nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2016‒12‒04
forty-six papers chosen by

  1. New modalities for managing drought risk in rainfed agriculture: Evidence from a discrete choice experiment in Odisha, India: By Ward, Patrick S.; Makhija, Simrin
  2. Making pulses affordable again: Policy options from the farm to retail in India: By Joshi, Pramod Kumar; Kishore, Avinash; Roy, Devesh
  3. Alternative Policies to Buffer Stocks for Food Security By Raphaël Beaujeu
  4. Coffee Income, Food Security and Diet Diversity of Smallholder Coffee Growers in Ethiopia By Tadesse Kuma Worako; Mekdim Dereje; Bart Minten
  5. Adoption of food safety measures among Nepalese milk producers: Do smallholders benefit?: By Kumar, Anjani; Thapa, Ganesh; Joshi, Pramod Kumar; Roy, Devesh
  6. Gender dimensions on farmers’ preferences for direct-seeded rice with drum seeder in India: By Khan, Md. Tajuddin; Kishore, Avinash; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
  7. Household-Level Evidence of Cereals Demand and the Welfare Implications of Cereals Price Shocks in Rural and Urban Mali By Me-Nsope, Nathalie M.; Staatz, John M.
  8. Using household consumption and expenditure surveys to make inferences about food consumption, nutrient intakes and nutrition status: How important is it to adjust for meal partakers? By Fiedler, John L.; Mwangi, Dena M.
  9. The effect of the US biofuels mandate on poverty in India By Ujjayant Chakravorty; Marie-Hélène Hubert; Beyza Ural Marchand
  10. Cumulative economic impact of future trade agreements on EU agriculture By Pierre Boulanger; Hasan Dudu; Emanuele Ferrari; Mihaly Himics; Robert M'barek
  11. Impacts of CAADP on Africa’s agricultural-led development: By Benin, Samuel
  12. Improving household consumption and expenditure surveys’ food consumption metrics: Developing a strategic approach to the unfinished agenda: By Fiedler, John L.; Mwangi, Dena M.
  13. • Assessing the Drivers of Tanzania's Fertilizer Subsidy Programs from 2003-2016: An Application of the Kaleidoscope Model of Policy Change By Mather, David; Ndyetabula, Daniel
  14. Agricultural inputs policy under macroeconomic uncertainty: Applying the kaleidoscope model to Ghana’s Fertilizer Subsidy Programme (2008–2015): By Resnick, Danielle; Mather, David
  15. Federal Crop Insurance Options for Upland Cotton Farmers and Their Revenue Effects By Hungerford, Ashley; O'Donoghue, Erik
  16. Impact of Agricultural Related Technology Adoption on Poverty: A Study of Select Households in Rural India By Santosh K. Sahu; Sukanya Das
  17. Comparing apples to apples: A new indicator of research and development investment intensity in agriculture: By Nin-Pratt, Alejandro
  18. Farm Profits and Adoption of Precision Agriculture By Schimmelpfennig, David
  19. Food Security Implications of Staple Food Substitution in Sahelian West Africa By Haggblade, Steven; Me-Nsope, Nathalie M.; Staatz, John M.
  20. Using zero tillage to ameliorate yield losses from weather shocks: Evidence from panel data in Haryana, India: By Khan, Md. Tajuddin; Kishore, Avinash; Pandey, Divya; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
  21. China's mobility barriers and employment allocations By Ngai, Liwa Rachel; Pissarides, Christopher; Wang, Jin
  22. Spatial Valuation of forests’ environmental assets: an application to andalusian silvopastoral farms By Paola Ovando; Alejandro Caparros; Luis Díaz-Balteiro; María Pasalodos; Santiago Beguería; José L. Oviedo; Gregorio Montero; Pablo Campos
  23. Using cognitive interviewing to improve the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index survey instruments: Evidence from Bangladesh and Uganda: By Malapit, Hazel J.; Sproule, Kathryn; Kovarik, Chiara
  24. Export competition issues after Nairobi: The recent World Trade Organization agreements and their implications for developing countries: By Díaz-Bonilla, Eugenio; Hepburn, Jonathon
  25. Anatomy of Input Demand Functions for Indian Farmers across Regions By Shrabani Mukherjee; Kailash Chandra Pradhan
  26. Investigating Household Preferences for Restoring Pallikaranai Marsh By Suganya Balakumar; Sukanya Das
  27. Do beliefs about agricultural inputs counterfeiting correspond with actual rates of counterfeiting? Evidence from Uganda: By Ashour, Maha; Billings, Lucy; Gilligan, Daniel; Hoel, Jessica B.; Karachiwalla, Naureen
  28. A farm-level perspective of the policy challenges for export diversification in Malawi: Example of the oilseeds and maize sectors: By Johnson, Michael E.; Edelman, Brent; Kazembe, Cynthia
  30. Access to Modern Energy: a Review of Barriers, Drivers and Impacts By Jacopo Bonan; Stefano Pareglio; Massimo Tavoni
  31. Comparing Participation in Nutrient Trading by Livestock Operations to Crop Producers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed By Sneeringer, Stacy
  32. The role of demesnes in the trade of agricultural horses in late medieval England By Jordan Claridge
  33. Ambiguous Trade-offs: An Application to Climate Change By Nina Boyarchenko; Marianne Andries
  34. Limits to green revolution in rice in Africa: The case of Ghana: By Ragasa, Catherine; Chapoto, Anthony
  35. Relationship between Large-Scale Agricultural Investors and Local Communities: Lessons from Two Investments In Zambia By Nolte, Kerstin; Subakanya, Mitelo
  36. Mapping agricultural value chains with international input-output data By Kuroiwa, Ikuo
  37. Examining the impact of financial development on the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis By Halkos, George; Polemis, Michael
  38. The Failure of a Clearinghouse: Empirical Evidence By Bignon, Vincent; Vuillemey, Guillaume
  39. Food markets and nutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2004–2005): By Marivoet, Wim
  40. Does “soft conditionality” increase the impact of cash transfers on desired outcomes? Evidence from a randomized control trial in Lesotho By Noemi Pace; Silvio Daidone; Benjamin Davis; Luca Pellerano
  41. Framework to assess performance and impact of pluralistic agricultural extension systems: The best-fit framework revisited: By Faure, Guy; Davis, Kristin E.; Ragasa, Catherine; Franzel, Steven; Babu, Suresh Chandra
  42. Grain Into Gold? The Impact of Agricultural Income Shocks on Rural Chinese Households By Jessica Leight
  43. Do College Graduates Serving as Village Officials Help Rural China? By Guojun He; Shaoda Wang
  45. Testing convergent validity in choice experiments: application to public recreation in Spanish Stone pine and Cork oak forests By Jose L. Oviedo; Alejandro Caparrós; Itziar Ruiz-Gauna; Pablo Campos
  46. Reconciling landowner income and land prices: the case of Spanish and California oak woodlands By José L. Oviedo; Lynn Huntsinger; Pablo Campos

  1. By: Ward, Patrick S.; Makhija, Simrin
    Abstract: In this paper we explore the potential for a new approach to managing drought risk among rainfed rice producers in Odisha, India. Droughts have historically been a serious constraint to agricultural production in rainfed agricultural systems, with droughts resulting in significant reductions in both yields and cultivated area, in turn leading to significant impacts on rural livelihoods and food security. Scientists and policy makers have proposed various strategies for managing risks, with limited success. In this study we consider two such strategies, specifically drought-tolerant rice and weather index insurance. While neither drought-tolerant cultivars nor weather index insurance products are perfect solutions for adequately managing drought risk in and of themselves, there is scope to exploit the benefits of each and bundle them into a complementary risk management product, specifically through proper index calibration and an optimized insurance design. In this study, we explore preferences for such a complementary risk management product using discrete choice experiments in Odisha, India. We are able to estimate the added value that farmers perceive in the bundled product above and beyond the value associated with each of the independent products. We also show that valuations are sensitive to the basis risk implied by the insurance product, with farmers less enthusiastic about risk management products that leave significant risks uninsured.
