New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2014‒07‒13
27 papers chosen by

  1. Untitled Land, Occupational Choice, and Agricultural Productivity By Chaoran Chen
  2. Capitalism in Green Disguise: The Political Economy of Organic Farming in the European Union By Charalampos Konstantinidis
  3. Returns from Income Strategies in Rural Poland By Fałkowski, Jan; Jakubowski, Maciej; Strawiński, Paweł
  4. Impacts of Regional Trade Agreements(RTAs) on Food Security: A Case of ASEAN Free Trade Agreement By H. M. S. P. Herath; Cao Liang; Chen Yongbing
  5. The water footprint of the spanish agricultural sector: 1860-2010 By Rosa Duarte; Vicente Pinilla; Ana Serrano
  6. Agricultural extension and technical efficiency of tea production in northeastern Vietnam. By Phu Nguyen-Van; Nguyen To-Thea
  7. Population Pressure, Rural-to-Rural Migration and Evolution of Land Tenure Institutions: The Case of Uganda By Francis Mwesigye; Tomoya Matsumoto; Keijiro Otsuka
  8. Decoding the Growth-Nutrition Nexus in China: Inequality, Uncertainty and Food Insecurity By Jing You; Katsushi S. Imai; Raghav Gaiha
  9. To match, not to match, how to match: Estimating the farm-level impact of the CAP-first pillar reform (or: How to Apply Treatment-Effect Econometrics when the Real World is;a Mess) By Roberto ESPOSTI
  10. Prospects for Biofortification Reducing Micronutrient Deficiency in Kenya: Lessons from Sugar Fortification Programmes By Pambo, Kennedy; Mugivane, Fred
  11. 2012 Agricultural Data in Perspective By Matthew Diersen; Christian Tchamda
  12. Off-farm Labour Decision of Italian Farm Operators By Raimondi, Valentina; Curzi, Daniele; Bertoni, Danilo; Olper, Alessandro
  13. The impact of the increasing demand for biofuels in the EU on the possibility to conduct collective action for reaching a common good: The changes in the community-based management of the common pastures in Ethiopia By Miteva, Pavlina
  14. South Dakota 2014 Agricultural Land Values and Cash Rental Rates By Larry Janssen; Kim Dillvan; Bronc McMurtry
  15. Developing capabilities in the seed industry: which direction to follow? By Anabel Marin; Lilia Stubrin; Patrick van Zwanenberg
  16. Modeling Poplar Growth as a Short Rotation Woody Crop for Biofuels By Hart, Quinn James
  17. Paradoxes of sustainable food and consumer coping strategies By Moruzzi, R.; Sirieix, L.
  18. Encouraging Private Ownership of Public Goods: Theory and Evidence from Belgium By Gani Aldashev; François Libois; Joaquín Morales Belpaire; Astrid Similon
  19. Perceptions to climatic changes and cooperative attitudes toward flood protection in Bangladesh By Moinul Islam; Koji Kotani
  20. Does Female Empowerment Promote Economic Development? By Doepke, Matthias; Tertilt, Michèle
  21. Price and Income Elasticities in LAC Countries: The Importance of Domestic Production. By Carla Canelas; François Gardes; Silvia Salazar
  22. Do futures markets help in price discovery and risk management for commodities in India? By Nidhi Aggarwal; Sargam Jain; Susan Thomas
  23. Forecasting Corn and Sotbean Yields with Crop Conditions By Nicholas Jorgensen; Matthew Diersen
  24. Illegal Trade in Natural Resources: Evidence from missing ports By Pierre-Louis Vezina
  25. Workfare as "Collateral": The case of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in India By Subhasish Dey; Katsushi S. Imai
  26. Climate change, industrial transformation, and"development traps" By Golub, Alexander; Toman, Michael
  27. How should donors respond to resource windfalls in poor countries ? from aid to insurance By Dobronogov, Anton; Gelb, Alan; Saldanha, Fernando Brant

  1. By: Chaoran Chen
    Abstract: The prevalence of untitled land in poor countries helps explain the agricultural productivity gap between rich and poor countries. Since untitled land cannot be rented or traded across farmers, it creates not only land market misallocation, but also distortions in occupational choice. I build a two-sector general equilibrium model to quantify the impact of untitled land. My results indicate that larger shares of untitled land lower agricultural productivity. If 80% of all land is untitled and distributed equally across farmers, agricultural productivity drops by 27.7%. The productivity drop is even larger when the distribution of untitled land is skewed.
