nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2015‒05‒30
25 papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Land Reform and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Micro Data By Tasso Adamopoulos; Diego Restuccia
  2. Land Misallocation and Productivity By Diego Restuccia; Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis
  3. Managing water resources in agriculture: opportunities from earth observation. [Abstract only]. By Amarnath, Giriraj; Sharma, Bharat; Smakhtin, Vladimir
  4. The Economics of Glyphosate Resistance Management in Corn and Soybean Production By Livingston, Michael; Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge; Unger, Jesse; Osteen, Craig; Schimmelpfennig, David; Park, Tim; Lambert, Dayton
  5. Constraints to the development, operation and maintenance of spate irrigation schemes in Ethiopia By Erkossa, Teklu; Langan, Simon J.; Hagos, Fitsum
  6. Conclusion and next steps for spate irrigation research By Langan, Simon J.; Erkossa, Teklu
  7. Agricultural technology choice and transport By Ali,Rubaba; Barra,Alvaro Federico; Berg,Claudia N.; Damania,Richard; Nash,John D.; Russ,Jason Daniel
  9. Optimal forest rotation age under efficient climate change mitigation By Tommi Ekholm
  10. Investigating the gender gap in agricultural productivity : evidence from Uganda By Ali,Daniel Ayalew; Bowen,Frederick H.; Deininger,Klaus W.; Duponchel,Marguerite Felicienne
  11. Road improvement and deforestation in the Congo Basin countries By Damania,Richard; Wheeler,David J.
  12. The network at work: Diffusion of banana cultivation in Tanzania By Anna Folke Larsen
  13. Economic Burden of Major Foodborne Illnesses Acquired in the United States By Hoffman, Sandra; Maculloch, Bryan; Batz, Michael
  14. Diversion of flashy floods for agricultural use and its effect on nutrition in Ethiopia By Hagos, Fitsum; Mulugeta, A.; Erkossa, Teklu; Lefore, Nicole; Langan, Simon
  15. Transport infrastructure and welfare : an application to Nigeria By Ali,Rubaba; Barra,Alvaro Federico; Berg,Claudia N.; Damania,Richard; Nash,John D.; Russ,Jason Daniel
  16. Do ‘Cheeseburger Bills’ Work? Effects of Tort Reform for Fast Food By Christopher S. Carpenter; D. Sebastian Tello-Trillo
  17. Markets for non-GM Identity Preserved soybean in the EU: results from an original study By Pascal Tillie; Emilio Rodríguez-Cerezo
  18. Spate irrigation and poverty in Ethiopia By Hagos, Fitsum; Erkossa, Teklu; Lefore, Nicole; Langan, Simon
  19. Agricultural reforms and bridging the gap for rural China By Ben Westmore
  21. Institutions as key drivers of collective action in WUAs [Water User Associations] of Uzbekistan By Mochalova, Elizaveta; Anarbekov, Oyture; Kahhorov, U.
  22. Threshold Preferences and the Environment By Ingmar Schumacher; Benteng Zou
  23. Economic Development In Africa And Europe : Reciprocal Comparisons By Broadberry, Stephen; Gardner, Leigh
  24. Polluting Politics By Louis-Philippe Beland; Vincent Boucher
  25. The case for industrial policy and its application in the Ethiopian cut flower sector By Florian Schaefer; Girum Abebe

  1. By: Tasso Adamopoulos; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: We assess the effects of a major land-policy change on farm size and agricultural productivity using a quantitative model and micro-level data. The 1988 land reform in the Philippines imposed a ceiling on land holdings and severely restricted the transferability of the redistributed land. In the model, the land reform reduces agricultural productivity not only by misallocating resources across farms, but also by distorting farmers' occupation and technology adoption decisions. On impact the reform reduces farm size by 34% and agricultural productivity by 17%. A market allocation of the above-ceiling land produces only 1/3 of the size and productivity effects.
    Keywords: agriculture, misallocation, within-farm productivity, land reform.