    Keywords: droughts, risk, drought tolerance, rice, insurance, rainfed farming, agricultural policies,
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Joshi, Pramod Kumar; Kishore, Avinash; Roy, Devesh
    Abstract: Rising prices and declining consumption of pulses cause concern in terms of both nutrition and food inflation in India. This paper outlines policy strategies to increase the availability of pulses at affordable prices in India and also points out limitations of some of the most common recommendations for achieving these objectives. There seems to be no option but to increase domestic production of pulses in India. The global supply of pulses is limited compared with India’s needs, and sizable imports by India are bound to increase world prices. Domestic production of pulses in India is most likely piecewise inelastic, meaning that small price increases do not translate into a significant supply response. Because farmers face both production and marketing risks, they increase pulse area and intensify production only when there is a large increase in expected prices that covers the risk premium. Droughts, too, are a major risk for pulses. Access to one or two protective irrigations during the growing season can possibly lead to sizable increases in pulse production and reduce the production risk. The har khet ko paani (assured irrigation) initiative under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) program should give priority to pulse-producing areas. The minimum support price (MSP) for pulses, without direct government procurement, helps traders more than farmers because it acts as a focal point for tacit collusion among traders. Farmers will benefit from the MSP only if it is raised substantially from its current levels. The increase in farmgate prices due to a higher MSP will not necessarily lead to an increase in the retail price of pulses because much of the wedge between farmgate prices and consumer prices is traders’ margin. Including subsidized pulses in public distribution systems can save households some money, but it has only a small effect on total consumption of pulses and almost no effect on total protein intake. We suggest, as more potent solutions, investing in research and extension for pulses, aggregating pulse growers into farmer producer organizations, and paying pulse growers or pulse-growing areas for the ecosystem services offered by pulses.
    Keywords: pulses, prices, food consumption, diet, food supply, nutrition, agricultural policies, trade, imports, minimum prices, price support,
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Raphaël Beaujeu
    Abstract: Public stockholding remains a major concern in multilateral negotiations on agricultural trade liberalisation. This paper focuses on identifying alternative policies to buffer stockholding. It first positions buffer stocks within the range of policies aimed at price stabilisation and food security, with a view to identifying alternatives to meet the same policy objectives. The paper then examines the most direct alternative to public food stocks for price stabilisation, namely private stockholding. It explores experience with private stockholding to assess its effectiveness in achieving price stabilisation objectives and the necessary conditions for implementation. As the price stabilisation role of buffer stocks is also argued to be necessary for food security, the paper also explores alternative approaches that governments may take to meeting this food security objective through social safety nets. Some illustrative examples are explored to highlight key elements for successful implementation. The paper concludes with some observations regarding policy alternatives to buffer stocks.
    Keywords: agricultural policy, price volatility, risk management, food
    JEL: Q13 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2016–11–25
  4. By: Tadesse Kuma Worako (Ethiopian Development Research Institute); Mekdim Dereje (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)/Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP)); Bart Minten (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)/Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP))
    Abstract: A large primary survey was conducted to understand the status of food security and diet diversity of smallholder coffee farmers from within major commercial coffee producing zones in the country. We relied on data from almost 1,600 households that were randomly selected and then interviewed using a multi-stage sampling technique. The study applied both descriptive and econometric methods to analyse data from the household survey. As core findings indicate, income from coffee sales was found to be positively and significantly related to food security while better diet diversity is found to be associated with total household wealth. However, diet diversity has no positive or negative association with the share of coffee in total household income. In both cases of food security and diet diversity, land size, the total value of household assets and the value of livestock are found to have a positive contribution as predicted. This implies that cash crop production of coffee can help to assure improved food security in the country, although other additional measures are needed to obtain improved diet diversity of smallholder coffee growers.
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Kumar, Anjani; Thapa, Ganesh; Joshi, Pramod Kumar; Roy, Devesh
    Abstract: Food safety is the most vital component of food security. One option to ensure food safety is through enhancing compliance at the farm level. This study investigates the status, estimates the cost, identifies the determinants, and assesses the impact of compliance with food safety measures in milk production in Nepal. The study is based on cross-section primary data collected at the farm level from six districts of Nepal. These districts are known for milk production and capture the geographical and institutional diversity of milk production in the country. The study shows that the status of compliance with food safety measures at the dairy farm level is not very encouraging. The intensity with which food safety practices are adopted shows wide inter- and intra-district variations. This intensity depicts a positive relationship to herd size. The additional cost of compliance with food milk safety measures reveals an inverse relationship with herd size. The factors associated with the adoption of food safety measures are caste, number of children and elderly people in a family, household labor size, herd size, access to information, inspection for conformity with the safety and quality standards in dairy farming, perception of households about food safety assistance provided by milk buyers, and market outlet types. We also provide evidence of the impact of food safety measures on farm-gate prices and farmers’ profitability.
    Keywords: food safety, dairy, livestock, milk production, smallholders, agricultural policies,
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Khan, Md. Tajuddin; Kishore, Avinash; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: This study measures the willingness of male and female farmers to pay for climate-smart technology in rice. Rice is the most important crop in India in terms ofarea, production,and consumption. It is also the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions among all crops. Direct-seeded rice (DSR)with drum seeder, a climate-smart technology, requires less labor and water and is more climate friendly than transplanted rice; yet,its adoption is slow in India. Theauthors of this studycarried out a discrete choice experiment with 666 farmers from the Palghar and Thane districts of Maharashtra to measure their willingness to pay for drum seeders—a key piece of equipment for adopting DSR. Both male and female farmers were surveyed to capture the heterogeneity in their valuation of the key attributes of drumseeders. Although both male and female farmers prefer cheaper drum seeders, the marginal valuation of different attributes of the drum seeder varies by the farmers’ gender. The authors also used the Women Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), to collect self-reported data on the role and say of women in agriculture. The respective gender roles in the family and on the farm seem to explain some of this difference. Men have a greater say over how the family spends the cash. Accordingly, men tend to have a higher willingness to pay for attributes that increase income (increase in yield) or reduce cash costs (reduction in the seedrate). Women contribute a large share of the labor for transplanting rice, much of whichis unpaid work on family farms. Not surprisingly, therefore, women seem to value labor saving significantly more than their male counterparts. Further, theWEAI data show that although men in the family have more say, women do have an influence on decisions regarding crop production and the adoption of new technologies,to an extent. Therefore, to enhance the adoption of drum seeders, the product designers and extension workers should also target women
    Keywords: gender, rice, willingness to pay, women, sowing methods, technology adoption,
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Me-Nsope, Nathalie M.; Staatz, John M.