    Keywords: Agricultural Productivity, Untitled Land, Misallocation, Occupational Choice.
    JEL: E0 O11 O13 O4
    Date: 2014–07–04
  2. By: Charalampos Konstantinidis
    Abstract: Organic farming is often presented as the success story of Rural Development policies in the European Union, having grown from a marginal activity to one covering more than 5% of European agricultural land. Even though organic farming is often thought of as small-scale farming, I show that organic farms in Europe display characteristics associated with capitalist agriculture. Organic farms are larger and more mechanized than conventional farms. Furthermore, organic farms are associated with wage-labor and use less labor per hectare than their conventional counterparts, casting doubt on the efficacy of organic farming in increasing labor demand in marginalized communities and acting as an effective tool for keeping rural residents in the countryside. These results present us with evidence of the “conventionalization†of organic farming, and with a significant case of “green-washing†of capitalist structures of production.
    Keywords: political economy, organic farming, agriculture, European Union
    JEL: B5 O13 P16 Q18
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: Fałkowski, Jan; Jakubowski, Maciej; Strawiński, Paweł
    Abstract: In order to stabilise and improve their income situation, rural households are strongly encouraged to diversify their activities both within and outside the agricultural sector. Often, however, this advice is only moderately pursued. This paper addresses issues of rural household income diversification in the case of Poland. It investigates returns from rural household income strategies using propensity score matching methods and extensive datasets spanning 1998-2008. Results suggest that returns from combining farm and off-farm activities were lower than returns from concentrating on farming or on self-employment outside agriculture. This differential is stable over time although returns from diversification have relatively improved after Poland’s accession to the EU. This is also visible in the fact that since 2006 returns from combining farm and off-farm activities have evened with returns from relying solely on hired off-farm labour, thus smoothing the difference observed before the accession. Further, over the analysed period, households pursuing the diversification strategy performed better than those relying solely on unearned income. Finally, in general, the income in households combining farm and off-farm activities was higher than in those combining two off-farm income sources.
    Keywords: Income diversification, rural areas, propensity score matching, Poland, Labor and Human Capital, D31, O15, Q12,
    Date: 2013–08–30
  4. By: H. M. S. P. Herath; Cao Liang; Chen Yongbing
    Abstract: Discriminatory trade liberalization policies are becoming more popular among world economies. Countries are motivated to enter for regional trade agreements to capture faster economic growth for alleviating poverty. In developing economies like most of the member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), a sizeable portion of people are suffering from poverty by exposing them to food insecurity. Low level of income and low productivity of agricultural sector have augmented the severity of food insecurity of those people. Discriminatory trade liberalization policies are expected to reduce poverty and strengthen the food security. The objective of this paper is to examine the effect of ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) on food security of its member countries. The multiple regression analysis in panel data was employed to disentangle the impacts of trade liberalization on food securit y with use of regional trade agreement dummy variable. The finding of the study supports that AFTA has influenced positively on food security of its member nations. After the formation of AFTA, the level of per-capita daily dietary energy supply of the member countries has been increased moderately over time.