    JEL: O11 O14 O4
    Date: 2015–05–15
  2. By: Diego Restuccia; Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis
    Abstract: Using detailed household-farm level data from Malawi, we measure real farm total factor productivity (TFP) controlling for a wide array of factor inputs, land quality, and transitory shocks. The distribution of farm TFP has substantial dispersion but factor inputs are roughly evenly spread among farmers, implying a strong negative effect on agricultural productivity. A reallocation of factors to their efficient use among existing farmers would increase agricultural productivity by a factor of 3.6-fold. The gains from reallocation are 2.6 times larger for farms with no marketed land than for farms that operate marketed land.
    Keywords: misallocation, land, productivity, agriculture, Malawi, micro data.
    JEL: O1 O4
    Date: 2015–05–16
  3. By: Amarnath, Giriraj; Sharma, Bharat; Smakhtin, Vladimir
    Abstract: Food security and economic livelihood of millions of people in Asia and Africa shall continue to depend upon the flows in the major rivers. Variability of water and other resources in time and space is the major natural impediment for sustainable agriculture, food production and development at large. The extremes of variability - floods and droughts - are the primary \agents\ of destruction, severe crop damage and loss of human life. According to EM-DAT (2012), about 3 billion people in more than 110 countries are affected by catastrophic flooding. In 2011 alone they killed tens of thousands of people, primarily in developing countries, and caused over $150 billion in damage globally. Our present capacity to understand and make a reasonable forecast of the occurrence and thus management of such anomalies is rather inadequate. Earth observation (EO) satellites play a major role in the provision of information for the study and monitoring of the water resources and can support better understanding in Agricultural Water Resource Management. Their global nature also helps to address the problems of data continuity in trans-national basins where complete, consolidated, and consistent information may be difficult to obtain. In the years to come, EO technology will enter into a new era, where the increasing number of more sophisticated missions will provide scientists with an unprecedented capacity to observe and monitor the different components of climate variability on water resources from the local to the global scales. Already today, global observations of several key parameters governing the global water dynamics (e.g. precipitation, soil moisture, evaporation, transpiration, water levels, mass balance, gravity-derived groundwater measurements, etc.) are feasible. In addition, significant progress has been made in the area of data assimilation enhancing the capabilities to integrate EO-based product into suitable land surface and hydrological models; hence opening new opportunities for science and application. The presentation will illustrate examples of such information and solutions globally and from large river basins in Asia and Africa including flood risks and drought monitoring; Smart-lCT system for climate and weather information, irrigated area mapping etc.
    Keywords: Earth observation satellites; Remote sensing; Water management; Water resources; Agriculture; Food production; Climate change; River basin
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Livingston, Michael; Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge; Unger, Jesse; Osteen, Craig; Schimmelpfennig, David; Park, Tim; Lambert, Dayton
    Abstract: Glyphosate, known by many trade names, including Roundup, is a highly effective herbicide. Widespread glyphosate use for corn and soybean has led to glyphosate resistance, which is now documented in 14 weed species affecting U.S. cropland, and recent surveys suggest that acreage with glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds is expanding. Data from USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), along with the Benchmark Study (conducted independently by plant scientists), are used to address several issues raised by the spread of GR weeds. Choices made by growers that could help manage glyphosate resistance include using glyphosate during fewer years, combining it with one or more alternative herbicides, and, most importantly, not applying glyphosate during consecutive growing seasons. As a result, managing glyphosate resistance is more cost effective than ignoring it, and after about 2 years, the cumulative impact of the returns received is higher when managing instead of ignoring resistance.
    Keywords: glyphosate, Roundup, corn, soybean, common property, resistance management practices, weeds, horseweed, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management,
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Erkossa, Teklu; Langan, Simon J.; Hagos, Fitsum
    Abstract: Flood-based farming is among the potential options in ensuring access to water for crop and livestock production for small-scale farmers in the arid and semiarid lowlands of sub-Saharan Africa, and Ethiopia in particular. Flood-based irrigation while inexpensive is rooted in tradition in many rural communities which is in contrast to many other irrigation types which are unavailable (in terms of water source, technology or capacity) or are costly to develop. Spate irrigation has been practiced in different parts of Ethiopia for many decades, but it was only recently that it gained the government\u2019s attention. This study was conducted through a review and informal discussion with the objectives of documenting the current status, trends and prospects of spate irrigation in the country and the associated challenges, taking cases of selected schemes in different regional states. The study revealed that spate irrigation is expanding either through improvement of traditional schemes or by developing new ones. Neither the traditional nor modern schemes are free of challenges. The traditional schemes suffer from floods that damage their diversion structures, while poor design and construction of diversion structures have led to the failure of new ones. A range of socio-technical improvements in the planning, implementation and operation of schemes is proposed, including the design of headworks and canals consistent with the size and nature of expected flows, structures to minimize sedimentation, building capacity of farmers and district officers, and monitoring and improving the management that currently adversely impacts the performance of the schemes. Consulting farmers at every stage of the development, and building the capacity of engineers to deal with the unique nature of spate flows are the most likely interventions to ensure successful agricultural production using spate irrigation.
