nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2016‒12‒18
25 papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  2. Does Federal Crop Insurance lead to higher farm debt use? Evidence from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey By Ifft, Jennifer; Kuethe, Todd; Morehart, Mitch
  3. The Impact of Irrigation Restrictions on Cropland Values in Nebraska By Savage, Jeff; Ifft, Jennifer
  4. Can Africa achieve food sufficiency? Taking lessons from Indian agriculture in the face of 21st century agricultural challenges By Owolabi, O.T.; Shitu, Gabriel A.; Balogun, A.S.; Nain, M.S.; Kobba, Frederick; Birteeb, T. Peter; Shitu, M.V.; Asubiojo, J.; Orabi, M.A.; Oko, A.O.; Asubiojo, E.B.; Defo, Celestin; Ali E, O.M.; Omogbai, S.O.
  5. Not your average job: measuring farm labor in Tanzania By Arthi, Vellore; Beegle, Kathleen; De Weerdt, Joachim; Palacios-Lopez, Amparo
  6. Rice Sector Policy Options in Guinea bissau By Kyle, Steven
  7. Rural Wealth Creation Impacts of Urbanbased Local Food System Initiatives: A Delphi Method Examination of the Impacts on Intellectual Capital By Jablonski, Becca B.R.; Schmit, Todd M.; Minner, Jennifer; Kay, David
  8. The Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture: Accounting for Time-invariant Unobservables in the Hedonic Approach By Ortiz-Bobea, Ariel
  9. West African Food Systems and Changing Consumer Demands By John Staatz; Frank Hollinger
  10. Land Area Measurement bias: Evidence from West African countries By GOUNDAN, Anatole; MAGNE DOMGHO, Léa Vicky
  12. Projections and uncertainties about climate change in an era of minimal climate policies By William D. Nordhaus
  13. J.S.Mill and Ireland's 'Land Question': An illustration of his views on social institutions By Laura Valladão Mattos
  14. Alternative Strategies to Manage Weather Risk in Perennial Fruit Crop Production By Ho, Shuay-Tsyr; Ifft, Jennifer E.; Rickard, Bradley J.; Turvey, Calum G.
  16. The Distinct Economic Effects of the Ethanol Blend Wall, RIN Prices and Ethanol Price Premium due to the RFS By de Gorter, Harry; Drabik, Dusan
  17. Demystifying RINs: A Partial Equilibrium Model of U.S. Biofuels Markets By Korting, Christina; Just, David R.
  18. Usual Food Intakes of 2- and 3-Year Old U.S. Children Are Not Consistent with Dietary Guidelines By Mary Kay Fox; Elizabeth Gearan; Judith Cannon; Ronette Briefel; Denise M. Deming; Alison L. Eldridge; Kathleen C. Reidy
  19. Spillovers of Community-Based Health Interventions on Consumption Smoothing By Emla Fitzsimons; Bansi Malde; Marcos Vera-Hernández
  20. The Nutritious Supply Chain : Optimizing Humanitarian Food Aid By Peters, Koen; Fleuren, Hein; den Hertog, Dick; Kavelj, Mirjana; Silva, Sergio; Goncalves, Rui; Ergun, Ozlem; Soldner, Mallory
  21. Advancing U.S. Agricultural Competitiveness with Big Data and Agricultural Economic Market Information, Analysis, and Research By Coble, Keith; Griffin, Terry; Ahearn, Mary; Ferrell, Shannon; McFadden, Jonathan; Sonka, Steve; Fulton, John
  22. Environmental performance index and economic welfare By Halkos, George; Zisiadou, Argyro
  23. Assessing the Economic Impacts of Food Hubs to Regional Economies: a framework including opportunity cost By Jablonski, B.B.R.; Schmit, T.M.; Kay, D.
  24. THE RISE AND FALL OF COMPETITIVENESS: Experimental Evidence from Individualistic and Collectivistic Societies By Uri Gneezy; Andreas Leibbrandt; John List
  25. Trade regulations and global production networks : what is the current impact and what would help to improve working conditions throughout the supply chains? By Scherrer, Christoph.; Beck, Stefan.