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Rosa Duarte; Vicente Pinilla; Ana Serrano
    Abstract: From 1860 the Spanish agricultural sector has gone through an intensive process of development resulting in important structural changes, not only in the sector itself, but also regarding the relationship of the agrarian system with natural resources. These changes were closely related to the growing per capita income in the long term, an increasing degree of integration in international markets and profound political changes. During the last 150 years, the volume of Spanish agricultural production experienced a great increase, notably affecting the consumption of domestic water resources and entailing the need for the construction of waterworks, key for the development of irrigation. In this context, this paper studies the evolution of domestic water consumption as a consequence of the increasing agricultural production, as well as the impact that the growing needs for water had on the construction of infrastructure for irrigation. To that aim, we estimate the water footprint of the Spanish agricultural sector, that is, we will try to obtain the water consumed in the production of vegetal and animal goods for five different years: 1860, 1900, 1930, 1962 and 2010. From these results, a detailed analysis of the trends on water consumption and changes in compositional patterns is carried out. Moreover, we collect the available information on the building of new irrigation infrastructure to examine to what extent the development of the agricultural sector conditioned the construction of new irrigation infrastructure. Finally, a Decomposition Analysis (DA) is applied to analytically identify and quantify the main explaining factors behind the evolution followed by the increase in agricultural water consumption in the long term.
    Keywords: agricultural production, water footprint, irrigation, decomposition analysis
    JEL: N53 N54 Q10 Q25
    Date: 2014–07
  6. By: Phu Nguyen-Van; Nguyen To-Thea
    Abstract: This study uses the stochastic production frontier to analyze technical efficiency of tea production in northeastern Vietnam. Our study estimated that the average technical efficiency of tea production is very low, only about 32%. Technical efficiency can be improved by having a training on sale skills whereas it can be negatively a?ected by access to information on tea market. The results indicated that there are a big potential for improving technical efficiency in tea production by using the available inputs and technology. For the purpose of improving efficiency, efforts should be made on agricultural extension (keeping the current form of training on sale skills, modifying the provision of information on tea market). Producers are also recommended to be more careful on the adoption of tea variety for their cultivation.
    Keywords: Agriculture extension, technical efficiency, stochastic frontier, translog, tea production.
    JEL: C21 D24 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Francis Mwesigye (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Tomoya Matsumoto (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Keijiro Otsuka (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: While customary land tenure systems are still prevalent in most African countries, they are believed to be evolving to private land ownership. However, questions about how they are evolving and what determines this evolution remain un-answered. This study contributes to the literature by empirically analyzing the process of the evolution of land tenure systems in Uganda using community-, household-, and parcel-level data. By tracing rural-to-rural migration patterns, we found that immigrant-dominated and ethnically diverse communities have a higher incidence of private land ownership. As an implication of the evolution of land tenure system, we found that land markets are more active in immigrant communities, which enhances efficiency in land allocation through land transactions. In fact, we found a large and significant inverse relationship between farm size and productivity in communities with communal land ownership, and an insignificant relationship in communities with more privately owned land. These findings suggest that rural-to-rural migration, through weakening traditional social systems, promotes the shift from communal to individual land ownership which, in turn, boosts land transactions and efficient land use.
    Date: 2014–06
  8. By: Jing You (School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development Renmin University of China, China); Katsushi S. Imai (School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester (UK) and RIEB, Kobe University (Japan)); Raghav Gaiha (Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, India and Statistics and Studies for Development (SSD), Strategy and Knowledge Management Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Italy)
    Abstract: Income and consumption growth in China has led to remarkable income poverty reduction, which is not paralleled by better nutrition. This study uses the household data in both rural and urban China over the period 1989-2009 to investigate the relationship between income growth and nutrient intake, with emphasis on rising nutrition inequality and various uncertainties facing households' livelihood in terms of rising and volatile prices of foods. A point of departure of the present study is to model (i) heterogeneity in the effect of household income and nutritional intake and (ii) the endogenoity of household income to provide a robust estimate of the effect of income on nutrition at different levels of nutritional intake. To do this, we combine recent seminal works by Canay (2011) and Lee (2007) to estimate the quantile instrumental variable (IV) panel model. We find that income growth, especially increases in crop income, can raise nutrient intake for the malnourished rural households, while business and wage income tend to increase urban households' nutrient intake and help narrow nutrition inequality. Uncertainties yield various nutritional outcomes, depending on specific food commodities.