    Keywords: Irrigation schemes; Spate irrigation; Flood irrigation; Traditional farming; Livestock production; Crop production; Arid lands; Semiarid zones; Community involvement; Sedimentation; Smallholders; Farmers
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Langan, Simon J.; Erkossa, Teklu
    Keywords: Agricultural research; Spate irrigation; Flood irrigation; Rain; Farming systems
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Ali,Rubaba; Barra,Alvaro Federico; Berg,Claudia N.; Damania,Richard; Nash,John D.; Russ,Jason Daniel
    Abstract: This paper addresses an old and recurring theme in development economics: the slow adoption of new technologies by farmers in many developing countries. The paper explores a somewhat novel link to explain this puzzle -- the link between market access and the incentives to adopt a new technology when there are non-convexities. The paper develops a theoretical model to guide the empirical analysis, which uses spatially disaggregated agricultural production data from Spatial Production Allocation Model and Living Standards Measurement Study survey data for Nigeria. The model is used to estimate the impact of transport costs on crop production, the adoption of modern technologies, and the differential impact on returns of modern versus traditional farmers. To overcome the limitation of data availability on travel costs for much of Africa, road survey data are combined with geographic information road network data to generate the most thorough and accurate road network available. With these data and the Highway Development Management Model, minimum travel costs from each location to the market are computed. Consistent with the theory, analysis finds that transportation costs are critical in determining technology choices, with a greater responsiveness among farmers who adopt modern technologies, and at times a perverse (negative) response to lower transport costs among those who employ more traditional techniques. In sum, the paper presents compelling evidence that the constraints to the adoption of modern technologies and access to markets are interconnected, and so should be targeted jointly.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Agricultural Knowledgeand Information Systems,Technology Industry,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,ICT Policy and Strategies
    Date: 2015–05–18
  8. By: M. S. Deshmukh
    Abstract: Milk production is a very important element of the whole dairy chain. Dairy co-operatives, helped to create strong network and linkages in millions of rural households scattered across the country. Currently India contributes more than 16 percentage of the world’s total milk production. India’s milk output is estimated to be 133 million tonnes (GOI, 2012-13). There is sustained growth in the availability of milk for the burgeoning population of the country. The per capita availability of milk has also increased to a level of about 297 grams per day, which is higher than the world average and even more than 220 grams recommended by ICMR. The share of agriculture sector and livestock sector in total GDP of India has declined from 34.72% and 4.82% in 1980-81 to 15.18% and 3.92% in 2011-12 respectively. However the share of livestock sector in agricultural GDP of India has increased from 13.88% in 1980-81 to 25.85% in 2011-12. Moreover the compound growth rate of milk production in India was 4.16% during 1990-91 to 2012-13. The co-operative sector in India has emerged as one of the largest in the world and is playing an important role in socio-economic development of millions of rural families. Key words: Growth, Performace, Dairy Sector
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Tommi Ekholm
    Abstract: This paper considers the optimal rotation of forests when the carbon flows of forest growth and harvest are priced with an increasing price. Such an evolution of carbon price is generally associated with economically efficient climate change mitigation, and would provide incentives for the land-owner for enhanced carbon sequestration. With an infinitely long sequence of even-aged forest rotations, the optimal harvest age changes with subsequent rotations due to the changing carbon price. The first-order optimality conditions therefore also involve an infinite chain of lengths for consecutive forest rotations, and allow the approximation of the infinite-time problem with a truncated series of forest rotations. Illustrative numerical calculations show that when starting from bare land, the initial carbon price and its growth rate both primarily increase the length of the first rotation. With some combinations of the carbon pricing parameters, the optimal harvest age can be several hundred years if the forest carbon is released to the atmosphere upon harvest. This effect is not, however, entirely monotonous. Consequently, the currently optimal harvest ages are generally lower with higher rates of carbon price increase. This creates an interesting temporal aspect, suggesting that the supply of wood and carbon sequestration by forests can change considerably during subsequent rotations under an increasing price on carbon.