  1. By: Enahoro, D.; Schmit, T.M.; Boisvert, R.N.
    Abstract: In this paper, we apply mathematical programming methods to account explicitly for restrictions on land application of nutrients from large dairy operations in New York and to analyze the effects on measured outcomes of farm management adjustments to the nutrient policy and to recent changes in relevant agricultural prices. Based on a set of unique data, we assess the effects of new regulations for nutrient management by confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) on farm income, land use, manure and fertilizer management, and environmental quality for an important dairy production region in New York. Our mathematical methods also allow us to make distinctions between the value of land for production and as a manure disposal site so that we can assess the differential effects of the land nutrient application standards on the economic value of land. The results indicate that adjustments to dairy rations in response to the current high prices of traditional feed ingredients lead to increased nitrogen and phosphorus content in dairy waste. In addition, crop nutrient applications from manure far exceed the critical uptake levels for optimum yield and increase the risks of nutrient loading to the environment. In a related paper, we demonstrate that while the CAFO regulations correct for this problem, the reductions in the risks of nutrient loadings could be accompanied by losses to farm income. Our current application to an important dairy production region in Western New York further buttresses this point. We also demonstrate that farm net revenue is sensitive to the availability of nearby land suitable for manure disposal. Since the new nutrient restrictions require that about half of the manure produced on the dairy farms in the region be transported off-site for disposal, crops with higher potential to absorb field nutrients are more attractive than would otherwise be the case. The shadow prices for CAFO land with low soil phosphorus increase, reflecting not only the value of land for crop production but also its value as a site for manure disposal. These shadow prices reflect what the CAFOs could pay for additional land, and this price falls as the distance to the CAFO increases.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2016–03
  2. By: Ifft, Jennifer; Kuethe, Todd; Morehart, Mitch
    Abstract: Purpose – The paper considers how the Federal crop insurance program influences farm debt use, one of the key financial decisions made by farm operators. Design/methodology/approach – Using data from the nationally-representative Agricultural Resource Management Survey, the paper implements a propensity score matching model of the impact of Federal crop insurance participation on various measures of farm business debt use. To account for the simultaneity of financial decisions, the paper further tests this relationship using a seemingly unrelated regression model. Findings – Federal crop insurance participation is associated with an increase in use of short term farm debt, but not long term debt, consistent with risk balancing behavior and current trends in the farm sector. Research limitations/implications –In addition to risk balancing, the results are also consistent with credit constraints or lender preferences. The paper cannot fully establish causality between crop insurance participation and short term debt levels. Future research should address these limitations. Practical implications – Agricultural lending standards are generally conservative and the farm sector as a whole currently has historically low leverage, which implies that an increase in debt use may not be a threat to the financial health of the farm sector. Social implications – The results indicate that the reduction in total risk facing the farm sector is significantly less than the decline in risk provided by Federal crop insurance, which is an important consideration for policymakers. Originality/value – This is the first paper to use an econometric model to analyse the relationship between federal crop insurance and farm debt use decisions. This paper can inform future research on the Federal crop insurance program and farm financial decisions.
    Keywords: Agricultural finance, Crop insurance, Farm debt, Agricultural Resource Management Survey, Agricultural Finance, Farm Management,
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Savage, Jeff; Ifft, Jennifer
    Abstract: Irrigation restrictions play an important role in allocating water in Nebraska, but the costs of these water management institutions are difficult to measure. This study takes advantage of temporal and spatial variation in water management policies across Nebraska, as well as plot level data that incorporates information on cropland values, irrigation status, and physical characteristics to measure the impact of irrigation restrictions on cropland values. Using a hedonic model with field-level fixed effects, we find that irrigation moratoria decreased the value of affected cropland in recent years when higher commodity prices increased the relative profitability of irrigation relative to dryland.