    Keywords: Food security, Nutrition, Inequality, Instrumental quantile regression, China
    JEL: I10 I31 Q18 O53
    Date: 2014–06
  9. By: Roberto ESPOSTI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: This paper aims at evaluating the impact of the 2003/2005 CAP reform on farm production choices. The outcome of "market orientation" is measured by considering both the short-term production choices and the long-term investment decisions. The Treatment Effect (TE) is estimated through alternative approaches due to the difficulties encountered in finding appropriate counterfactuals. Different versions of the Propensity Score Matching (PSM) estimators, the Difference-In-Difference (DID) estimate, and alternative multiple/continuous TEs estimates, based on the Generalized Propensity Score (GPS), are performed, their statistical robustness assessed and results compared. Results show that the 2003/2005 reform of the first pillar of the CAP actually had an impact more in (re)orienting short-term farm production choices then investment decisions and this effect is significantly more evident for farms with a limited contribution of the CAP on their own Gross Production Value.
    Keywords: common agricultural policy, farm production choices, matching, treatment effects
    Date: 2014–06
  10. By: Pambo, Kennedy; Mugivane, Fred
    Abstract: Food fortification has proven to be an important strategy for addressing micronutrient deficiency that includes vitamin A, iron and zinc deficiency in most developing countries. Development efforts have thus focused on breeding for crops that have natural ability to produce through a process widely known as bio-fortification. However, efforts to promote mass fortification of foods (both bio and industrial) have yielded little success due to existence of weak information on factors affecting consumption of these nutritionally-enhanced foods. This study therefore, assessed factors affecting consumption of fortified foods using Vitamin A fortified sugar as a case study. Data collected from rural and urban areas of Kenya was analyzed through a probit model to examine consumption drivers. The results showed that point of purchase, trust for stakeholders’ involved in fortification, consumer’ awareness and knowledge of the importance of vitamin A have significant effects on consumption of fortified foods. These findings offer useful insights for the development of nutrition policies in Kenya, and Africa at large.
    Keywords: Micronutrient deficiency, bio-fortification, consumption drivers, probit models, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2014–06
  11. By: Matthew Diersen (Deparment of Economics South Dakota State University); Christian Tchamda (Deparment of Economics South Dakota State University)
    Date: 2014–06–24
  12. By: Raimondi, Valentina; Curzi, Daniele; Bertoni, Danilo; Olper, Alessandro
    Abstract: This paper analyses the factors affecting off-farm labour decisions of Italian farm operators. Using micro-level data from the Farm Business Survey (REA) over the pre- and post-2003 CAP reform periods, we investigated the impact that operator, family, farm and market characteristics exert on these choices. Among other things, the paper focuses also on the differential impact of those variables for operators of smaller and larger holdings. The main results suggest that operator and family characteristics have a significant impact on the decision to participate in off-farm work more for smaller than for bigger farms. By contrast, farm characteristics are more relevant variables for bigger farms. In particular, decoupled farm payments, by increasing the marginal productivity of farm labour, lower the probability of working off the farm only in bigger farms, while coupled subsidies in pre-reform years do not have a significant impact on labour decisions. Finally, we show that, after accounting for the standard covariates, local and territorial labour market characteristics generally have a low effect on off-farm work operators’ choices.