    Date: 2015–05
  10. By: Ali,Daniel Ayalew; Bowen,Frederick H.; Deininger,Klaus W.; Duponchel,Marguerite Felicienne
    Abstract: Women comprise 50 percent of the agricultural labor force in Sub-Saharan Africa, but manage plots that are reportedly on average 20 to 30 percent less productive. As a source of income inequality and aggregate productivity loss, the country-specific magnitude and drivers of this gender gap are of great interest. Using national data from the Uganda National Panel Survey for 2009/10 and 2010/11, the gap before controlling for endowments was estimated to be 17.5 percent. Panel data methods were combined with an Oaxaca decomposition to investigate the gender differences in resource endowment and return to endowment driving this gap. Although men have greater access to inputs, input use is so low and inverse returns to plot size so strong in Uganda that smaller female-managed plots have a net endowment advantage of 12 percent, revealing a larger unexplained gap of 29.5 percent. Two-fifths of this unexplained gap is attributed to differential returns to the child dependency ratio and one-fifth to differential returns to transport access, implying that greater child care responsibilities and difficulty accessing input and output markets from areas without transport are the largest drivers of the gap. Smaller and less robust drivers include differential uptake of cash crops, and differential uptake and return to improved seeds and pesticides.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Housing&Human Habitats,Labor Policies,Crops and Crop Management Systems,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems
    Date: 2015–05–11
  11. By: Damania,Richard; Wheeler,David J.
    Abstract: Road construction has often been viewed as the precursor to deforestation, especially in tropical forests. Traditional responses to such threats have been reactive, with attempts to mitigate impacts through physical measures, or the establishment of protected areas. These approaches often have not been entirely successful, especially in areas where economic potential is significant. This paper seeks to mitigate such conflicts by proposing a proactive approach to development planning and environmental policy. It develops a high-resolution spatial model of road improvement impacts that includes ecological risks and the economics of forest clearing. The approach is implemented by estimating the potential impact of road upgrading on forest clearing and biodiversity in eight Congo Basin countries. The paper demonstrates how the detailed analysis can identify areas of high ecological priority as well as areas at high risk of forest loss. The paper contributes to several aspects of the literature. First, it provides the most recent and reliable estimates of the drivers of deforestation in the Congo Basin, with the latest high-resolution satellite data on forest cover changes. Second, it presents novel estimates of biodiversity threats by creating an index that combines and synthesizes several measures of biodiversity loss and impacts. It then develops an empirical framework for estimating the ecological impacts of road improvement. Finally, the paper illustrates how the empirical framework can be used to preempt impacts and avoid potential ecological damage.
    Keywords: Climate Change and Environment,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Ecosystems and Natural Habitats,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Wildlife Resources
    Date: 2015–05–18
  12. By: Anna Folke Larsen (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of networks for diffusion of improved banana cultivation introduced by an agricultural project in Tanzania. In the existing literature on networks and technology adoption, network effects are interpreted as learning. I show that a farmer's network can affect the adoption of a new crop not only through social learning, but also by providing necessary inputs for adoption. I set up a simple model for adoption and derive similar model implications for the provision of either inputs or information through the network. Empirically, I find that a farmer is 37 percentage points more likely to adopt banana cultivation if there is at least one project participant growing bananas in the farmer's network. I use three falsication tests to support causal interpretation of the network effect on adoption. Provision of inputs (banana seedlings) through networks is found to play an important role for the network effects found.
