nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2014‒07‒05
fourteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Agriculture in African Development: A Review of Theories and Strategies By Stefan Dercon; Douglas Gollin
  2. How Cost Effective Are Food Pantry Programs for the Poor Likely to Be? By Wodon, Divya; Wodon, Naina; Wodon, Quentin
  3. The Price of Empowerment: Experimental Evidence on Land Titling in Tanzania By Daniel Ayalew Ali; Matthew Collin; Klaus Deininger; Stefan Dercon; Justin Sandefur; Andrew Zeitlin
  4. Agricultural Public Policy : Green or sustainable ? By Lauriane Mouysset
  5. Poverty Reduction during the Rural-Urban Transformation: Rural Development is still more important than Urbanisation? By Katsushi S. Imai; Raghav Gaiha; Alessandra Garbero
  6. Weather Shocks, Impact on Households, and Ability to Recover in Morocco By Cong Nguyen, Minh; Wodon, Quentin
  7. Social acceptance of renewable energy: Some examples from Europe and Developing Africa By Pollmann, Olaf; Podruzsik, Szilárd; Fehér, Orsolya
  8. Dynamic and Long-term Linkages among Growth, Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries By Katsushi S. Imai; Raghav Gaiha
  9. Revisiting the Great Indian Poverty Debate: Measurement, Patterns, and Determinants By Himanshu; Kunal Sen
  10. Extreme Weather Events and Migration: The Case of Morocco By Cong Nguyen, Minh; Wodon, Quentin
  11. Perceptions of Climate Change, Weather Shocks, and Impacts on Households in the MENA region By Adoho, Franck; Wodon, Quentin
  12. How Do Households Cope with and Adapt to Climate Change in the MENA Region? By Adoho, Franck; Wodon, Quentin
  13. WATER-Model: An Optimal Allocation of Water Resources in Turkey, Syria and Iraq By Pao-Yu Oei; Markus Siehlow
  14. A detailed systematic review of the recent literature on environmental Kuznets curve dealing with CO2 By Marie-Sophie Hervieux; Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu

  1. By: Stefan Dercon; Douglas Gollin
    Abstract: Agriculture is the largest sector in most sub-Saharan economies in terms of employment, and it plays an important role in supplying food and export earnings. Rural poverty rates remain high, and labor productivity is strikingly low. This paper asks how these factors shape the role of agriculture in African development strategies. Is agricultural growth a prerequisite for growth in other sectors? Or will urbanization and non-agricultural export markets ultimately be the forces that pull the rural economy into higher productivity? We argue that agricultural development strategies will vary widely because of heterogeneity across and within countries.
    Keywords: economic growth, structural transformation, sub-Saharan Africa, rural development
    JEL: O10 O13 O55 Q1 Q18
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Wodon, Divya; Wodon, Naina; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: This paper proposes a simple methodology for measuring and analyzing the cost effectiveness of food pantries and other food distribution programs that transfer in-kind benefits to the poor. The methodology suggests that even if the administrative cost, management, and nonfood costs of running food pantry programs is not negligible, the benefits generated by these programs for low income families may still be important for two reasons. First, the prices paid by food pantry programs when purchasing food from local food banks are lower than the prices charged by supermarkets for similar products. Second, most beneficiaries of food pantry programs are likely to belong to low income families and are also likely to use most of the food received. At the same time, the benefits from food pantry programs remain somewhat limited. Therefore, while the value of the food distributed by these programs is important for beneficiaries, additional initiatives to help households better allocate their own expenditures on food might generate even more value, thereby increasing the cost effectiveness of such programs.
    Keywords: Food pantries, Food Banks, Cost effectiveness, Cost benefit analysis, District of Columbia
    JEL: I38 L31
    Date: 2013–09
  3. By: Daniel Ayalew Ali; Matthew Collin; Klaus Deininger; Stefan Dercon; Justin Sandefur; Andrew Zeitlin
    Abstract: We report on a randomized field experiment using price incentives to address both economic and gender inequality in land tenure formalization. During the 1990s and 2000s, nearly two dozen African countries proposed de jure land reforms extending access to formal, freehold land tenure to millions of poor households. Many of these reforms stalled. Titled land remains the de facto preserve of wealthy households and, within households, men. Beginning in 2010, we tested whether price instruments alone can generate greater inclusion by offering formal titles to residents of a low-income, unplanned settlement in Dar es Salaam at a range of subsidized prices, as well as additional price incentives to include women as owners or co-owners of household land. Estimated price elasticities of demand confirm that prices – rather than other implementation failures or features of the titling regime – are a key obstacle to broader inclusion in the land registry, and that some degree of pro-poor price discrimination is justified even from a narrow budgetary perspective. In terms of gender inequality, we find that even small price incentives for female co-titling achieve almost complete gender parity in land ownership with no reduction in demand.
