nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
23 papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Comparing the trends and strength of determinants to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in consideration of biofuel policies in Brazil and the United States By Miguel Carriquiry; Amani Elobeid; Ryan Goodrich
  2. Supermarket Shopping and Nutritional Outcomes: A Panel Data Analysis for Urban Kenya By Demmler, Kathrin M.; Ecker, Olivier; Qaim, Matin
  4. How to measure greenhouse gas emissions by fuel type for binary sustainability standards: Average or Marginal emissions? An example of fertilizer use and corn ethanol By Zhu, Xueqin; Yan, Shiyu; Smeets, Edward; van Berkum, Siemen
  5. Institutional arrangements for biofuel feedstock production in Zambia By Paul C. Samboko; Cliff Dlamini
  7. Investigating the interdependence between non-hydroelectric renewable energy, agricultural value added, and arable land use in Argentina By Ben Jebli, Mehdi; Ben Youssef, Slim
  8. Trading off nutrition and education? A panel data analysis of the dissimilar welfare effects of Organic and Fairtrade standards By Meemken, Eva-Marie; Spielman, David J.; Qaim, Matin
  9. Smallholder farmers’ awareness of biofuel crops in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa By Cheteni, Priviledge
  10. Chemical risk assessment and translation to socio-economic assessments By Weihsueh A. Chiu
  11. Regulating the tragedy of commons: nonlinear feedback solutions of a differential game with a dual interpretation By L. Lambertini
  12. Youth Participation in Agriculture in the Nkonkobe District Municipality, South Africa By Cheteni, Priviledge
  13. Measurement of Total Factor Productivity and its Determinants: Case of Wheat Sector in Tunisia By Ali Chebil; Aymen Frija; Rached Alyani
  14. Towards the integration of markets: Competition in road transportation of perishable goods between Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe By Thando Vilakazi; Anthea Paelo
  15. USDA Microloans for Farmers: Participation Patterns and Effects of Outreach By Tulman, Sarah; Williams, Robert; Higgins, Nathaniel; Gerling, Michael; Dodson, Charles; McWilliams, Bruce
  16. An Estimation of Traiff Pass-Through in Tunisia By Leila Baghdadi; Hendrik Kruse; Inma Martínez-Zarzoso
  17. Potential biofuel feedstocks and production in Zambia By Paul C. Samboko; Mitelo Subakanya; Cliff Dlamini
  18. Commercial Land Use and Interjurisdictional Competition By Büttner, Thiess
  20. Technology Treaties and Climate Change By Hans Gersbach; Marie-Catherine Riekhof
  21. Did the Fertilizer Cartel Cause the Food Crisis? By Gnutzmann, Hinnerk; Spiewanowski, Piotr
  23. Analyzing Barrel Purchasing Decisions on Winery Costs By Sims, Eric N.; Quintanar, Sarah

  1. By: Miguel Carriquiry (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Amani Elobeid (Iowa State University (USA). Department of Economics); Ryan Goodrich (Iowa State University (USA). Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Recent assessments of the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with increased production of liquid biofuels in the U.S. have found that a relatively large share of these emissions is related to land-use change in other countries, with Brazil playing a prominent role. However, most of the existing analyses including EPA’s RFS assumptions about indirect land-use change (ILUC) do not reflect recent data on deforestation rates in Brazil, which have been declining. There seems to be evidence that agricultural producers in Brazil are intensifying crop and livestock production and incorporating new land at lower rates than in the recent past. Additionally, the competition for forestry areas, and in particular between agriculture, pastures, and planted forests is poorly understood, and not explicitly taken into account in previous assessments in several modeling exercises. This paper provides a review of several of the major factors that will determine the need to incorporate additional land to production in response to a demand increase, for example as a result of biofuel policies. This additional land that may need to be brought into production is critical as it will affect significantly the environmental credentials and in particular carbon footprints of different biofuels. Among the factors reviewed are the potential for yield intensification in response to higher returns (intensification effects), and the limited existing evidence in yield drags as areas are incorporate to crop production (extensification effects). Scenario analysis using an augmented version of the CARD/FAPRI agricultural modeling system (augmented to include planted forests in Brazil) seem to provide evidence, that intensification of crops and livestock production in countries like Brazil, and of competition with planted forests reduces the pressure for deforestation of natural areas. We also highlight that the explicit modeling of planted forests as a user of land, allows for the inclusion of the competition of this activity (and its resistance to give away area) with the more traditionally modeled crops and pastures.