    Keywords: Technology adoption, networks, agriculture, Tanzania, Africa
    JEL: D83 O13 O33 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2015–05–25
  13. By: Hoffman, Sandra; Maculloch, Bryan; Batz, Michael
    Abstract: Each year, approximately 48 million people become ill from foodborne illnesses in the United States. In only 20 percent of these cases (9.4 million illnesses) can a specific pathogen cause be identified; over 90 percent of these cases are caused by only 15 pathogens. This report summarizes recent estimates showing that these 9.4 million illnesses impose over $15.5 billion in economic burden annually. The report also provides “pamphlets” for each of these 15 foodborne pathogens that include: (1) a summary of information about the pathogen’s foodborne illness incidence and economic burden relative to other foodborne pathogens; (2) a disease-outcome tree showing the number of people experiencing different outcomes caused by foodborne exposure to the pathogen in the United States each year; and (3) a pie chart showing the economic burden associated with different health outcomes resulting from infection with the pathogen. This report complements the ERS data product, Cost-of-Illness Estimates for Major Foodborne Illnesses in the U.S.
    Keywords: Foodborne illness, cost of foodborne illness, economic burden of foodborne illness, health valuation, food safety, willingness to pay, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2015–05
  14. By: Hagos, Fitsum; Mulugeta, A.; Erkossa, Teklu; Lefore, Nicole; Langan, Simon
    Abstract: The study examined whether access to spate irrigation leads to better nutrition outcomes. The results showed that there is an overall improvement in the study sites compared to the 2011 DHS study. As far as households with access to spate irrigation are concerned, weight-for-height z-scores indicated that 8.2% of the children had prevalence of global acute malnutrition; 8.2% of them had moderate acute malnutrition. None of the children had severe acute malnutrition. The weight-for-age results indicated that 27.5, 17.6 and 9.8% of the children showed prevalence of underweight, moderate underweight and severe underweight, respectively. The height-for-age z-scores showed 56.5, 30.8 and 21.7% of the children had prevalence of stunting, moderate stunting and severe stunting, respectively. On the other hand, households without access to spate irrigation indicated that as far as the weight-for-height z-scores of children are concerned, there were no children (boys and girls) with prevalence of global acute malnutrition; weight for-age z-score showed that 13.6, 10.2 and 3.4% of the children had prevalence of underweight, moderate underweight and severe underweight, respectively. The height-for-age z-scores showed that 45.5, 25.5 and 20.0% of the children had prevalence of stunting, moderate stunting and severe stunting, respectively. The anthropometric measures, thus, showed the nutritional outcomes of users were worse-off than of nonusers of spate irrigation. This happens in the face of better income and consumption expenditures, mainly nonfood, for users compared to nonusers. This underlines the importance of nutrition education alongside efforts to improve access to irrigation. Moreover, multisectoral collaborations are needed between the health, agriculture, water, social protection, education, gender and other sectors to improve the nutrition outcome of children.
    Keywords: Flood irrigation; Spate irrigation; Agriculture; Human nutrition; Children; Gender; Body weight; Height; Households; Malnutrition; Food security
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Ali,Rubaba; Barra,Alvaro Federico; Berg,Claudia N.; Damania,Richard; Nash,John D.; Russ,Jason Daniel
    Abstract: Transport infrastructure is deemed to be central to development and consumes a large fraction of the development assistance envelope. Yet there is debate about the economic impact of road projects. This paper proposes an approach to assess the differential development impacts of alternative road construction and prioritize various proposals, using Nigeria as a case study. Recognizing that there is no perfect measure of economic well-being, a variety of outcome metrics are used, including crop revenue, livestock revenue, non-agricultural income, the probability of being multi-dimensionally poor, and local gross domestic product for Nigeria. Although the measure of transport is the most accurate possible, it is still endogenous because of the nonrandom placement of road infrastructure. This endogeneity is addressed using a seemingly novel instrumental variable termed the natural path: the time it would take to walk along the most logical route connecting two points without taking into account other, bias-causing economic benefits. Further, the analysis considers the potential endogeneity from nonrandom placement of households and markets through carefully chosen control variables. It finds that reducing transportation costs in Nigeria will increase crop revenue, non-agricultural income, the wealth index, and local gross domestic product. Livestock sales increase as well, although this finding is less robust. The probability of being multi-dimensionally poor will decrease. The results also cast light on income diversification and structural changes that may arise. These findings are robust to relaxing the exclusion restriction. The paper also demonstrates how to prioritize alternative road programs by comparing the expected development impacts of alternative New Partnership for Africa's Development projects.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Roads and Highways Performance,Rural Roads&Transport,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Banks&Banking Reform
    Date: 2015–05–18
  16. By: Christopher S. Carpenter; D. Sebastian Tello-Trillo
    Abstract: After highly publicized lawsuits against McDonald’s in 2002, 26 states adopted Commonsense Consumption Acts (CCAs) – aka ‘Cheeseburger Bills’ – that greatly limit fast food companies’ liability for weight-related harms. We provide the first evidence of the effects of CCAs using plausibly exogenous variation in the timing of CCA adoption across states. In two-way fixed effects models, we find that CCAs significantly increased stated attempts to lose weight and consumption of fruits and vegetables among heavy individuals. We also find that CCAs significantly increased employment in fast food. Finally, we find that CCAs significantly increased the number of company-owned McDonald’s restaurants and decreased the number of franchise-owned McDonald’s restaurants in a state. Overall our results provide novel evidence supporting a key prediction of tort reform – that it should induce individuals to take more care – and show that industry-specific tort reforms can have meaningful effects on market outcomes.