    Keywords: Hedonic valuation, Irrigation, June Agricultural Survey, Water resource manage- ment, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Owolabi, O.T.; Shitu, Gabriel A.; Balogun, A.S.; Nain, M.S.; Kobba, Frederick; Birteeb, T. Peter; Shitu, M.V.; Asubiojo, J.; Orabi, M.A.; Oko, A.O.; Asubiojo, E.B.; Defo, Celestin; Ali E, O.M.; Omogbai, S.O.
    Abstract: Extended summary of presentation at the 4th International Agronomy Congress, Nov. 22–26, 2016, New Delhi, India.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Arthi, Vellore; Beegle, Kathleen; De Weerdt, Joachim; Palacios-Lopez, Amparo
    Abstract: The extent of bias in smallholder farm labor data is examined by conducting a randomized survey experiment amongst farming households in rural Tanzania. Benchmark agricultural labor estimates obtained from weekly surveys are compared to those from a traditional single end-of-season recall survey. Traditional recall-style modules overestimate hours worked per person per plot by a factor of 3.4. This recall bias is driven by the mental burdens of reporting on highly variable agricultural work patterns. All things equal, studies suffering from this bias would understate agricultural labor productivity.
    Keywords: Tanzania; data collection; surveys
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Kyle, Steven
    Abstract: Rice in Guinea Bissau occupies a very important place in the agricultural and national economy of the country. Traditionally the main staple grain in this estuarine country, it has in recent decades become the largest food import. Government policy toward the rice sector is complicated by its relationship to cashew cultivation – while not serious competitors in terms of land, the majority of households grow at least some cashew which is bartered for rice at a rate of exchange which de facto sets the relative prices between the two crops. This paper discusses the relative merits of alternative policies to promote growth in rice production in light of these considerations.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries,
    Date: 2015–01
  7. By: Jablonski, Becca B.R.; Schmit, Todd M.; Minner, Jennifer; Kay, David
    Abstract: Rural Wealth Creation Impacts of Urbanbased Local Food System Initiatives: A Delphi Method Examination of the Impacts on Intellectual Capital
    Keywords: Delphi Method, intellectual capital, local food, rural wealth creation, rural-urban linkages, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2016–07
  8. By: Ortiz-Bobea, Ariel
    Abstract: I propose a strategy of measuring the long-run economic impact of climate change on farmland values that tackles the elusive problem of time-invariant spatially-dependent unobservables in the hedonic approach. The strategy exploits that a county’s agricultural productivity is primarily influenced by its own climate, and the fact that climate assignment appears random conditional on average county-neighborhood characteristics. Results suggest that large impacts of climate change on US agriculture seem unlikely. Findings are robust to multiple checks and cannot be attributed to measurement error. Ignoring such confounders considerably overstates long-run climate change impacts on the sector.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use, Q15, Q51, Q54, R21,
    Date: 2016–10
  9. By: John Staatz (Michigan State University); Frank Hollinger (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
    Abstract: Fueled by a burgeoning population, urbanisation and income growth, West African food demand is rapidly transforming, with striking increases in total quantities demanded, growing preference for convenience, diversification of diets towards more perishable products, and an increased concern for product quality. These changes provide great opportunities for the West African food system to increase production, value added, job creation and food security. Yet a number of structural and policy constraints continue to threaten the ability of West Africa to seize these opportunities. This paper analyses the key drivers of change and their implications on the various demands facing the food system. It then looks at how different elements of the food system respond to evolving demands, discusses the constraints to more effective responses, and finally considers some policy implications and key recommendations, particularly in the context of the ECOWAS-led efforts to develop and implement more effective regional agricultural policies.
    Keywords: agricultural transformation, food demand, food policy, food systems
    JEL: Q18 R11 N57 Q13 R58
    Date: 2016–12–15
  10. By: GOUNDAN, Anatole; MAGNE DOMGHO, Léa Vicky
    Abstract: Planted and harvested areas are crucial for agricultural statistics. In developing countries, such statistics are estimated using farmers’ reports which are systematically biased. Given the importance of the area size in designing policy and in farmers’ wealth, it is essential to empirically assess that bias for the countries in order to inform the potential impact of that issue in different contexts. This paper, therefore, contributes to analyzing farmers’ plot size estimation bias in four West African countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria). The paper also explores the determinants of the bias in land measurement in these countries. Our findings indicate that the bias in land measurement is a serious issue among West African countries and varies between 14% and 171% (in absolute value) of the correct area size. In terms of the determinants of acreage discrepancy, our findings reveal that the respondents’ age, education, land acquisition status, plot size, area unit measurement, are influential.