    Keywords: land titling, formalization, gender, field experiment, Tanzania
    JEL: J16 K11 O12 O18 Q15
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Lauriane Mouysset (ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) : UMR0210 - Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon)
    Abstract: The future of agriculture constitutes a major challenge to the achievement of sustainable development. There are new perspectives on greening(focusing on ecological objectives) and sustainability (combining both ecological and social goals). Academic papers rather study the ecological efficiency of agricultural public policies, while real public policies, such as in the European Common Agricultural Policy, examine both ecological and social considerations. The objective of this paper is to consider economic, social and ecological objectives within the design of agricultural public policies. Using a bio-economic model applied to France, we compare different optimal public strategies. We show that, when the biodiversity objectives are either very limited or very demanding, grassland subsidies are the best instruments from both green and sustainable points of view. However for medium objectives, reducing crops subsidies is the cheapest way to green the CAP, while subsidies on grasslands are the only strategy from a sustainability perspective. Our work highlights new trade-offs related to policy implementation, such as social acceptance or technical difficulties, and the spatial equity of performance among regions.
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Katsushi S. Imai; Raghav Gaiha; Alessandra Garbero
    Abstract: Abstract Based on cross-country datasets, we find that (i) development of the rural agricultural sector is the most poverty reducing; (ii) rural non-agricultural sector also is poverty reducing in some cases, but its magnitude is much smaller than that associated with the rural agricultural sector; and (iii) increased population in the mega cities has no role in poverty reduction. In fact, growth of population in mega cities is “poverty-increasing” in a few cases. Given that a rapid population growth or rural-urban migration is likely to increase poverty, more emphasis should be placed on policies that enhance support for rural agricultural sector and rural non-agricultural sector. If our analysis has any validity, serious doubts are raised about recent research emphasising the role of secondary towns or urbanisation as the main driver of extreme poverty reduction.
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Cong Nguyen, Minh; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: What is the likelihood that Moroccan households, and especially those involved in agriculture, may be confronted with extreme weather events such as droughts and floods? Who suffers the most from such events when they occur? To what extent are different types of households able to recover from such shocks? This chapter provides answers to these questions on the basis of questions on weather shocks added to a nationally representative household survey implemented in Morocco in 2009-10. The data suggest that most households working in agriculture are affected by weather shocks, often seriously. In the population as a whole, the proportion of households affected is about one fourth. A majority of households declare not being able to recover much from weather shocks, as well as other shocks. But in comparison to other shocks, including unexpected increases in the prices of food and other basic essential commodities, households are slightly more likely to be able to recover from weather shocks.
    Keywords: Climate change, Weather shocks, Impact on households, Morocco
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2014–06
  7. By: Pollmann, Olaf; Podruzsik, Szilárd; Fehér, Orsolya
    Abstract: Current energy systems are in most instances not fully working sustainably. The provision and use of energy only consider limited resources, risk potential or financial constraints on a limited scale. Furthermore, the knowledge and benefits are only available for a minor group of the population or are outright neglected. The availability of different resources for energy purposes determines economic development, as well as the status of the society and the environment. The access to energy grids has an impact on socio-economic living standards of communities. This not fully developed system is causing climate change with all its related outcomes. This investigation takes into consideration different views on renewable energy systems — such as international discussions about biomass use for energy production, “fuel versus food”, biogas use — and attempts to compare major prospects of social acceptance of renewable energy in Europe and Africa. Can all obstacles to the use of renewable energy be so profound that the overall strategy of reducing anthropogenic causes of climate change be seriously affected?
    Keywords: renewable energy, energy production, future technology, society
    JEL: D71 O13 Q01 R11
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Katsushi S. Imai; Raghav Gaiha
    Abstract: Abstract Drawing upon a cross-country panel data for developing countries, the present study sheds new empirical light on dynamic and long-term linkages among growth, inequality and poverty. First, agricultural sector growth is found to be consistently the most important factor in reducing inequality and poverty not only through its direct effects but also through its indirect effects. Second, there is a significant and negative association between inequality and GDP per capita, with macro institutional quality as one of the important factors in determining the inequality-growth relationship. Third, policies designed to prevent conflicts and mitigate their disruptive effects and violence, stabilise commodity prices, and enhance institutional quality would help eliminate worst forms of deprivation. Our analysis points to a drastic shift away from rural- urban migration and urbanisation as main drivers of growth and elimination of extreme poverty, and towards revival of agriculture in the post-2015 policy discourse. Indeed, the case for urbanisation rests on not just shaky empirical foundations but could mislead policy makers and donors.