    JEL: I12 I18 K13
    Date: 2015–05
  17. By: Pascal Tillie (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Emilio Rodríguez-Cerezo (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This report is based on a study whose main objective was to collect information about the functioning of the EU markets for non-GM IP soybean and derived products. Data on volume of imports, on use by EU Member States and feed sub-sector, as well as on prices were collected from different sources. In addition, a survey to 360 operators in the soybean supply chain was conducted. Based on this study, we estimate that about 8.3% and 11.3% of the soybean and soybean meal imported by a group of 14 EU countries is segregated as non-GM. This represents about 2.7 million tonnes of soybean meal equivalent, mainly imported through the Netherlands, followed by Germany and France. However, the production for non-GM IP compound feeds is led by a different group of country that includes Germany, Hungary, France, United-Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Austria, by order of importance in absolute value. The demand for non-GM IP compound feed is driven by the poultry sector, followed by the cattle (for beef and dairy) and the pork sectors.
    Keywords: Soybean, Non Genetically Modified, Identity Preservation, European Union, segregation, coexistence, animal feed, fed with non-GM label
    JEL: D04 D78 E30 F13 L11 L66 Q11 Q13 Q17
    Date: 2015–05
  18. By: Hagos, Fitsum; Erkossa, Teklu; Lefore, Nicole; Langan, Simon
    Abstract: The study examined whether the use of spate irrigation in drought-prone areas of Ethiopia reduced poverty. Each of about 25 users of indigenous and modern spate irrigation schemes and an equal number of corresponding nonusers from the same peasant associations in Oromia and Tigray regional states were interviewed. The survey found that the poverty level of the spate irrigation users was significantly lower than that of the nonusers in terms incidence, depth and severity. Access to improved spate irrigation has led to reduced poverty, measured by all poverty indices, compared to traditional spate. Finally, the dominance test showed that the poverty comparison between users and nonusers was robust. From the study, it can be concluded that the use of spate irrigation in areas where access to other alternative water sources is limited, either by physical availability or by economic constraints, can significantly contribute to poverty reduction, and that modernizing the spate system strengthens the impact.