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2013–08–08
  13. By: Miteva, Pavlina
    Abstract: The negative impact of EU biofuel policy on the agricultural markets, carbon emissions and global land use has been evidenced through many studies. Besides the often affirmed negative implications, the paper suggests that in countries targeted by land investments for biofuel production, there are further implications for the social structure of their societies i.e., for the institutionalized relationships among the individuals living in those societies. More specifically, the paper suggests that there are implications for those relationships that command the conducting of collective action for reaching a common good, such as the successful management of a common-pool resource (CPR). For this purpose, the paper chooses to focus on the community-based management of the pastures in Ethiopia. The paper analyzes the changes that the traditional institutions for pasture management in Ethiopia are experiencing by applying Elinor Ostrom's design principles, while trying to determine whether and how the increased demand for biofuels affects these changes. The paper concludes that the increased areas under biofuels, by affecting the size and functionality of the pastures, provokes the formation of clearly defined boundaries of these resources and of their appropriators and causes inconsistencies between the rules that govern this resource and the local conditions. The increased demand for biofuels also incentivises governmental actions that further threaten the rights of the pastoralists to manage their resources. The justification of the paper is to add value to EU policies that attempt to mitigate negative impacts of the biofuel policy, so the paper ends with recommendations in this direction. --
    Keywords: biofuels,design principles,Ethiopia,pastures,institutions for CPR management
    JEL: D7 F5 Q15 Q28
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Larry Janssen (Deparment of Economics South Dakota State University); Kim Dillvan (Deparment of Economics South Dakota State University); Bronc McMurtry
    Date: 2014–05–29
  15. By: Anabel Marin (Centro de Investigaciones para la Transformación (Cenit), Argentina); Lilia Stubrin (Centro de Investigaciones para la Transformación (Cenit), Argentina); Patrick van Zwanenberg (Centro de Investigaciones para la Transformación (Cenit), Argentina)
    Keywords: Agricultural biology, seed industry, technological capabilities, directions of innovation, catch up, Argentina
    Date: 2014–06
  16. By: Hart, Quinn James
    Abstract: Short rotation woody crops (SRWC) such as hybrid poplar are potential feedstocks for cellulosic derived biofuels. The ability to accurately predict the growth and biomass yields of SRWC under various environmental conditions is important for predicting economic performance and overall sustainability of the biofuel production system.  Tree coppicing is often used in the management of SRWC plantations. Modeling the response of the SRWC to the coppice cycle is a requirement in long term predictions of stand productivity. The objective of this study was to develop a model of poplar growth to evaluate feedstock supply potentials under different production conditions including coppicing.  This was accomplished by modifying thePhysiological Principles in Predicting Growth (3PG) model originally developedby Landsberg et al. (1997) to include a simple root interaction system to simulate the sprouting and regrowth of coppiced trees. The modified model, 3PG-AHB, was tested against published information from three previous hybrid poplar field studies employing coppicing.  Soil and weather inputs were parameterized to be as close to the growing conditions as possible for the field trials.   The model parameterized with generic poplar derived values generally predicted crop yield under coppicing to within the variations among different species field tested.  The model's predictions were weakest in the first year after coppicing events, improving thereafter. The model has been used as part of a geospatial assessment of regional biomass production for the Pacific Northwest and as an online tool SRWC feedstock estimation.
    Keywords: Physical Sciences and Mathematics, poplar; biofuels; Pacific Northwest; Short rotation Woody Crops
    Date: 2014–07–10
  17. By: Moruzzi, R.; Sirieix, L.
    Abstract: This study aims to approach consumers’ behaviours towards the paradoxes of sustainable food. A qualitative research was carried out with non engaged individuals in France and Italy and, in a second step, with consumers who have already engaged in the local purchase network. Results show different coping strategies among non engaged French and Italian consumers in compliance with the environmental and cultural conditions; on the contrary engaged participants evocate a supranational culture, as well as the same practices and representations. ....French Abstract : Cette étude s’intéresse aux comportements des consommateurs face aux paradoxes de l’Alimentation durable. Une recherche qualitative a été menée auprès d’individus non engagés en France et en Italie puis, auprès de consommateurs engagés dans les circuits courts. Les résultats mettent en évidence des stratégies de coping différentes en France et en Italie pour les individus non engagés ; en revanche, les participants engagés évoquent une culture supranationale avec des représentations et des pratiques similaires.
    JEL: D18 M31
    Date: 2014
  18. By: Gani Aldashev (CRED and Department of Economics, University of Namur, and ECARES, ULB); François Libois (CRED and Department of Economics, University of Namur); Joaquín Morales Belpaire (CRED and Department of Economics, University of Namur); Astrid Similon (CRED and Department of Law University of Namur)
    Abstract: We study short-run and long-run effects of a government subsidy to private nonprofit ownership of public good projects. In a simple model, we show that the subsidy increases the prices of project assets in the short run; however, the effect does not persist and prices decline in the long run. This happens because the subsidy temporarily relaxes the resource constraint of non-profit organizations, which allows them to engage in supply-expanding activities. We test this prediction using a unique dataset that we have constructed from Belgian notarial land-transaction records and exploiting a policy reform in public subsidies for land purchases by non-profits aiming at creating privately owned natural reserves. Using the MS-estimation method (Maronna and Yohai, 2000) robust to outliers, we also provide a methodological contribution to the analysis of markets with quasi-donations.
