Hybrid seed production, maize, Smallholders, Women, Zambia, West Africa, Africa south of Sahara, Africa
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Sylvie Démurger (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure [ENS] - Lyon); Shi Li (School of Economics and Business Administration - Beijing Normal University / Beijing)
    Abstract: This paper explores the rural labor market impact of migration in China using crosssectional data on rural households for the year 2007. A switching probit model is used to estimate the impact of belonging to a migrant-sending household on the individual occupational choice categorized in four binary decisions : farm work, wage work, self-employment and housework. The paper then goes on to estimate how the impact of migration differs across different types of migrant households identified along two additional lines : remittances and migration history. Results show that individual occupational choice in rural China is responsive to migration, at both the individual and the family levels, but the impacts differ : individual migration experience favors subsequent local off-farm work, whereas at the family level, migration drives the left-behinds to farming rather than to off-farm activities. Our results also point to the interplay of various channels through which migration influences rural employment patterns.
    Keywords: labor migration; labor supply; remittances; temporary migration; left-behind; China
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Debertin, David L.
    Abstract: These are the notes from the departmental retirement seminar on computing technology employed in agricultural economics presented by Dr. Debertin in April, 2013. These notes and photographs describe the history of computing in agricultural economics over a period of over 40 years from 1969-2013.
    Keywords: computers in agriculture, computers in agricultural economics, computer history, computers in economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, C00,
    Date: 2013–10
  11. By: Xinjie Wei; Wanlong Lin; David A. Hennessy (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD))
    Abstract: China’s livestock production sector is changing rapidly to meet a variety of challenges. At the same time, China’s domestic consumers have begun to demand better quality and safer dietary protein sources; potential for international food market penetration has been compromised by food scandals; and her animal agriculture sector remains a concern for emergence of zoonotic diseases. The country is in the process of a major public animal health infrastructure upgrade, and is seeking better integration with international public animal health governance structures. The intent of this article is two-fold. We provide an overview of and commentary on China’s animal husbandry sector and animal disease control policies. We also assess weaknesses in its animal health and biosecurity infrastructure. China’s animal health administration countenances institutional weaknesses that are shared with higher-income countries, but her problems are more pronounced. Administrative failings include poorly demarcated and inconsistent oversight as well as failings in accountability. The need for professionalization of animal health careers, emphasis on quantity goals over qualitative metrics, as well as a want in scientific analysis and follow-through when prioritizing are other weaknesses. Government policy has been to promote larger-scale production, primarily to better secure wholesome food domestically. Production is changing in ways that may pose intermediate-term threats to animal and human health, but the longer-term outcome may be a production base that poses fewer concerns for global health.
    Keywords: animal health, global public goods, industry structure, public administration
    Date: 2013–10
  12. By: Neda Trifković (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Using an original dataset from the Vietnamese catfish sector, we study the impact of vertical coordination options on household welfare and the implications of different stages of vertical coordination for the success of the whole sector. The welfare gain from contract farming and employment on processor-owned estate farms is estimated using a maximum simulated likelihood estimator. Our results show positive welfare effects from participating in contract farming, but not from employment on processor-owned estate farms. The results imply that contract farming presents opportunities for economic growth, but additional effort is required to make the contracts more accessible to smallholders.
    Keywords: vertical coordination, catfish, maximum simulated likelihood, agri-food transformation, Vietnam
    JEL: D02 D31 O17 L14 L24
    Date: 2013–10
  13. By: Jean-Francois Mercure; Pablo Salas (Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: This paper presents an assessment of global economic energy potentials for all major natural energy resources. This work is based on both an extensive literature review and calculations based onto natural resource assessment data. In the first part, economic potentials are presented in the form of cost-supply curves, in terms of energy flows for renewable energy sources, or fixed amounts for fossil and nuclear resources, using consistent energy units that allow direct comparisons to be made. These calculations take into account, and provide a theoretical framework for considering uncertainty in resource assessments, providing a novel contribution aimed at enabling the introduction of uncertainty into resource limitations used in energy modelling. The theoretical details and parameters provided in tables enable this extensive natural resource database to be adapted to any modelling framework for energy systems. The second part of this paper uses these cost-supply curves in order to build a tool for analysing global scenarios of energy use, in the context of exploring the feasibility global decarbonisation using renewable energy sources. For such a purpose, a theoretical framework is given for evaluating either flows of stock energy resources for given price path assumptions for the related energy carriers, or the prices of energy carriers given energy demand assumptions. Results of both approaches are used in order to produce a complete comparison of global energy resources. The particular case of the feasibility of global decarbonisation by the end of the century is explored. Since the scale of the required amount of energy flows from renewables is comparable to the sum of the technical potentials, the associated scale of global land use for energy production is found to be large. For complete decarbonisation, without energy demand reductions, 7 to 12\% of the global land area could be required for energy production activities, emphasising the importance of improving energy consumption patterns and intensity of the global economy. The third part of this work is an appendix that provides all missing details, equations and databases necessary to understand and reproduce the work of Part I. This part is therefore aimed at enabling energy modellers to reproduce exactly and use in their own work the database that was constructed in this work.
    Keywords: Global energy resources, Climate change mitigation, Energy Commodity Price Dynamics, Global Decarbonisation
    JEL: Q21 Q31 Q41 Q54
    Date: 2013–09
  14. By: Oberlack, Christoph; Neumärker, Bernhard
    Abstract: Economics has a key role to play for understanding vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. However, economic approaches to climate adaptation are rarely articulated and discussed at a framework level. This article first reviews and critically assesses welfare economics approaches to climate adaptation and, secondly, develops a novel institutional economics approach to climate adaptation. Concepts and tools of welfare economics have contributed to assessments of benefits and costs of adaptation; outlined strategies for adaptation; identified responsibilities of the public sector and described policy instruments for adaptation. However, the neoclassical framing of collective action based on the concept of market failure seems too narrow to do analytical justice to the multitude of governance challenges associated with adaptation. Adaptation economics seems underequipped with analytical tools to study the role of institutions for climate adaptation. Therefore, an institutional economics approach to climate adaptation is developed and illustrated. This approach contributes to integrated economic analyses of climate adaptation in three major ways: First, by broadening the scope of climate adaptation economics; second, by delivering a diagnostic framework of climate adaptation that enables the analyst to explain adaptation processes in a systematic manner, synthesizes findings from a large number of research efforts, places particular research questions, governance problems and results in a broader context, and can guide the design of theoretical and empirical inquiries of climate adaptation; third, by offering research strategies and methods for developing generalisable and valid insights in the face of pronounced heterogeneity and diversity of climate adaptation. --
    Keywords: Economics of Climate Adaptation,Institutional Economics,Governance of Climate Adaptation,Diagnostic Framework
    JEL: Q54 B52 D02 D78
    Date: 2013

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