    Keywords: Irrigation schemes; Spate irrigation; Traditional farming; Poverty; Arid zones; Households; Income
    Date: 2014
  19. By: Ben Westmore
    Abstract: Urbanisation will continue in China, with the government planning to grant urban residential status to an additional 100 million rural workers by 2020. While this process is transforming the urban economy, the rural economy is also undergoing substantial structural change. Government policy settings in rural areas are critical for smoothing the transition and helping bridge the gap in living standards between urban and rural China. Reforms should further enable farmers who wish to continue working in the agricultural sector to raise productivity levels. Specific measures include encouraging land transfer, promoting further rural financial development and technical assistance for farmers. At the same time, obstacles should be removed for those rural residents aspiring to move to jobs in cities where their skills can yield a higher marginal product. For those who remain in rural areas, improved social welfare systems and investment in health services are critical. This Working Paper relates to the 2015 OECD Economic Survey of China<P>Mener des réformes agricoles et contribuer au rattrapage des zones rurales<BR>L'urbanisation va se poursuivre en Chine et les pouvoirs publics prévoient d'ailleurs d'accorder le statut de résident urbain à 100 millions de travailleurs ruraux supplémentaires d'ici 2020. Si ce processus a pour effet de transformer l'économie urbaine, l'économie rurale connaît également des changements structurels importants. Dans les zones rurales, les paramètres de l'action publique jouent un rôle clé pour faciliter la transition et contribuer au rattrapage des niveaux de vie entre les villes et les campagnes chinoises Des réformes devraient être mise en oeuvre pour continuer d'aider les agriculteurs qui souhaitent poursuivre leur activité à relever les niveaux de productivité. Encourager la mutation foncière, favoriser la poursuite du développement financier en zone rurale et apporter une assistance technique aux agriculteurs figurent au nombre des mesures à prendre à cet égard. Parallèlement, il faudrait lever les obstacles à la migration des résidents ruraux qui souhaitent occuper un emploi dans les zones urbaines où leurs compétences peuvent assurer un rendement plus élevé. Pour ceux qui restent dans les zones rurales, il est essentiel d'améliorer les systèmes de protection sociale et de développer l'investissement dans les services de santé. Ce Document de travail a trait à létude de la Chine, 2015 que-chine.htm
    Keywords: China, agricultural reform, urbanisation, rural development, social welfare, réforme agricole, Développement rural, urbanisation, protection sociale, Chine
    JEL: H53 I15 O13 O18 O53 Q16
    Date: 2015–05–22
  20. By: Namrata Solanki
    Abstract: Biotechnology has been used in agriculture, food production and medicine since the dawn of our civilization. Biotechnology is a popular term for the generic technology of the 21st century. With the advancement in science and research, modern biotechnological inventions have brought a revolution in our lives. These inventions are protected under the Patent Law. The World Trade Organization’s TRIPS agreement sets down the minimum standards for intellectual property regulation for its member countries. India being one of the members of WTO has fulfilled the TRIPS commitments by amending the patent regime, the latest of which is the amendment of 2005. India has a large pool of scientific talent, world-class information-technology industry, and vibrant pharmaceutical sector. India has a rich human capital, which is the strongest asset for the knowledge based industry. India is also well positioned to emerge as a significant player in the global biotech arena. Though the Indian Patents Law has been very successful in promoting the progress of science but still the patent system is not as stronger as it is in other developed countries. So far as biotechnology is concerned there are no internationally accepted guidelines for the grant of patents and wide range of opinions exists regarding patenting of biotechnological inventions. The protection afforded to these inventions is sensitive and complex and has given rise to several technical and ethical issues. The general aim of this paper is to canvass those issues in the Indian context. Key words: biotechnology, invention, patents
    Date: 2014–06
  21. By: Mochalova, Elizaveta; Anarbekov, Oyture; Kahhorov, U.
    Abstract: This paper presents a multifactor approach for performance assessment of Water Users Associations (WUAs) in Uzbekistan in order to identify the drivers for improved and efficient performance of WUAs. The study was carried out in the Fergana Valley where the WUAs were created along the South Fergana Main Canal during the last 10 years. The farmers and the employees of 20 WUAs were questioned about the WUAs\u2019 activities and the quantitative and qualitative data were obtained. This became a base for the calculation of 36 indicators divided into 6 groups: Water supply, technical conditions, economic conditions, social and cultural conditions, organizational conditions and information conditions. All the indicators assessed with a differentiated point system adjusted for subjectivity of several of them give the total maximal result for the associations of 250 point. The WUAs of the Fergana Valley showed the score between 145 and 219 points, what reflects a highly diverse level of the WUAs performance in the region. The analysis of the indicators revealed that the key points of the WUA\u2019s success are the organizational and institutional conditions including the participatory factors and awareness of both the farmers and employees about the work of WUA. The research showed that the low performance of the WUAs is always explained by the low technical and economic conditions along with weak organization and information dissemination conditions. It is clear that it is complicated to improve technical and economic conditions immediately because they are cost-based and cost-induced. However, it is possible to improve the organizational conditions and to strengthen the institutional basis via formal and information institutions which will gradually lead to improvement of economic and technical conditions of WUAs. Farmers should be involved into the WUA Governance and into the process of making common decisions and solving common problems together via proper institutions. Their awareness can also be improved by leading additional trainings for increasing farmers\u2019 agronomic and irrigation knowledge, teaching them water saving technologies and acquainting them with the use of water measuring equipment so it can bring reliable water supply, transparent budgeting and adequate as well as equitable water allocation to the water users.