    Abstract: Food demand parameters are necessary for informed food policy making. In this paper we specify a Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System and estimate a complete demand system for rice, sorghum, millet and maize in rural and urban Mali using Mali’s 2006 household budget survey data. Elasticities are estimated by per capita income groups and by rural and urban residence. We use these estimates to measure the welfare effects of cereals price shocks observed from 2008 to 2011 by means of a proportional compensating variation that allows for second-order demand responses to price changes.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Development,
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Fiedler, John L.; Mwangi, Dena M.
    Abstract: Household consumption and expenditure surveys (HCES) are multipurpose surveys that are routinely conducted to collect data on household food consumption and availability in more than 120 countries. HCES are increasingly being used to calculate proxy estimates of food consumption, nutrient intakes, and nutrition status, often at the individual level. Rarely, however, do they collect information on meal participation, despite growing evidence that it is an increasingly important and variable component of the quantity of food consumed or available in a household. This paper explores the significance of adjusting for meal participation in making inferences about apparent food consumption and nutrient intakes. It focuses on two distinct sets of additional information requirements for enhancing the reliability and precision of measures of food consumption: (1) individual household members’ and household guests’ meal-eating behaviors, and (2) the number and apparent nutritional significance of meals. While the most comprehensive and precise accounting of intakes of individual food consumption and nutrients requires both types of information, the magnitude of the changes required in HCES questionnaires to capture them is likely to be prohibitive. Consequently, for many HCES, a “second best” approach may be the most effective method, at least in the short term. The paper empirically explores some of the relatively few HCES that currently attempt to capture some of these information requirements. In addition, it assesses their value-added to prioritize the global agenda for strengthening HCES measurement of food consumption in support of more evidence-based nutrition policy making.
    Keywords: households, surveys, diet, food consumption, nutrition, nutrition policies,
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Ujjayant Chakravorty (Department of Economics, Tufts University, USA); Marie-Hélène Hubert (CREM, UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, France); Beyza Ural Marchand (University of Alberta, Canada)
    Abstract: More than 40% of US grain is now used for energy and this share is expected to rise under the current Renewable Fuels Mandate (RFS). There are no studies of the global distributional consequences of this purely domestic policy. Using micro-level survey data, we trace the effect of the RFS on world food prices and their impact on household level consumption and wage impacts in India. We first develop a par-tial equilibrium model to estimate the effect of the RFS on the price of selected food commodities - rice, wheat, corn, sugar and meat and dairy, which together provide almost 70% of Indian food calories. World prices for these commodities are predicted to rise by 8-16%. Next, we estimate the price pass-through to domestic Indian prices and wage-price elasticities to account for the impact on workers with different skill levels. Poor rural households in India suffer significant consumption losses, which are regressive. However they benefit from wage increases because most of them are em-ployed in agriculture. Urban households also bear the higher cost of food, but do not see a concomitant rise in wage incomes because only a small fraction of them work in food-related industries. Welfare impacts are greater among urban households. How-ever, more poor people in India live in villages, so poverty impacts there are larger in magnitude. We estimate that the RFS leads to about 26 million new poor: 21 million in rural and five million in the urban population, roughly 10 percent of the estimated number of poor people in India today.
    Keywords: Biofuels, Distributional effects, Household welfare, Renewable Fuel Stan-dards, Poverty
    JEL: D31 O12 Q24 Q42
    Date: 2016–11
  10. By: Pierre Boulanger (European Commission – JRC); Hasan Dudu (European Commission – JRC); Emanuele Ferrari (European Commission – JRC); Mihaly Himics (European Commission – JRC); Robert M'barek (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: This report presents potential effects of twelve free trade agreements (FTAs) under the current EU FTA agenda. It sheds some light on relatively balanced cumulated impacts in terms of trade, production and price for the EU agricultural sector as a whole, while quantifying also the market development for specific agricultural sectors. Different from a forecast exercise, it compares a conservative and an ambitious FTA scenario with a business as usual (reference) scenario.
    Keywords: CGE, modelling, trade, agriculture, EU
    JEL: C68 F11 F17 Q17
    Date: 2016–11
  11. By: Benin, Samuel
    Abstract: This paper uses panel data on 46 African countries from 2001 to 2014 to estimate the impacts of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), an agriculture-led integrated framework of development priorities in Africa, on agricultural expenditure and productivity, income, and nutrition. A difference-in-difference treatment-effects model (based on when a CAADP compact is signed and the level of CAADP implementation reached) and different estimation methods and model specifications are used. The results show that CAADP has had a positive impact on agricultural value-added and land and labor productivity. The impact on agriculture expenditure is generally negative, suggesting that there is a substitution effect between the government’s own funding and external sources of funding for the sector. The estimated impact on income and nutrition is generally insignificant. There are some puzzling results from the interaction between specific period of compact signing and level of implementation reached. Implications for maintaining the positive impacts, as well as for further research to understand the puzzling results, are discussed.
    Keywords: agricultural development, agricultural growth, agricultural research, public expenditure, productivity, income, nutrition,
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Fiedler, John L.; Mwangi, Dena M.
    Abstract: As the nature of global malnutrition changes, there is a growing need and increasing urgency for more and better information about food consumption and dietary patterns. The past two decades have seen a dramatic increase in the number, availability, and analysis of the food consumption data collected in a variety of multipurpose household surveys, referred to collectively as household consumption and expenditure surveys (HCESs). These surveys are heterogeneous, and their quality varies substantially by country. Still, they share some common shortcomings in their measurement of food consumption, nutrient intakes, and nutrition status that undermine their relevance and reliability for purposes of designing and implementing food policies and programs. This review crafts a strategic approach to the unfinished global agenda of improving HCESs’ collection of food consumption data. Starting with the priority studies recommended by a 100-country HCES review (Smith, Dupriez, and Troubat 2014), it focuses on a strategic subset of those studies that deal most directly and exclusively with the measurement of food, and that are of fundamental importance to all HCES stakeholders in low- and middle-income countries. Drawing from the literature, this study provides a more detailed, more circumspect justification as to why these particular studies are needed, while identifying key hypotheses, explaining why these studies are of growing urgency, and demonstrating why now is a propitious time for undertaking them. The review also identifies important study design considerations while pointing out potential challenges to successful implementation stemming from technical capacity, economic, administrative, and political considerations. Six key studies are rank ordered from a global perspective as follows, taking into account (1) the likely shared consensus that a topic is an important source of measurement error in estimating consumption; (2) the perceived urgency of the need for addressing a particular source of measurement error; (3) the perceived likelihood of success—that is, that the efforts will improve the accuracy of measurement; (4) whether or not the study entails modifying the questionnaire; (5) the ease with which a study may begin; and (6) the extent to which the study is independent of necessary negotiations with existing HCES stakeholders because of the types of changes it is likely to entail (in either the questionnaire or the way the data have traditionally been processed).