    Keywords: Area estimation, land measurement, GPS measure, acreage gap, West Africa.
    JEL: C81 O12 Q12 Q15
    Date: 2016–11
  11. By: Jasmien De Winne; Gert Peersman (-)
    Abstract: We use two approaches to examine the macroeconomic consequences of disruptions in global food commodity markets. First, we embed a novel quarterly composite global production index for the four basic staples (corn, wheat, rice and soybeans) in a stan- dard vector autoregression (VAR) model, and we estimate the dynamic effects of global food commodity supply shocks on the US economy. As an alternative, we also estimate the consequences of thirteen narratively identified global food commodity price shocks. Both approaches deliver similar conclusions. Specifically, an unfavorable food commodity market shock raises food commodity prices, and leads to a rise in food, energy and core inflation, and to a persistent fall in real GDP and consumer expenditures. A closer inspec- tion of the pass-through reveals that households do not only reduce food consumption. In fact, there is a much greater decline in durable consumption and investment. Overall, the macroeconomic effects turn out to be a multiple of the maximum impact implied by the share of food commodities in the consumer price index and household consumption.
    Date: 2016–11
  12. By: William D. Nordhaus (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: Climate change remains one of the major international environmental challenges facing nations. Yet nations have to date taken minimal policies to slow climate change. Moreover, there has been no major improvement in emissions trends as of the latest data. The current study uses the updated DICE model to present new projections and the impacts of alternative climate policies. It also presents a new set of estimates of the uncertainties about future climate change and compares the results will those of other integrated assessment models. The study confirms past estimates of likely rapid climate change over the next century if there are not major climate-change policies. It suggests that it will be extremely difficult to achieve the 2°C target of international agreements even if ambitious policies are introduced in the near term. The required carbon price needed to achieve current targets has risen over time as policies have been delayed.
    Keywords: Climate change, DICE model, Uncertainty, Social cost of carbon
    JEL: Q5 C6 Q54 H41
    Date: 2016–12
  13. By: Laura Valladão Mattos
    Abstract: It is argued that J.S.Mill’s position in the debate over the ‘Land Question’ in Ireland can be best understood from the viewpoint of his theory of institutions. He thought that, to be adequate, institutions should promote progress – that is, human improvement, a rise of economic productivity and the increase of social justice – without endangering social order. The prevalent form of land occupation in Ireland – the cottier system – did not fulfil any of these requisites, and was an important obstacle to amelioration. It was at the root of Ireland’s low state of moral and economic development and of the social and political tensions that endangered the social order. Thus, in Mill’s evaluation, it should be eliminated. The alternative of transposing to Ireland the ‘English model’ of capitalist agriculture was, notwithstanding, rejected. This institution could eventually solve the economic problem, but involved the unjust eviction of tenants (aggravating social and political tensions) and would not contribute to the desired regeneration of the Irish character. Given the historical, cultural and political particularities of Ireland, Mill endorsed peasant property as the most suitable form of land appropriation. Its introduction would, at once, improve the character of the people, enhance productivity and increase the degree of social justice of the system. It would also mitigate social and political conflicts that jeopardized social order
    Keywords: J.S.MILL; Ireland; land property; institutions; progress social
    JEL: B12
    Date: 2016–10–21
  14. By: Ho, Shuay-Tsyr; Ifft, Jennifer E.; Rickard, Bradley J.; Turvey, Calum G.
    Abstract: Fruit producers in the Eastern United States face a wide range of weather-related risks during the growing season, and many of these events have the capacity to largely impact yields and profitability. This research examines the economic implications associated with responding to these risks for sweet cherry production in three different systems: using high tunnels to protect the crop, purchasing revenue insurance products, and employing weather insurance schemes. The analysis considers a distribution of revenue flows and costs using detailed price, yield, and weather data between 1984 and 2013. Our results show that the high tunnel system generates the largest net return if significant price premiums exist for earlier and larger fruit. Under most conditions, the results also indicate that net returns for the system that uses revenue-based crop insurance exceed those for the system that uses weather insurance products.