    Keywords: Biofuels, Land use change modeling, Production intensification
    JEL: Q10 Q16 Q18
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Demmler, Kathrin M.; Ecker, Olivier; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Overweight and obesity are growing health problems in many developing countries. Rising obesity rates are the result of changes in people’s diets and lifestyles. Income growth and urbanization are factors that contribute to these changes. Modernizing food retail environments may also play a certain role. For instance, the rapid spread of supermarkets in many developing countries could affect consumer food choices and thus nutritional outcomes. However, concrete evidence about the effects of supermarkets on consumer diets and nutrition is thin. A few existing studies have analyzed related linkages with cross-sectional survey data. We add to this literature by using panel data from households and individuals in urban Kenya. Employing panel regression models with individual fixed effects and controlling for other factors we show that shopping in supermarkets significantly increases body mass index (BMI). We also analyze impact pathways. Shopping in supermarkets contributes to higher consumption of processed and highly processed foods and lower consumption of unprocessed foods. These results confirm that the retail environment affects people’s food choices and nutrition. However, the effects depend on the types of foods offered. Rather than thwarting modernization in the retail sector, policies that incentivize the sale of more healthy foods – such as fruits and vegetables – in supermarkets may be more promising to promote desirable nutritional outcomes.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Health Economics and Policy, International Development, D12, I15, O13, Q18, R22,
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Sambucci, Olena; Alston, Julian
    Abstract: The California Grape Crush Report includes summaries of quantities produced and estimates of the average prices and value of wine grapes crushed in California, and serves as an authoritative source of information on production and returns per ton by variety of wine grapes. The data provided in the Crush Report are used to calculate the total value of winegrape production as reported in the annual Agricultural Statistics reports published by the United States Department of Agriculture and in major industry publications. We use the differences among crush districts in the shares of production crushed to growers’ accounts to show that the current mechanism of calculating average statewide returns per ton understates the true total value of the crush by 4–16 percent. We show that a more accurate estimate of the total value and average price can be obtained if the prices of the wine grapes that are sold are used to infer the prices of wine grapes that are not sold before computing the weighted averages.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Production Economics,
    Date: 2017–02
  4. By: Zhu, Xueqin (Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group, Wageningen University); Yan, Shiyu (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics); Smeets, Edward (Wageningen Economic Research Group, Wageningen University); van Berkum, Siemen (Wageningen Economic Research Group, Wageningen University)
    Abstract: This study proposed a modelling framework which addresses various issues such as decreasing marginal yield of corn with respect to fertilizer use in biofuel production and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Particularly, the framework considered exogenous changes including oil price development and biofuel policy through market interactions of different inputs and outputs in biofuel production. We applied the modelling framework numerically in an example of corn ethanol production in the United States to illustrate how the economics of fertilizer use could impact the GHG emissions based on both average and marginal emissions. The results show that higher oil prices increase the prices of gasoline, natural gas, ethanol, and corn, which stimulates corn-based ethanol production and increases corn yields by encouraging profit-maximizing farmers to increase their application rate of nitrogen fertilizers slightly. The effect is that, on average, GHG emissions per unit of produced corn ethanol remain almost constant if oil price increases from 60 to 120 $/barrel. However, the marginal emissions per additional unit of ethanol production increase by 2.2% or10%, depending on whether the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit is implemented or not. More important is that the marginal emissions of corn ethanol are much higher than those of conventional gasoline. Although on average there are GHG emission savings of corn ethanol compared to conventional gasoline, the savings are negative when based on the marginal emissions of corn ethanol. An interesting implication is that the effectiveness of biofuel policies aimed at reducing GHG emissions might be questionable.