    Keywords: households, surveys, diet, food consumption, nutrition, nutrition policies,
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Mather, David; Ndyetabula, Daniel
    Abstract: In this paper we study fertilizer subsidy schemes in Tanzania from 2003/04 through 2015/16 to better understand the key factors that led to the design and reform of various fertilizer subsidy programs in Tanzania over time and to serve as a case study to test the hypotheses from the Kaleidoscope Model of the key drivers of agricultural policy change. The analysis is based on a combination of key informant interviews and secondary literature.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, Political Economy,
    Date: 2016–10
  14. By: Resnick, Danielle; Mather, David
    Abstract: Ghana’s Fertilizer Subsidy Programme (GFSP) was initiated in 2008 in response to the global food and fuel price crisis. Although initially intended to be a temporary measure that became increasingly expensive as Ghana’s macroeconomy deteriorated, farmers, civil society organizations, and politicians began to expect the subsidy on an annual basis. This paper applies the kaleidoscope model for agricultur and food security policy change to the case of GFSP. In doing so, it uses a variety of analytical tools to highlight how many of the weak outcomes of GFSP can be attributed to the nature of the broader policy process that has surrounded GFSP as well as the underlying political and institutional context in which policy making occurs in Ghana. Based on semi-structured interviews conducted with knowledgeable stakeholders spanning the government, donor, civil society, and research communities, the paper identifies the bottlenecks that need to be addressed if the program is to be more effective in the future.
    Keywords: governance, policies, economy,
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Hungerford, Ashley; O'Donoghue, Erik
    Abstract: The Agricultural Act of 2014 introduced two new crop insurance programs for upland cotton: the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX). SCO and STAX are known as “shallow loss” programs because they typically have lower deductibles and do not compensate for the bigger losses that other Federal crop insurance programs cover. This report examines the structures of SCO and STAX and how these programs interact with Revenue Protection, a preexisting crop insurance policy. It provides estimates of the contribution of SCO and STAX to revenue and downside risk reduction for upland cotton producers in various counties, revealing how risk reduction differs across counties with different inherent revenue risk caused by regional variations in yield. The report describes 2015 enrollment in STAX and SCO and finds that STAX enrollment is tied to the market share of cotton in a given county.
    Keywords: Cotton, crop insurance, Stacked Income Protection Plan, Supplemental Coverage, 2014 Farm Act, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Crop Production/Industries, Financial Economics, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2016–10
  16. By: Santosh K. Sahu (Assistant Professor, Madras School of Economics); Sukanya Das (Madras School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper applies a program evaluation technique to assess the causal effect of adoption of agricultural related technologies on consumption expenditure and poverty measured by different indices. The paper is based on a cross-sectional household level data collected during 2014 from a sample of 270 households in rural India. Sensitivity analysis is conducted to test the robustness of the propensity score based results using the “rbounds test” and the mean absolute standardized bias between adopters and non-adopters. The analysis reveals robust, positive and significant impacts of agricultural related technologies adoption on per capita consumption expenditure and on poverty reduction for the sample households in rural India.
    Keywords: Agriculture related technology adoption, propensity score matching, poverty, Odisha, IndiaClassification-JEL: C13, C15, O32, O38
    Date: 2015–10
  17. By: Nin-Pratt, Alejandro
    Abstract: It has been apparent for more than a century that future economic progress in agriculture will be driven by the invention and application of new technologies resulting from expenditure in research and development (R&D) by governments and private firms. Nevertheless, it is conventional wisdom in the economic development literature that there is a significant underinvestment in agricultural R&D in developing countries. Evidence supporting this belief is provided, first by a vast literature showing returns on R&D expenditure to be so high as to justify levels of investment in multiples of those actually found, and second, from available data showing low research effort in developing countries as measured by the intensity ratio (IR), that is, the percentage of agricultural gross domestic product invested in agricultural R&D (excluding the for-profit private sector). This paper argues that the IR is an inadequate indicator to measure and compare the research efforts of a diverse group of countries and proposes an alternative index that allows meaningful comparisons between countries. The proposed index can be used to identify potential under-investors, determine intensity gaps, and quantify the R&D investment needed to close these gaps by comparing countries with similar characteristics. Results obtained using the new R&D intensity indicator with a sample of 88 countries show that the investment effort in developing countries is much higher than the one observed using the conventional IR measure. The new measure finds that countries like China, India, Brazil, and Kenya have similar levels of R&D intensity to those in the United States. To close the R&D intensity gap measured by the new index, developing countries will need to invest US$7.1 billion on top of the $21.4 billion invested on average during 2008–2011, an increase of 33 percent of total actual investment.
    Keywords: agricultural research, public expenditure, agricultural growth, economic growth, agricultural development,
    Date: 2016
  18. By: Schimmelpfennig, David
    Abstract: Precision agriculture (PA) and its suite of information technologies—such as soil and yield mapping using a global positioning system (GPS), GPS tractor guidance systems, and variable-rate input application—allow farm operators to fine-tune their production practices. Access to detailed, within-field information can decrease input costs and increase yields. USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey shows that these PA technologies were used on roughly 30 to 50 percent of U.S. corn and soybean acres in 2010-12. Previous studies suggest that use of PA is associated with higher profits under certain conditions, but aggregate estimates of these gains have not been available. In this report, a treatment-effects model is developed to estimate factors associated with PA technology adoption rates and the impacts of adoption on profits. Labor and machinery used in production and certain farm characteristics, like farm size, are associated with adoption as well as with two profit measures, net returns and operating profits. The impact of these PA technologies on profits for U.S. corn producers is positive, but small.