    Keywords: Specialty crops, risk management, crop insurance, weather insurance, high tunnels, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Risk and Uncertainty, J43, K37, Q13,
    Date: 2016–11
  15. By: Jasmien De Winne; Gert Peersman (-)
    Abstract: Online appendix to “Macroeconomic Effects of Disruptions in Global Food Commodity Markets: Evidence for the United States” This appendix documents the construction of a narrative series of exogenous global food commodity market shocks. More specifically, we rely on historical documents to identify episodes of changes in food commodity prices that were unrelated to the state of the economy, i.e. movements where the proximate causes were disturbances in food commodity markets. The series is constructed by reading FAO reports, newspaper articles (e.g. the Financial Times archive), disaster databases (e.g. EMDAT) and several other online sources (e.g.Google). The task is daunting given the global level of the analysis. There are continuously, many times even conflicting, events affecting food commodity markets somewhere in the world. We therefore only select episodes that fulfill the following criteria: 1. There has to be an event that is important enough to affect food commodity markets at the global level, such as weather shocks in a major food production region, or unantici- pated news on the volume of global food production (e.g. a sizable revision of expected agricultural production by the USDA). 2. The event should have an unambiguous significant effect on global food commodity prices. A shift in commodity prices is considered to be significant if either the quarterly change in food commodity prices or accumulated change over two subsequent quarters is at least one standard deviation different from the sample mean. 3. There should be no developments in the macroeconomy, alternative events or macroe- conomic news that may also have a recognizable impact on food commodity prices. For example, we exclude admissible food market events if there is simultaneously a signif- icant shift in crude oil prices (one standard deviation different from its sample mean), or in economic activity (e.g. a global or US recession). Put differently, we eliminate or minimize possible endogenous movements in food commodity prices to current or future fluctuations in the business cycle, i.e. the event in food commodity markets has to be the proximate cause of the price shift. All ambiguous cases are not selected as an episode. By applying these criteria to the historical records, we were able to identify 13 episodes that could reasonably be interpreted as major exogenous food commodity market disturbances that are unrelated to the state of the economy. 6 of these episodes are unfavorable food market disruptions, whereas we have detected 7 favorable shocks to food commodity markets. The remainder of this appendix motivates the selection of each episode. We also provide excerpts of articles and reports on which we based our motivation. Relevant quotes are marked in bold. Unless otherwise mentioned, changes in real food commodity prices are calculated as the change in the food commodity price index from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), deflated by US CPI. The real oil price series is the refiner acquisition cost of imported crude oil, deflated by US CPI. Cereal production is the global (annual) production of corn, wheat, rice and soybeans downloaded from FAOSTAT, aggregated on a caloric-weighted basis as described in the paper.