    Keywords: non-profit organizations; public goods; fundraising; land markets; natural reserves; conservation
    JEL: L31 H41 N5 L22 Q26
    Date: 2014–06
  19. By: Moinul Islam (Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University, Japan); Koji Kotani (International University of University)
    Abstract: Bangladesh is vulnerable to climatic changes, and there has been a serious debate about the occurrence and the relationship with the frequency of flooding. For example, in Dhaka, further flood controls are claimed to be necessary due to a change of climatic patterns and more frequent flood events. Despite the importance of this topic, it has received little research attention. Thus, we examine (i) whether a temporal change in climate variables is occurring, (ii) local people's perceptions to climate and (iii) cooperative attitudes toward flood controls. We conducted face-to-face surveys with 1,011 respondents of different social and demographic strata and seven experts in Bangladesh. Using these data, we first derive a temporal trend of climate variables and analyze how closely people's perceptions align with the climate data. Second, we examine the willingness to pay for flood controls as a proxy of cooperative attitudes, and characterize the determinants in relation to perceptions to climate as well as socio-economic characteristics. We obtain the following principal results. First, some climate variables are identified to exhibit clear upward or downward trends, but most people correctly perceive such temporal changes. More specifically, people's perceptions and our statistical analysis are identical in the qualitative changes of climate. Second, people who correctly perceive climatic changes tend to express a higher WTP than those who do not. Overall, these findings suggest that accurate climate perceptions are keys to increasing cooperation into managing climate change and related disasters.
    Keywords: Climate change, perception, willingness to pay, flood
    Date: 2014–06
  20. By: Doepke, Matthias; Tertilt, Michèle
    Abstract: Empirical evidence suggests that money in the hands of mothers (as opposed to fathers) increases expenditures on children. From this, should we infer that targeting transfers to women is good economic policy? In this paper, we develop a non-cooperative model of household decision making to answer this question. We show that when women have lower wages than men, they may spend more on children, even when they have exactly the same preferences as their husbands. However, this does not necessarily mean that giving money to women is a good development policy. We show that depending on the nature of the production function, targeting transfers to women may be beneficial or harmful to growth. In particular, such transfers are more likely to be beneficial when human capital, rather than physical capital or land, is the most important factor of production.
    Date: 2014
  21. By: Carla Canelas (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); François Gardes (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); Silvia Salazar (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: The inclusion of time in the household domestic production function allows to calculate full prices that are in turn used to estimate consistent monetary and time elasticities on micro cross-sectional data. This article provides elasticity estimates for different commodity groups in absence of observable price data, solving the persistent problem of price data availability in most developing countries. The estimated price elasticities perform well compared to other methods and can be computed for different sub-populations, which is important for policy design and the calibration of simulation models.
    Keywords: Demand elasticities, domestic production, time-use.
    JEL: D04 D11 D12 D13
    Date: 2014–05
  22. By: Nidhi Aggarwal (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research); Sargam Jain (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development ResearchInstitute of Economic Growth); Susan Thomas (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: In 2003, trading of commodity futures shifted from single commodity, regional exchanges to national exchanges that trade multiple commodities. This paper examines price discovery and hedging effectiveness of commodity futures after this change and concludes that,on average, futures prices do discover information relatively efficiently, but helps to manage risk less efficiently. The paper uses the viewpoint of the hedger to conjecture what factors may improve hedging effectiveness. These include high settlement costs caused by few and widely dispersed delivery centers and an unreliability of warehouse receipts,a mismatch between the grade specified in the futures contract and what is available for delivery in the market, and disruptions caused by various policy interventions in both commodities spot and futures markets.