    Keywords: Crop production information technologies, precision agriculture, variable-rate technology, soil tests, global positioning system maps, guidance systems., Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Production Economics,
    Date: 2016–10
  19. By: Haggblade, Steven; Me-Nsope, Nathalie M.; Staatz, John M.
    Abstract: Low-income households in Sahelian West Africa face multiple shocks that risk compressing their already-low food consumption levels. This paper develops a multi-market simulation model to evaluate the impact of common production and world-price shocks on food consumption of vulnerable groups in Sahelian West Africa. Empirical analysis confirms that poor households bear the brunt of ensuing consumption risks, particularly in closed markets, where trade barriers restrict imports, and the poor find themselves in a bidding war with richer consumers for limited food supplies.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Development,
    Date: 2016–11
  20. By: Khan, Md. Tajuddin; Kishore, Avinash; Pandey, Divya; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: Zero tillage (ZT) for wheat is one of the most widely adopted resource-conserving technologies in the rice-wheat systems in northern India. In areas of Haryana with rice-wheat systems, 36.5 percent of all farmers practice ZT on 35 percent of their wheat area. Yet the literature measuring the impact of ZT on farmers’ fields is scarce. This study fills this gap by using the data collected from a random sample of 717 farmers from 50 villages in 10 districts of Haryana. It applies the difference-in-differences method to five-year recall data on wheat yields in ZT and conventionally tilled plots of land to quantify the crop loss due to unseasonal rains right before wheat harvests in March 2015. The results reveal significantly lower wheat yield losses in the ZT plots than in the conventionally tilled plots. On average, farmers suffered yield losses ranging between 3.73 and 4.53 quintals per hectare in 2015 due to unseasonal rains. The loss was lower by 1.05–1.10 quintals per hectare in ZT plots. The analysis clearly shows that adoption of ZT helped in reducing crop loss in wheat by 24–28 percent, valued at 1,523–1,595 Indian rupees (Rs.) per hectare (approximately US$22.50 per hectare). The loss avoided due to ZT is nearly equal to the prevailing rental rate of the ZT machine (Rs. 1,500 per hectare) in Haryana. Climate models suggest that the incidence of short-duration acute hydro meteorological events is likely to increase in years to come. Such events are hard to predict and prepare for, and dealing with them hinges mainly on disaster relief. However, our results show that adoption of ZT is one possible way to reduce potential loss from some of these weather events and that ZT is therefore well characterized as a climate-smart technology.
    Keywords: zero tillage, conservation tillage, wheats, rain, rainfall patterns, crop losses, Haryana,
    Date: 2016
  21. By: Ngai, Liwa Rachel; Pissarides, Christopher; Wang, Jin
    Abstract: China's hukou system imposes two main barriers to population movements. Agricultural workers get land to cultivate but run the risk of losing it if they migrate. Social transfers (education, health, etc.) are conditional on holding a local hukou. We show that the land policy is a more important barrier on industrialization. This distortion can be corrected by giving property rights to farmers. Social transfers dampen mainly urbanization. We calculate that the two policies together lead to overemployment in agriculture of 6.7 points, underemployment in the urban sector of 6.3 points and have practically no impact on the rural non-agricultural sector.
    Keywords: China hukou; employment allocations; land policy; mobility barriers; social subsidies
    JEL: J61 O18 R23
    Date: 2016–11
  22. By: Paola Ovando; Alejandro Caparros; Luis Díaz-Balteiro; María Pasalodos; Santiago Beguería; José L. Oviedo; Gregorio Montero; Pablo Campos
    Abstract: We develop a model that estimates spatially-allocated environmental asset values for the simultaneous provision of seven ecosystem services. We examine the effect of heterogeneous spatial and economic factors on the environmental asset figures, at the same time we identify potential forestry abandonment problems when continuing with forestry activity is unprofitable for the landowner. Our results show a relevant spatial variability that depends on heterogeneous biophysical factors, such as forest species distribution and structure. We examine the likely trade-offs between forestry provisioning services, water and carbon sequestration services. The results also point towards the significant effect of economic assumptions about discount rates and prices on environmental asset values and the prediction of the forestry activity abandonment.
    Keywords: ecosystem services, natural capital, forest conservation, silvicultural models, Mediterranean forest
    JEL: Q23 Q51 Q57
    Date: 2015–11
  23. By: Malapit, Hazel J.; Sproule, Kathryn; Kovarik, Chiara
    Abstract: This paper describes the cognitive interviews undertaken in Bangladesh and Uganda in 2014 as part of the second round of pilots intended to refine the original version of the Women’s Empowerment in Agricultural Index (WEAI). The WEAI is a survey-based tool that assesses gendered empowerment in agriculture. Baseline data were collected in 19 countries following the WEAI’s launch in 2012, but implementers reported a number of problems, such as confusion among both respondents and enumerators regarding the meaning of abstract concepts in the autonomy sub-module and difficulties recalling the sequence and duration of activities in the time-use sub-module. In our cognitive interviews, we asked detailed follow-up questions such as, “Did you think this question was difficult, and if so, why?” and “Can you explain this term to me in your own words?” The results revealed potential problems with the survey questions and informed the revision of the WEAI, now called the Abbreviated WEAI (or A-WEAI), which has less potential for response errors.
    Keywords: gender, women, agricultural development, agricultural policies, surveys, survey methods,
    Date: 2016
  24. By: Díaz-Bonilla, Eugenio; Hepburn, Jonathon
    Abstract: This paper reviews, from the perspective of developing countries, the recent agreement reached at the 10th WTO Ministerial at Nairobi related to export competition, including exports subsidies, food aid, export credits and guarantees, and state trading enterprises (STEs). The legal and economic aspects of the agreement are examined, and the relevance of banning agricultural export subsidies are noted. This eliminates some of the worst-case scenarios, if agricultural world prices continue to soften and the important margin of export subsidies still allowed under the WTO framework was to be used. But given the relatively longer transition period for some relevant products before export subsidies are completely banned, the paper argues for continued monitoring of the potential use of this instrument. The paper also discusses the other components of export competition, looking into the legal and economic aspects. Some suggestions about continuous work on transparency and monitoring of current practices, and further disciplines are also presented.
    Keywords: trade, developing countries, international agreements, international trade, international trade policies, export subsidies, food aid, export credits, export promotion, credit policies, prices, World Trade Organization (WTO),
    Date: 2016
  25. By: Shrabani Mukherjee (Assistant Professor, Madras School of Economics); Kailash Chandra Pradhan (Madras School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study models the optimum use of production inputs and analyse the behaviour of input demand functions of agricultural production through restricted transcendental logarithm profit function for four different regions in India using rural economic and demographic survey (REDS) data. The Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) method of estimation reveals that the level of productivity of farms is significantly influenced by output prices, inputs like labour, fertilizer, pesticides. The results of ownprice elasticities for the demand of variable inputs are negative and price elastic. Fertilizer prices and area planted had a significant impact on the profit function altogether. The effect of output prices in eastern region is larger. Whereas, wage rate and other input prices are more effective for other regions. The cross-price elasticities for input indicated imperfect complementary relationships among the inputs. A well designed input distribution policy can mitigate the problem of low factor productivity and lack of technological improvements in agriculture..