    Date: 2016–11
  16. By: de Gorter, Harry; Drabik, Dusan
    Abstract: The ethanol blend wall and high RIN prices has become a controversial policy issue. We develop a model showing how RIN prices reflect the costs of overcoming the blend wall, namely biodiesel consumed in excess of its mandate and expansion of E85 sales. These costs are very high and are shown to be borne by producers and consumers of ethanol and gasoline. Although RIN prices reduce consumer prices of ethanol in both the E10 and E85 blends, the net price of E10 rises because obligated parties, who are required to purchase RINs, recoup the cost by passing on higher gasoline prices to blenders. This tax on gasoline production to pay for the subsidy on all ethanol consumption and RIN prices are a means of payment for “excess” RINs that are required to pay for costs overcoming the blend wall. Burkholder (2015) and EPA (2015) emphasize this first round subsidy that also increases ethanol market prices. But these papers downplay the overall increased costs of fuel to consumers due to RINs taxing gasoline producers, and the separate adverse market effects of a binding blend mandate. The latter has been missing in the debate where it is often implied that the RIN price represents the degree to which the ethanol mandate is binding. We show the RIN price represents the costs of overcoming the blend wall and the ethanol price premium due to the binding blend mandate reflects costs of the RFS itself. Our model determines RIN prices, the costs of overcoming the blend wall and the relationship with the ethanol price premium due to the binding mandate. We use economic theory consistent with the reality of the RFS and its associated complexities. From our empirical simulations, we find RIN prices went up because of the costs of the blend wall. Increasing the mandate with a blend wall caused E10 prices and market gasoline prices to increase, along with an increase in ethanol consumption and market prices. But ethanol and market prices would increase far more without a blend wall for the same increase in the mandated volume. In addition to the costs of overcoming the blend wall, our analysis finds the cost of the mandate price premium for ethanol to fuel consumers is $53.7 billion between 2007 and 2014, and to consumers of crops (including animal agriculture) by $285.4 billion per year worldwide. Our model also obtains the result that the RFS of the 2007 EISA is infeasible with exponentially increasing volume mandates under two situations. First, the E85 price goes to zero with ever increasing RIN prices. Second, when we assume costs of E85 sales expansion levels off at $2 per gallon with the ethanol price peaking and then slowly declines (with E85 and E10 consumption). This may explain why the EPA scaled back the RFS.
    Keywords: RIN prices, blend wall, blend mandate price premium, E85, ethanol, Environmental Economics and Policy, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Q18, Q28, Q42, Q48,
    Date: 2015–11
  17. By: Korting, Christina; Just, David R.
    Abstract: We explore four fundamental channels of mandate compliance available under current U.S. bio- fuels policy: increased ethanol blending through E10 or E85, increased biodiesel blending, and a reduction in the overall compliance base. Simulation results highlight the interplay and varying importance of these channels at increasing blend mandate levels. In addition, we establish how RIN prices are formed: The value of a RIN in equilibrium is shown to re ect the marginal cost of compensating the blender for employing one additional ethanol-equivalent unit of biofuel. This contrasts with existing research equating the price of RINs to the gap between free-market ethanol supply and demand at the mandate level. We demonstrate the importance of this distinction in case of binding demand side infrastructure constraints such as the ethanol blend wall: as percent- age blend mandates increase, the market for low-ethanol blends may contract in order to reduce the overall compliance base. This has important implications for implied ethanol demand in the economy.
    Keywords: Biofuels, Renewable Fuels Standards, blend mandate, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, H23, Q21, Q42,
    Date: 2016–09
  18. By: Mary Kay Fox; Elizabeth Gearan; Judith Cannon; Ronette Briefel; Denise M. Deming; Alison L. Eldridge; Kathleen C. Reidy
    Abstract: Given that children’s food preferences and habits develop early in life, educating primary caregivers about recommended feeding patterns and how to promote them is critical.
    Keywords: Diet , Food consumption, Food groups, Preschool , Children , Dietary Guidelines
    JEL: I0 I1
  19. By: Emla Fitzsimons; Bansi Malde; Marcos Vera-Hernández
    Abstract: Community-based interventions, particularly group-based ones, are considered to be a cost-effective way of delivering interventions in low-income settings. However, design features of these programs could also influence dimensions of household and community behaviour beyond those targeted by the intervention. This paper studies spillover effects of a participatory community health intervention in rural Malawi, implemented through a cluster randomised control trial, on an outcome not directly targeted by the intervention: household consumption smoothing after crop losses. We find that while crop losses reduce consumption growth in the absence of the intervention, households in treated areas are able to compensate for this loss and perfectly insure their consumption. Asset decumulation also falls in treated areas. We provide suggestive evidence that these effects are driven by increased social interactions, which could have alleviated contracting frictions; and rule out that they are driven by improved health or reductions in the incidence of crop losses.