    Keywords: Commodities futures, price discovery, hedge ratio, variance reduction, cost of carry, settlement costs
    JEL: G13 G32
    Date: 2014–06
  23. By: Nicholas Jorgensen (Deparment of Economics South Dakota State University); Matthew Diersen
    Date: 2014–05–09
  24. By: Pierre-Louis Vezina
    Abstract: Countries restrict the export of natural resources to lower domestic prices, stimulate downstream industries, earn rents on international markets, or on environmental grounds. This paper provides empirical evidence of evasion of such export barriers. Using tools from the illicit trade literature, I show that exports of minerals, metals, or wood products are more likely to be missing from the exporter's statistics if they face export barriers such as prohibitions or taxes. Furthermore, I show that this relationship is significantly higher in countries with high levels of corruption and bribes at customs. The results have implications for the design of trade policies and environmental protection.
    Keywords: natural resources, illegal trade, trade barriers
    JEL: F13 O17 O19
    Date: 2014
  25. By: Subhasish Dey (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK); Katsushi S. Imai (School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester (UK) and RIEB, Kobe University (Japan))
    Abstract: This paper argues that a major beneficial impact of workfare programmes is through their role in allowing participants to improve their access to "credit". Sustainable programme participation over many years serves as "collateral" for households' acquisition of informal credit, leading to the improvement in economic security and poverty reduction. A conceptual framework using an infinitely repeated trilateral stage game among lenders, workfare participants, and local politicians is developed. This is used to underscore how participation in NREGS matters for securing informal credit from the local shop owners or moneylenders to tackle temporal adverse income spells and smooth out consumption shocks. Using three rounds household panel data for 2009-2012 based on our primary surveys in West Bengal, we provide robust evidence that continuous programme participation significantly facilitates informal credit acquisition, increases income and consumption, and consumption smoothing.
    Keywords: NREGS, Panel data, Impact, Consumption, Income, Credit, West Bengal, India
    JEL: I38 O12
    Date: 2014–06
  26. By: Golub, Alexander; Toman, Michael
    Abstract: This paper examines the possibility of environmental"development traps,"or"brown poverty traps,"caused by interactions between the impacts of climate change and increasing returns in the development of"clean-technology"sectors. A simple specification is used in which the economy can produce a single homogeneous consumption good with two different technologies. In the"old"sector, technology has global diminishing returns to scale and depends on the use of fossil energy that gives rise to long-lived, damaging climate change. In the"new"sector, the technology has convex-concave production and is not dependent on the polluting energy input. If the new sector does not grow fast enough to move through the phase of increasing returns, then the economy may linger at a low level of income indefinitely or it may achieve greater progress but then get driven back down to a lower level of income by environmental degradation. Stimulating growth in the new sector thus may be a key element for avoiding an environmental poverty trap and achieving higher, sustained income levels.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Climate Change Economics,Economic Growth
    Date: 2014–06–01
  27. By: Dobronogov, Anton; Gelb, Alan; Saldanha, Fernando Brant
    Abstract: Natural resources are being discovered in more countries, both rich and poor. Many of the new and aspiring resource exporters are low-income countries that are still receiving substantial levels of foreign aid. Resource discoveries open up enormous opportunities, but also expose producing countries to huge trade and fiscal shocks from volatile commodity markets if their exports are highly concentrated. A large literature on the"resource curse"shows that these are damaging unless countries manage to cushion the effects through countercyclical policy. It also shows that the countries least likely to do so successfully are those with weaker institutions, and these are most likely to remain as clients of the aid system. This paper considers the question of how donors should respond to their clients'potential windfalls. It discusses several ways in which the focus and nature of foreign aid programs will need to change, including the level of financial assistance. The paper develops some ideas on how a donor like the International Development Association might structure its program of financial transfers to mitigate volatility. The paper outlines ways in which the International Development Association could use hedging instruments to vary disbursements while still working within a framework of country allocations that are not contingent on oil prices. Simulations suggest that the International Development Association could be structured to provide a larger degree of insurance if it is calibrated to hedge against large declines in resource prices. These suggestions are intended to complement other mechanisms, including self-insurance using Sovereign Wealth Funds (where possible) and the facilities of the International Monetary Fund.
    Keywords: Debt Markets,Markets and Market Access,Emerging Markets,Climate Change Economics,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2014–06–01

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