    Keywords: Agriculture, Restricted Translog Profit function, Input Demand, Seemingly Unrelated Regression, India Classification-C30, D61, I38
  26. By: Suganya Balakumar (Madras School of Economics); Sukanya Das (Madras School of Economics)
    Abstract: The study examines households’ willingness to pay for the conservation of Pallinkaranai marsh located in the south of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A stated preference method, namely, Contingent Valuation method (CVM) over 213 households has been employed. The results reveal that farmers are willing to pay for the restoration of the marsh which provides higher level of water quality, recreational benefit and restorartion of flora and fauna.
    Keywords: Pallinkaranai, Contingent valuation, Chennai, bivariate probit regressionClassification-JEL: Q510, C83, Q260
    Date: 2015–10
  27. By: Ashour, Maha; Billings, Lucy; Gilligan, Daniel; Hoel, Jessica B.; Karachiwalla, Naureen
    Abstract: Adoption of productivity- and income-enhancing agricultural technologies is conspicuously low in Africa south of the Sahara. Farmers’ beliefs regarding the authenticity of agricultural inputs are important for explaining technology adoption: if farmers do not believe that inputs are genuine, they are unlikely to invest in them. The degree of alignment between beliefs about and actual counterfeiting can help explain both the social costs of the “lemons” problem, and low rates of adoption. This is the first paper to explore whether farmer beliefs regarding counterfeiting align with actual rates of counterfeiting, and we do so across a very large geographic area serving tens of thousands of farmers in Uganda using a more precise measure of counterfeiting than many previous studies. We examine the relationship between beliefs and counterfeiting using quantitative measures of farmer beliefs regarding the authenticity of herbicide in their local market as well as a large random sample of laboratory-tested herbicide samples to measure counterfeiting rates in local markets. We report evidence of considerable counterfeiting of herbicides in local markets, with nearly one in three bottles containing less than 75 percent of the labeled concentration of active ingredient. We find evidence that farmers’ beliefs regarding the extent of counterfeiting of herbicide are significantly associated with measures of the actual prevalence of counterfeiting in local markets. These results indicate that farmers are at least partly informed about the “market for lemons” problem in local input markets. However, the results also suggest that although better informed farmers imply a lower social cost of counterfeiting, the high rate of counterfeiting and the relative accuracy of farmer information contributes to low adoption of agricultural inputs in Africa.
    Keywords: social costs, maize, markets, seeds,
    Date: 2016
  28. By: Johnson, Michael E.; Edelman, Brent; Kazembe, Cynthia
    Abstract: The primary goal of the study is to investigate the potential to expand oilseeds, specifically soybeans,as an alternative commercialcrop to tobacco among Malawian farmers. A principal motivation for undertaking the study at the microeconomic level is to determine, in a theoretically consistent fashion, the type of policy and economic environment under which farmers begin to shift more of their scarce resources to oilseed production.The study aims to provide recommendations to a growing demand among policy makers and development partners for a greater diversification of exports and crop production systems of the majority smallholder farmers in Malawi. Using representative farm models, the study examinesthe potential for expanding production of soybeans among typical smallholder farming systems in Malawi. The results will help guide future policies and investments targeted at promoting greater crop diversification and incomes, in order to reduce poverty and malnutrition in Malawi. Given the amount of labor and land resources allocated to maize production for food security purposes, we also consider the policy challenges that emerge for crop diversification as a result
    Keywords: food security, diversification, smallholders, oilseeds, maize,
    Date: 2016
  29. By: Clay, Daniel C.; Bro, Aniseh S.; Church, Ruth Ann; Bizoza, Alfred; Ortega, David L.
    Abstract: Coffee production has been at the core of farm family livelihoods in Rwanda for many generations and today it serves as source of cash income for over 355,000 households across the country. Since 2001, the coffee value chain has seen a transformation in quality (fully-washed coffee) and is now well-established in specialty coffee markets around the globe. With the construction of 245 washing stations, the processing segments of the sector have prospered. Dry mills and export companies, both domestic and international, have similarly emerged during this period. While the value-added from this transformation has benefited Rwanda, those at the base, the coffee producers, have shared the least in the new prosperity.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Production Economics,
    Date: 2016–10
  30. By: Jacopo Bonan (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)); Stefano Pareglio (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)); Massimo Tavoni (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Politecnico di Milano)
    Abstract: Universal access to modern energy services, in terms of access to electricity and to modern cooking facilities, has been recognized as a fundamental challenge for development. Despite strong praise for action and the deployment of large-scale electrification programs and improved cookstove (ICS) distribution campaigns, few studies have shed light on the barriers to, the enablers of and the impacts of access to energy on development outcomes, using rigorous methodologies. This paper reviews this recent strand of research, trying to fill these gaps. We focus on the demand-side and household perspective. Our main outcomes of interest are electricity connection and ICS adoption for the analysis of barriers, time allocation, labour market outcomes and welfare for the impact analysis. We provide evidence of significant wellbeing impacts of electrification, and mixed evidence for cookstoves.
    Keywords: Impact Evaluation, Energy Poverty, Energy Access, Rural Electrification, Modern Cookstoves, Literature Review
    JEL: O1 O13 Q4 Q48
    Date: 2016–11
  31. By: Sneeringer, Stacy
    Abstract: Despite decades of nutrient-runoff reduction efforts via regulation, financial and technical assistance, and education, manure remains a significant contributor to Chesapeake Bay nutrient loadings. In the Bay watershed, animal feeding operations (AFOs; livestock operations that confine animals) are responsible for the majority of acreage onto which manure is applied, and over a quarter of these operations produce more manure nutrients than they can use on the farm. An alternative method of reducing discharges from livestock operations may be to involve them in nutrient trading, in which producers sell representations of their pollution reductions as credits. Past analysis of farmer participation in nutrient trading has focused almost exclusively on crop producers. In contrast to crop-only producers, livestock producers face regulations that require them to meet nutrient application standards on their farms, and they have added costs of manure shipping to meet those standards. Therefore, they may be less likely to participate in nutrient trading than crop-only producers. An analysis of producer-participation decisions reveals that those producing more manure nutrients than can be applied on their farms are especially unlikely to participate in nutrient trading based on reductions in nutrient applications to cropland. Since these operations already have relatively little cropland, they can generate relatively few credits from pollution reductions.
    Keywords: Livestock, nutrients, nutrient trading, water quality trading, Chesapeake Bay, total maximum daily load, TMDL, Environmental Economics and Policy, Livestock Production/Industries,
    Date: 2016–09
  32. By: Jordan Claridge
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of demesnes – the farms of lords, as opposed to the lands of their peasant tenants – in the trade of agricultural horses in medieval England. The introduction of horse power is recognised to have been a major factor in the development of the medieval English economy, increasing labour productivity in farming and the efficiency of overland transport, but the infrastructures through which these animals were produced and distributed has remained poorly understood. This paper uses a national sample of over 300 manorial accounts from c.1300 to assess the role of demesnes in the production and distribution of working horses. It finds that demesnes were significant net consumers of horses, primarily relying upon the market for their supply. This illustrates that there was a well established market for these animals by c.1300, but also that these large institutional farms did not breed enough horses to sustain their own demand, let alone a surplus that could have supplied the market. Demesnes (and their managers) did, however, fill an important distributive role in the trade of agricultural horses by acting, perhaps inadvertently, as ‘middle men’ in marshaling the various channels of work horse acquisition and dispersion.