    Keywords: Oil price; ethanol; corn; nitrogen fertilizer; greenhouse gas emissions; ethanol tax credit
    JEL: Q16 Q42 Q43 Q48
    Date: 2017–02–28
  5. By: Paul C. Samboko; Cliff Dlamini
    Abstract: Given likely increases in biofuel demand across Southern Africa, we identify suitable production models in Zambia for the Southern African market. This is crucial given, on the one hand, the problems of contract failure and transaction costs that plague outgrower models in Southern Africa and, on the other, the uniqueness of crops with respect to input requirements and characteristics. In this paper, we review existing cash crop production models that can be used for biofuel feedstock production in Zambia with a special focus on sugarcane and seed cotton. We find the organization of the Kaleya, Manyonyo, and Magobbo irrigation schemes as candidate institutional arrangements for bioethanol feedstock production. For biodiesel feedstocks, the Dunavant (NWK Agri-services) distributor model is best suited to increased smallholder participation.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Huffaker, Ray
    Abstract: The negative impacts of climate change on global water resources, agriculture, land resources, biodiversity, and ecosystem services are well known (e.g., temperature increases, increasing carbon dioxide levels, and altered patterns of precipitation). Lesser publicized is how climate change reinforces another key transformational driver: invasive species. The interactive dynamics of both drivers greatly magnify the devastating impacts of each on ecosystem services essential to human life and productive activities. This paper discusses how the academic literature has conceptualized the relationship between climate change and invasive species.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use,
  7. By: Ben Jebli, Mehdi; Ben Youssef, Slim
    Abstract: We examine the dynamic relationships between per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, real gross domestic product (GDP), non-hydroelectric renewable energy (NHRE) consumption, agricultural value added (AVA), and agricultural land (AGRL) use for the case of Argentina over the period 1980-2013 by employing the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds approach to cointegration and Granger causality tests. The Wald test confirms the existence of a long-run cointegration between variables. There are long-run bidirectional causalities between all considered variables. The short-run Granger causality suggests bidirectional causality between AVA and agricultural land use; unidirectional causalities running from AGRL to NHRE and from NHRE to AVA. Long-run elasticity estimates suggest that increasing AVA increases GDP and reduces both pollution and NHRE; increasing NHRE reduces AVA and AGRL. Thus it seems that agriculture and renewable energy are substitute activities and compete for land use. We recommend that Argentina should continue to encourage agricultural production. The substitutability between agricultural and non-hydroelectric renewable energy productions, and their competition for agricultural land use, should be at least reduced or even stopped by encouraging R&D in second-generation (or even in third-generation) biofuels production and in new renewable energy technologies more efficient in land use.
    Keywords: Autoregressive distributed lag; Granger causality; non-hydroelectric renewable energy; agricultural value added; agricultural land; Argentina.
    JEL: C32 Q15 Q42 Q54
    Date: 2017–03–13
  8. By: Meemken, Eva-Marie; Spielman, David J.; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Millions of smallholder farmers in developing countries participate in different types of sustainability standards. A growing body of literature has analyzed the welfare effects of such participation, with mixed results. Yet, there are important knowledge gaps. First, most existing studies look at the effects of one standard in one country. When comparing between studies it is not clear whether dissimilar outcomes are driven by differences in standards or local conditions. Second, most studies use cross-section, observational data, so that selectivity issues remain a challenge. Third, the existing work has primarily analyzed effects in terms of purely economic indicators, such as income, ignoring other dimensions of household welfare. We address these shortcomings using panel data from small-scale coffee producers in Uganda and comparing the effects of two of the most popular sustainability standards, namely Organic and Fairtrade. Welfare effects are analyzed in terms of household expenditures, child education, and nutrition. Results show that Organic and Fairtrade both have positive effects on total consumption expenditures. However, notable differences are observed in terms of the other outcomes. Organic contributes to improved nutrition but has no effect on education. For Fairtrade it is exactly the other way around. We explore the mechanisms behind these differences.
    Keywords: certification, education, food standards, nutrition, panel data, welfare, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Q01, Q12, Q13, Q18,
    Date: 2017–02
  9. By: Cheteni, Priviledge
    Abstract: In this study, 157 smallholder farmers from the OR Tambo and Chris Hani district municipality in South Africa were purposively sampled to participate in a survey. The objective was to identify the factors that influence smallholder farmers’ awareness of biofuel crops. Using a binary logistic model it was found that the variables; gender, household income, membership in association; land utilisation and qualification were statistically significant in influencing farmers’ awareness of biofuel crops. Therefore, it is recommended that the South African government should identify the smallholder farmers targeted for the biofuel programme by their social status as pointed in this study.
    Keywords: Binary model, Biofuel Industrial Policy, Energy, Shared Growth Initiative, Smallholder farmers.