    Keywords: participatory community interventions; spillovers; consumption smoothing; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: E21 G22 O12 O13
    Date: 2016–10
  20. By: Peters, Koen (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Fleuren, Hein (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); den Hertog, Dick (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Kavelj, Mirjana; Silva, Sergio; Goncalves, Rui; Ergun, Ozlem; Soldner, Mallory
    Abstract: The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, reaching around 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year. To deal with the operational complexities inherent to its mandate, WFP has been developing tools to assist their decision makers with integrating the supply chain decisions across departments and functional areas. This paper describes a mixed integer linear programming model that simultaneously optimizes the food basket to be delivered, the sourcing plan, the routing plan, and the transfer modality of a long-term recovery operation for each month in a pre-defined time horizon. By connecting traditional supply chain elements to nutritional objectives, we made significant breakthroughs in the operational excellence of WFP's most complex operations, such as Iraq and Yemen. We show how we used optimization to reduce the operational costs in Iraq by 17%, while still supplying 98% of the nutritional targets. Additionally, we show how we are using optimization in Yemen to manage the scale-up of the existing operation from three to six million beneficiaries.
    Keywords: supply chain; nutrition; MILP; humanitarian logistics; WFP
    JEL: C61 Q18
    Date: 2016
  21. By: Coble, Keith; Griffin, Terry; Ahearn, Mary; Ferrell, Shannon; McFadden, Jonathan; Sonka, Steve; Fulton, John
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2016–11
  22. By: Halkos, George; Zisiadou, Argyro
    Abstract: This study relies in the proposed methodology by the Universities of Yale and Columbia for constructing an environmental performance index. Two different versions of the index are considered and compared having as reference point our country (Greece) and comparing it with other countries in the Mediterranean as well as in Northern Europe. Both versions (the one of 2014 and the other of 2016) of the index consists of two components, the environmental health and the ecosystem vitality. These two components are constructed with the help of nine variables (and nineteen indicators behind) relevant to the environment. These variables are health impact, air quality, water and sanitation, water resources, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, biodiversity and habitat and climate and energy. In the case of EPI 2016 the construction of the index has improved relying on the same two components and 9 variables but in twenty (in most cases different) indicators. Next the index is used with some socio-economic variables in order to model its behavior. The empirical findings and the associated policy implications are discussed together with future extensions.
    Keywords: Environmental performance index; economic welfare.
    JEL: D60 Q01 Q50 Q58
    Date: 2016–12
  23. By: Jablonski, B.B.R.; Schmit, T.M.; Kay, D.
    Abstract: The number of food hubs (‘local food’ aggregation and distribution businesses) is growing, fueled in part by increasing public support. However, few data-driven economic impact assessments have evaluated these ventures. Using an input-output-based methodology and, a unique data set from a successful food hub operation, we measure the net and gross impacts from a policy supporting its development. We estimate a food hub gross output multiplier of 1.75, and employment multiplier of 2.14. However, utilizing customer surveys, we estimate that for every $1 increase in final demand for food hub products, a $0.11 offset in purchases occurs in other sectors.
    Keywords: economic impact assessment, food hub, food policy, local food, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Q18, R15,
    Date: 2015–02
  24. By: Uri Gneezy; Andreas Leibbrandt; John List
    Abstract: Competitiveness pervades life: plants compete for sunlight and water, animals for territory and food, and humans for mates and income. Here we investigate human competitiveness with a natural experiment and a set of behavioral experiments. We compare competitiveness in traditional fishing societies where local natural forces determine whether fishermen work in isolation or in collectives. We find sharp evidence that fishermen from individualistic societies are far more competitive than fishermen from collectivistic societies and that this difference emerges with work experience. These findings suggest that humans can evolve traits to specific needs, support the idea that socio-ecological factors play a decisive role for individual competitiveness, and provide evidence how individualistic and collectivistic societies shape economic behaviour.
    Date: 2016
  25. By: Scherrer, Christoph.; Beck, Stefan.
    Keywords: trade agreement, workers rights, working conditions, value chains, role of ILO
    Date: 2016

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