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Himanshu; Kunal Sen
    Abstract: Abstract In spite of rapid economic growth in the past three decades, poverty rates in India remain high, especially in certain regions and among the socially excluded groups. However, what has happened to poverty in India, especially after the onset of economic reforms in 1991, has been fiercely debated, both politically and statistically. In this paper, we revisit the Great Indian Poverty Debate, addressing both the measurement and causes of India’s persistent poverty. Our analysis of recent Indian poverty data suggests that there has been a higher rate of poverty decline in the second decade of economic reforms, in the 2000s, as compared to the first decade of reforms, in the 1990s. However, the rate of poverty decline in the post-reform period has not matched what was observed in the pre-reform period, in the 1980s. Further, there is evidence of sharply increasing inequality, both within the rural and urban sectors, as well as in a growing rural-urban divide. We suggest that the disappointingly low rate of decline in poverty in India in spite of high economic growth in the post-reform period may be attributed to declining growth in agricultural output, linked to low productivity growth in the sector, along with the increasing scarcity of arable land for cultivation.
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Cong Nguyen, Minh; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: Do extreme weather events such as droughts or floods lead to migration away from the areas affected by these events? This chapter aims to provide an answer to that question for Morocco using a new nationally representative household survey implemented in 2009-10. The data suggest that around one in four households have been affected by weather shocks in the five years preceding the survey implementation. Droughts and floods are not directly identified by households as major reasons for migration, but insufficient agricultural revenue and a lack of agricultural employment as well as better employment opportunities at the place of destination are mentioned as reasons to migrate, and these are affected by adverse weather shocks. Furthermore, in regression analysis, after controlling for a wide range of individual and household characteristics, the probability of both temporary and permanent migration increases if the household has been affected by an adverse weather shock or the consequences thereof. Thus, while adverse weather events may not be the main driver of migration, they do contribute to it.
    Keywords: Climate change, Weather shocks, Migration, Morocco
    JEL: R23
    Date: 2014–06
  11. By: Adoho, Franck; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: What are the perceptions of households in the Middle East and North Africa Region regarding changes in the climate of the areas where they live? To what extent are households affected by extreme weather events such as droughts or floods? And who tends to suffer the most from such events when they occur? This chapter suggests answers to these questions on the basis of new household survey data collected in 2011 in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, and Yemen. The household surveys were implemented in two climate affected areas in each country. Overall, households in these areas do perceive important changes in the climate, for example with droughts becoming more frequent. While many households declare being affected by extreme weather events, with resulting losses in income, crops, livestock, or fish catchment, this is especially the case of the poor who appear to suffer the most from extreme weather events.
    Keywords: Climate Change, Weather Shocks, Impact on households, Middle East and North Africa
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2014–06
  12. By: Adoho, Franck; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: What are the coping mechanisms and adaptation strategies (apart from migration which is discussed in part III of the study) that households use in order to respond to changes in climate and environmental conditions? Are households forced to sell assets or take other emergency measures in cases of losses due to extreme weather events? Beyond short term emergency responses, are they taking measures to adapt to changing conditions? This paper is based on new household survey data collected in 2011 in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, and Yemen, documents the coping and adaptation strategies of households as well as government and community responses to changes in weather patterns and the environment. Overall, the results suggest that coping and adaptation strategies used by households to deal with shocks are diverse, but still limited, as are the community and government responses that could help them.
    Keywords: Climate change, Weather Shocks, Coping, Adaptation, Middle East and North Africa
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2014–06
  13. By: Pao-Yu Oei; Markus Siehlow
    Abstract: Political instability of several countries in the Middle East is overshadowing one of the biggest challenges of the upcoming century: Water - a natural resource that is easily taken for granted, but whose scarcity might lead to serious conflicts. This paper investigates an optimal Water Allocation of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivershed by introducing the WATER-Model. A series of scenarios are analyzed to examine the effects of different levels of cooperation for an optimal water allocation. Special emphasize is put on the effects of filling new Turkish reservoirs which can cause additional welfare losses if these actions are not done on a basin-wide coordinated basis. Modeling results show that Turkey is most efficient in its water usage. However, using the water for irrigation purposes in Turkey, instead of the Iraqi or Syrian domestic and industrial sector, decreases the overall welfare. Especially the Euphrates basin might thus encounter losses of up to 33% due to such strategic behaviour. The predicted water demand growth in the region is going to increase this water scarcity further. Minimum flow treaties between riparian countries, however, can help to increase the overall welfare and should therefore be fostered.
    Keywords: Integrated Water Resources Management, Euphrates Tigris rivershed, non linear modeling, transboundary water resources allocation
    JEL: C61 Q25 O53 D74
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Marie-Sophie Hervieux (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272); Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272)
    Abstract: Since the early 90', many articles have been published on Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC), especially empirical articles dealing with CO2. In our paper, we provide a detailed review of the empirical articles dealing with CO2 that were published in 2012 and 2013 in ISI Web of Knowledge. Our review, which is based on 41 studies, reports many information, such as the outcome of the study or the econometric procedure employed. Our review can be useful for several purposes, such as to perform a meta-analysis or to test the EKC.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve ; Carbon dioxide
    Date: 2014–06–19

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