    JEL: Q16 Q18 Q2 Q4 Q5
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Weihsueh A. Chiu (Texas A&M University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this working paper is to review existing chemical risk assessment methods in the context of supporting socio-economic cost-benefit analysis, focusing on more “typical” risk assessments that may not have strong epidemiologic data and/or were not originally designed to support socio-economic analyses. A number of case studies of such “typical” chemical risk assessments were reviewed with respect to their suitability for supporting socio-economic analyses.
    Keywords: causal inference, cost-benefit analysis, dose-response, environmental policy, population health, risk assessment, uncertainty, viarability
    JEL: I18 Q51 Q53 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2017–03–14
  11. By: L. Lambertini
    Abstract: A well established dynamic model describing the impact of oligopolistic interaction on a renewable resource is revisited here to illustrate its dual interpretation as a waste removal differential game. The regulatory implications are illustrated by assuming that the public agency may control market price and possibly also access to the commons. Two different formulations of the managerial or CSR objective are envisaged, based on a combination of profits and either output or the individual share of the waste stock. It is shown that if the representative firm’s objective includes the residual waste stock, there exists a unique regulated price driving to zero the steady state stock itself. Hence, the present analysis delivers some useful indications concerning an appropriate definition of the CSR objective firms should adopt.
    JEL: C73 L13 Q20 Q53
    Date: 2017–03
  12. By: Cheteni, Priviledge
    Abstract: In this paper, a binary logistic model was used to analyse the determinants of youth participation in agriculture in the Nkonkobe Municipality in South Africa. A total of 140 youth were purposively selected for the study to complete a survey. The results show that the variables; youth programmes, programme availability, and resources were statistically significant in explaining the factors that affect youth participation in agricultural activities. Based on the study findings, it is recommended that in order to influence youth participation, they should be provided with youth programmes and resources.
    Keywords: Binary model, New Growth Plan, Perception, Rural Development, Youth Participation
    JEL: D0 Q1 R2
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Ali Chebil (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)); Aymen Frija; Rached Alyani
    Abstract: The main objectives of this study are to quantify the Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth of the durum wheat sector in Tunisia and to identify its main determinants. The Malmquist index approach was applied for the calculation of TFP growth using one output (annual production) and four inputs (land, seeds, nitrogen, and phosphate fertilizers) for the period 1980-2012. Variables used to identify the main determinants of the TFP growth include expenditures on agricultural research and extension, share of irrigated durum wheat area with respect to its total cultivated area, drought index, and infrastructure development in rural areas. Almon distributed lag model is used to assess the impact of the research expenditures variable. Empirical results show that TFP grew with 1.9% per year, in average, during the study period 1980-2012. This average growth rate was highly variable: 5.9% for the period 1980-1991; -2.2% for the period 1992-2002; and 2.07% for the, period 2003-2012. TFP growth was mainly generated from technical change during the first period (1980-1991), and from technical efficiency change during the last period 2003-2012. Results also show that changes in the TFP growth have been mainly related to the R&D expenditure lags, and drought.
    Date: 2015–09
  14. By: Thando Vilakazi; Anthea Paelo
    Abstract: Rapid urbanization and rising income levels in Southern Africa have increased the consumption of perishable and processed food products. This paper relies primarily on firm-level interview data to assess competition and bottlenecks in transporting time-sensitive perishable products across borders between Harare, Johannesburg, Lilongwe, and Lusaka. High transport prices in 2015—almost double the benchmark rates applied and rates for transportation of commodities—are partly explained by concentration in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and lack of return loads to Johannesburg. Rates could be significantly reduced through a platform for co-ordinating access to return loads, reducing delays at borders, and effectively implementing pre-clearance procedures.
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Tulman, Sarah; Williams, Robert; Higgins, Nathaniel; Gerling, Michael; Dodson, Charles; McWilliams, Bruce
    Abstract: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Microloan program, launched in January 2013, aims to better serve the credit needs of small farms, beginning farmers and ranchers, veterans, and farmers from historically socially disadvantaged groups (women and minorities). These loans are designed to be more convenient and accessible to nontraditional producers, with a shortened and streamlined application and relaxed criteria for managerial experience, production history, and collateral. Using FSA’s direct loan data to examine Microloan uptake patterns, ERS researchers find that, compared with Microloan-sized traditional Direct Operating Loans, (1) a larger share of Microloans have gone to the targeted groups, and (2) Microloans have attracted a larger number and higher share of borrowers who are new to FSA direct loans. Also, an experiment to test the effectiveness of targeted outreach to farmers proved effective within the States that were included in the experiment: significantly more farmers received Microloans in ZIP Codes that had received the informational letters versus those in ZIP Codes that had not.