    Keywords: Trade; Commercialization; Market Integration; Horses; Medieval England; Medieval Economy; Economic History; Social History
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2016–11
  33. By: Nina Boyarchenko (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Marianne Andries (Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: We study optimal long-term investment choices in settings where agents face ambiguity about both the future benefit and the current cost, as is likely to be the case for large scale social programs, such as healthcare choices and climate change policies. Faced with this kind of ambiguity, rational economic agents optimally choose investment paths that are observationally equivalent to choices made under hyperbolic discounting. Using calibrated paths of potential output losses under different global warming scenarios, we evaluate the relative attractiveness of small-scale, large-scale and R\&D projects for mitigating climate change.
    Date: 2016
  34. By: Ragasa, Catherine; Chapoto, Anthony
    Abstract: This paper examines closely the constraints in productivity improvements and evaluates available rice technologies looking at the heterogeneity of irrigated and rainfed ecologies in 10 regions in Ghana. Employing yield response models, profitability analysis, and adoption models, results show various practices contribute to yield improvements in irrigated and rainfed systems including chemical fertilizer use, use of certified seed of improved varieties, transplanting, bunding, leveling, use of a sawah system, seed priming, and row planting. Evidence also shows that extension services on rice production are limited and that intensifying extension services can contribute to increases in rice yield.
    Keywords: productivity, fertilizer, subsidies, rice, green revolution, profitability, technology adoption, agricultural policies, farm inputs, food policies,
    Date: 2016
  35. By: Nolte, Kerstin; Subakanya, Mitelo
    Abstract: Initial contacts between investor and community are important and prior information of the local population is crucial for laying a foundation for a good relationship. However, remaining realistic about what the investment can achieve and regular contacts to the community are equally important. Land issues in Zambia are highly contentious. Even if investors target state land, this may lead to dissatisfaction of the local population.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2016–04
  36. By: Kuroiwa, Ikuo
    Abstract: In recent years, the analysis of trade in value added has been explored by many researchers. Although they have made important contributions by developing GVC-related indices and proposing techniques for decomposing trade data, they have not yet explored the method of value chain mapping—a core element of conventional value chain analysis. This paper introduces a method of value chain mapping that uses international input-output data and reveals both upstream and downstream transactions of goods and services induced by production activities of a specific commodity or industry. This method is subsequently applied to the agricultural value chain of three Greater Mekong Sub-region countries (i.e., Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia). The results show that the agricultural value chain has been increasingly internationalized, although there is still room for obtaining benefits from GVC participation, especially in a country such as Cambodia.
    Keywords: Input-output tables, International trade, Agriculture, Agricultural economies, Value chain mapping, Trade in value added, Agricultural value chains
    JEL: C67 F14 Q17
    Date: 2016–11
  37. By: Halkos, George; Polemis, Michael
    Abstract: In this study, building a simple model that incorporates static and dynamic elements, the relationship of financial development and economic growth on the environmental degradation is investigated together with the validation of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis. Our analysis is based on an unbalanced panel data set covering the OECD countries over the period 1970-2014. Our approach strongly accounts for the presence of cross-sectional dependence between the sample variables and utilizes second generation panel unit root tests in order to investigate possible cointegration relationships. The empirical findings do indicate that local (NOX per capita emissions) and global (CO2 per capita emissions) pollutants redefine the EKC hypothesis when we account for the presence of financial development indicators. Specifically, in the case of global pollution an N-shape relationship is evident both in static and dynamic framework with a very slow adjustment, whereas a monotonically decreasing relationship is found in the case of local pollutants with a much quicker dynamic adjustment. Lastly, we argue that policy makers and government officials have to cultivate investments in network industries (energy, telecommunications, transportation) by promoting cutting edge research and development financial projects and cost effective mitigation methods.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve; Cross-sectional dependence; Financial development; Panel data.
    JEL: C33 G20 Q4 Q43 Q53 Q54 Q56
    Date: 2016–12–01
  38. By: Bignon, Vincent; Vuillemey, Guillaume
    Abstract: We provide the first empirical description of the failure of a derivatives clearinghouse. We use novel, hand-collected, archive data to study risk management incentives by the Paris commodity futures clearinghouse around its failure in 1974. We do not find evidence of lenient risk management during the commodity price boom of 1973-1974. However, we show strong distortions of risk management incentives, akin to risk-shifting, as soon as prices collapsed and a large clearing member approached distress. Distortions persist during the recovery/resolution phase. Theoretically, these distortions suggest that capitalization and governance were weak, but do not imply that moral hazard was significant before the failure. Our findings have implications for the design of clearing institutions, including their default management schemes.
    Keywords: CCP; Central clearing; Collateral; Derivatives; Failure; Resolution
    JEL: G23
    Date: 2016–11
  39. By: Marivoet, Wim
    Abstract: Inspired by the ongoing process of decentralization and in an effort to inform local and national policy makers concerned with food security, this paper provides a descriptive but detailed geographical overview of Congo’s food markets as well as the nutritional status of its population. To do so, this paper will mainly rely on the 1-2-3 budget survey data, conducted in 2004–2005. Along both dimensions, access to food and nutrition, a good deal of spatial variation exists. First, overall efficiency of domestic food markets seems extremely poor. The capital city of Kinshasa is a good example of this; it is food deficient and poorly connected to its own hinterland and therefore highly dependent on foreign food imports. Markets in the former provinces of Kasaï, in the center of the country, and the conflict-prone northeastern part of the country are two minor exceptions, as food prices are slightly more equal. Furthermore, the most competitive food producers are found in Équateur and North Kivu. Notwithstanding these differences in food access, about five diet types can be identified. The most energy-rich diet is based on cassava and palm oil, typically consumed in Maniema, Orientale, Équateur, and rural Bas-Congo. As a result, these provinces on average display higher calorie intakes. Apart from diet composition, income levels and prevailing nonfood needs also determine energy sufficiency. For these reasons households in Katanga and North Kivu are relatively well nourished too, while urban dwellers in Bas-Congo and Orientale (contrary to their corresponding rural sector), and especially households in South Kivu and Kinshasa, suffer from large calorie deficiencies.