    Keywords: Water users associations; Performance evaluation; Performance indexes; Water supply; Technology; Economic aspects; Sociocultural environment; Farmer participation; Organizational development; Valleys
    Date: 2014
  22. By: Ingmar Schumacher; Benteng Zou
    Abstract: In this article we study the implication of thresholds in preferences. To model this we extend the basic model of John and Pecchenino (1994) by allowing the current level of environmental quality to have a discrete impact on how an agent trades o future consumption and environmental quality. Thus, we endogenize the semi-elasticity of utility based on a step function. We nd that for low (high) thresholds, environmental quality converges to a low (high) steady state. For intermediate levels it converges to a stable p-cycle, with environmental quality being asymptotically bounded below and above by the low and high steady state. As policy implications we study shifts in the threshold. Costless shifts of the threshold are always worthwhile. If it is costly to change the threshold, then it is worthwhile to change the threshold if the threshold originally was suciently low. Lump-sum taxes lead to a development trap and a proportional income tax should be preferred.
    Keywords: thresholds, endogenous preferences, environmental quality, policy intervention
    JEL: Q28 Q56
    Date: 2015–05–20
  23. By: Broadberry, Stephen (London School of Economics); Gardner, Leigh (London School of Economics and Stellenbosch University,)
    Abstract: Recent advances in historical national accounting have allowed for global comparisons of GDP per capita across space and time. Critics have argued that GDP per capita fails to capture adequately the effects of new technology on living standards, and have developed alternative measures such as the human development index (HDI). Whilst recognising that this provides an appropriate measure for assessing levels of welfare, we argue that GDP per capita remains a more appropriate measure for assessing development potential, encompassing production as well as consumption. Twentieth-century Africa and pre-industrial Europe are used to show how such data can guide reciprocal comparisons to provide insights into the process of development on both continents.
  24. By: Louis-Philippe Beland; Vincent Boucher
    Abstract: This paper estimates the causal impact of party affiliation (Republican or Democrat) of U.S. governors on pollution. Using a regression discontinuity design, gubernatorial election data, and air quality data from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we find that pollution is lower under Democratic governors. We identify that this is mostly due to environmental policies enacted by Democratic governors.
    Keywords: Political Parties, Pollution, Air Quality, Regression Discontinuity
    JEL: Q53 Q58 D72
    Date: 2015
  25. By: Florian Schaefer (Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London); Girum Abebe (Ethiopian Development Research Institute)
    Abstract: The floriculture industry has been one of the most spectacular growth successes in Ethiopia. It has been driven by a dynamic mixture of government action, foreign investment, and local entrepreneurship. We build the case for the use of innovate industrial policy regimes to support processes of structural transformation in low income countries. Further to this, we demonstrate how a complex array of state institutions helped support private-sector engagement and success in floriculture. However this success in floriculture has been erratic, and at times, very costly. Using a mixed methods approach, we trace past and present bottlenecks in the evolution of the sector. In particular we show that the regulatory framework facing the sector needs continuous reform in order to meet the requirements at each specific stage of growth. Moreover, the sector faces an increasingly challenging external environment in international markets and will need substantial levels of government support in the medium and future term, in particular to access new markets, and to defend and expand market share in existing ones. High labour turnover, driven mostly by the lure of labour migration to the Middle East, shortage of land for expansion around Addis Ababa, and the unpredictability of the regulatory environment, all remain challenges for this sector. We assess the severity of each major bottleneck for future growth and performance of the flower sector, and propose ways to alleviate them. We recommend that the government strives to make sector regulation more transparent, predictable and responsive, and that support in marketing and market research is raised to a higher level. For firms in the sector, we recommend strengthening the dialogue with the labour force and to improve working conditions in order to retain workers, which we believe could be achieved without significant reduction in profitability given the extremely low share of wages in total production costs.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, Industrial policy, floriculture, political economy, government capacity, markets
    JEL: P16 O25 L52
    Date: 2015–02

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