    Keywords: diet, food consumption, surveys, food supply, market access, decentralization, nutrition, malnutrition,
    Date: 2016
  40. By: Noemi Pace (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Economics; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations); Silvio Daidone (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations); Benjamin Davis (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations); Luca Pellerano (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
    Abstract: Cash transfers programs have been shown to have positive effects on a variety of outcomes. While much of the literature focuses on the role of conditionality in achieving desired impact, this paper focuses on the role of ‘soft conditionality’ implemented through both ‘labeling’ and ‘messaging’ in evaluating the impact of the Child Grants Program in Lesotho, an unconditional cash transfer targeting poor households with orphans and vulnerable children. Beneficiary households received a clear message that the transfer should be spent on the interest and needs of children. Our findings are based on a randomized experiment and suggest that ‘soft conditionality’ does play a strong role in increasing expenditure for children, especially on education, clothing and footwear. Results indicate in fact that transfer income is spent differently from general income as it exerts both an income and a substitution effect. This behavioral change is confirmed by comparing the ex-ante expected behaviors with the ex-post actual response to the program. We find that for expenditure categories linked to the wellbeing of children the ex-post response was much higher than the ex-ante expected behavior.
    Keywords: cash transfers, consumption, food security, impact evaluation, randomized experiment, soft conditionality
    JEL: C93 D12 I38 O18
    Date: 2016
  41. By: Faure, Guy; Davis, Kristin E.; Ragasa, Catherine; Franzel, Steven; Babu, Suresh Chandra
    Abstract: Extension and advisory services (EAS) are well recognized as a key factor in contributing to agricultural productivity and growth. However, rigorous evaluation of EAS approaches and assessment of complex national or subnational pluralistic EAS systems are rare. This working paper examines the literature on experiential and empirical insights and explores methods to assess complex pluralistic EAS systems. The authors present conceptual thinking on innovation systems and EAS, and review the IFPRI “best-fit” framework. This framework remains relevant because it is based on a holistic perspective with an impact pathway orientation. The paper aims to operationalize and improve the best-fit framework to guide the evaluation of complex EAS systems. The authors draw on and summarize existing literature to illustrate methods and tools used to analyze each component of the framework. The review pays close attention to the literature and methods for assessing the diversity of service providers and their various delivery tools and learning approaches. The discussion also pays close attention to the interaction of each component and how it affects the performance and impact of EAS from a systems perspective. This paper adds key points and considerations on how to operationalize the best-fit framework to carry out evaluations of pluralistic EAS.
    Keywords: extension activities, advisory services, evaluation, governance, capacity building, funding,
    Date: 2016
  42. By: Jessica Leight (Williams College)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether there is evidence of a poverty trap driven by credit constraints and non-linearities in the return to capital in rural China in the 1990s, estimating the effect of positive income shocks experienced by rural households as a result of increases in the price paid for mandatory grain quota sales. Households were required to sell part of their grain output to the state at a below-market price, and increases in the quota price generated income shocks that also varied cross-sectionally in accordance with crop composition. The identification strategy exploits climatically driven variation in crop composition in conjunction with quota price fluctuations to identify quasi-random variation in the size of the positive income shock and estimate its impact on economic outcomes. The results suggest agricultural investment decreases and investment in non-agricultural businesses and migration increase as households gain increased income, consistent with a poverty trap in which households are initially constrained from entering new productive sectors. There is also evidence of large increases in consumption and borrowing.
    Date: 2016–09
  43. By: Guojun He (Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Division of Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Shaoda Wang (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley)
    Abstract: This study estimates the effect of improved bureaucrat quality on poverty alleviation by exploring a unique human capital reallocation policy in China -- the ¡§College Graduate Village Officials¡¨ (CGVOs) program. We find that introducing CGVOs into the village governance system improves the targeting and implementation of central government¡¦s social assistance programs. CGVOs help eligible poor households understand and apply for relevant subsidies, thus increase the number of pro-poor program beneficiaries. Further analysis suggests that CGVOs improve the quality rather than the quantity of village bureaucrats, and their presence reduces elite capture of pro-poor programs.
    Keywords: College Graduate Village Officials, Pro-Poor Program, Rural Development, Rural Governance
    Date: 2016–11
  44. By: Shasha Li (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, New York, NY); Michael Boehlje (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Purdue University)
    Abstract: Recent years have witnessed increasing volatility in crop prices and yields, fertilizer prices, and farm asset values. In this study, the financial performance of illustrative Midwest grain farms with different scales, tenure status, and capital structures was examined under the shocks of volatile crop prices, yields, fertilizer prices, farmland value, and cash rent. Illustrative farms of 550, 1200, and 2500 acres were constructed reflecting the production activity for these farms with three different farmland ownership structures (15%, 50%, and 85% of land owned) and two capital structures measured by debt-to-asset ratio (25% and 50%). Absolute measures and financial ratios were used to evaluate the income, cashflow, debt servicing and equity position of these illustrative farms. The “stress test” results suggest that farms with modest size (i.e. 550 acres) and a large proportion of their land rented are very vulnerable irrespective of their leverage positions. Large size farms with modest leverage (25% debt-to-asset ratio) that combine rental and ownership of the land they operated have strong financial performance and limited vulnerability to price, cost, yield, and asset value shocks. And these farms can increase their leverage positions significantly (from 25% to 50% in this study) with only modest deterioration in their financial performance and a slight increase in their vulnerability. These results suggest that the perspective that farmers are resilient to price, cost, yield and asset value shocks because of the current low use of debt in the industry (an average of approximately 10% debt-to-asset ratio for the farming sector) does not adequately recognize the financial vulnerable of many typical family farms to those shocks.
    Keywords: Financial Vulnerability, risk, farm financial stress, shock testing
    JEL: Q12 Q14
  45. By: Jose L. Oviedo; Alejandro Caparrós; Itziar Ruiz-Gauna; Pablo Campos
    Abstract: We perform two convergent validity tests in a choice experiment applied to public recreation in Stone pine and Cork oak forests in Spain. We compare choice and ranking recoded as a choice in an experiment with three alternatives plus status quo. Our results show convergent validity for both structural models and willingness to pay estimates. The same experiment includes two payment-vehicles, an entrance-fee to access the forest and an increase in trip-expenditures due to an increase in gas prices, simultaneously in the choice sets. We obtain significant differences in willingness to pay values, which are 2.6-2.7 times higher when using the latter. Our empirical results present compensating variations and the (simulated) exchange value that the forest owner would obtain if a payment system for accessing these forests were established. The latter values fall below the former ones.
    Keywords: Compensating variation, exchange value, non-market values, stated preferences
    JEL: Q26 Q51 Q56
    Date: 2015–06
  46. By: José L. Oviedo; Lynn Huntsinger; Pablo Campos
    Abstract: We integrate data from commercial operations, non-market private amenities and capital gains to measure landowner income and profitability in six oak woodland case studies from Spain and California. Results show that private amenities make the greatest contribution to landowner income, while commercial benefits alone fall short of explaining land prices. We also estimate landowner self-employed labor income, but its contribution is marginal. Total real profitability ranges from 3.2 to 7.8% in the Spanish cases and from 6.0 to 9.3% in the California cases, showing that these oak woodlands compete with alternative investments when private amenities and capital gains are considered.
    Keywords: capital gains, dehesa, income accounting, private amenities, ranch, contingent valuation
    JEL: Q23 Q56
    Date: 2015–03

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