    Keywords: Farm Service Agency, Microloan, credit awareness, Direct Operating Loan, women, minority, disadvantaged, veteran, new borrower, outreach, uptake, targeted groups, Agricultural Finance, Institutional and Behavioral Economics,
    Date: 2016–12
  16. By: Leila Baghdadi; Hendrik Kruse (University of Goettingen); Inma Martínez-Zarzoso
    Abstract: In this paper we evaluate the extent to which changes in tariffs and in international prices are transmitted into consumer prices in Tunisia over the period 2000 to 2008. A pass-through equation is estimated using sectoral panel data at the retail-product level and controlling for unobserved sectoral heterogeneity. The main results show that on average tariff pass-through is 7 percent and that it varies across sectors. In particular, agricultural products seem to be driving the results. Summarizing, the change in Tunisian tariffs has affected local prices, but the effect is lower in magnitude than that found for other developing countries.
    Date: 2015–10
  17. By: Paul C. Samboko; Mitelo Subakanya; Cliff Dlamini
    Abstract: The need for energy security and climate change mitigation have increased blending mandates worldwide; in Southern Africa, demand for biofuels could increase following South Africa’s planned blending mandates. However, land constraints limit local industry expansion, with demand likely to be met in land-abundant countries. This paper reviews the status of the biofuels industry in Zambia, as a land-abundant country, for the local and wider Southern African market. It identifies potential biofuel feedstocks as crucial elements for establishing a viable industry. Identified potential bioethanol feedstocks include sugarcane, cassava, sweet sorghum, and maize; for biodiesel, soya beans, sunflower, and groundnuts are the likely feedstocks of choice. However, current production levels are inadequate to meet growing regional biofuels demand, but there is scope for expansion if productivity and production can be increased. Presently, there is no commercial biofuel production, but a fairly adequate policy, regulatory, legal, and institutional framework exists.
    Date: 2017
  18. By: Büttner, Thiess
    Abstract: Commercial Land Use and Interjurisdictional Competition
    JEL: Z00 Z10 Z11
    Date: 2016
  19. By: Outreville, J. François
    Abstract: Wine production in Québec over the last twenty years has grown rapidly with an increased interest for diversified products in terms of quality and price. The growth of supply is related not only to the number of producers but also to the increased varieties of wines proposed. This paper proposes an economic analysis of wine production in Québec by analyzing the concentration level of producers. The level of competition has increased significantly between 2008 and 2105 due to an increasing number of small wine producers. An index of relative firm position in the market based on relative prices is calculated and we demonstrate that a high price strategy is significantly related to the size of the vineyard rather than the age of the domain or the number of wines produced.
    Keywords: Wine production, Market concentration, Price index, Québec, Agribusiness, Industrial Organization, Production Economics, L11, L15, L66, D21,
    Date: 2017–01
  20. By: Hans Gersbach (ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Marie-Catherine Riekhof (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: We introduce an international technology treaty that couples the funding of research for a more advanced abatement technology with an international emissions permit market. Under the treaty, each country decides on the amount of permits for its domestic industries, but a fraction of these permits is auctioned on the permit market, and the revenues are used to scale up license revenues for the innovators of abatement technologies. We discuss the conditions under which such a technology treaty can slow down climate change through technological innovations and whether it creates complementary incentives for countries to tighten permit issuance. Finally, we discuss how participation in Tech Treaties can be fostered and how such treaties might be implemented.
    Keywords: Climate change mitigation, Technology promotion, International permit markets, International treaty, Externalities
    JEL: H23 Q54 O31
    Date: 2017–03
  21. By: Gnutzmann, Hinnerk; Spiewanowski, Piotr
    Abstract: Food commodity prices escalated during the 2007/2008 food crisis, and have scarcely fallen since. We show that high fertilizer prices, driven by the formation of an international export cartel as well as high energy prices, explains the majority of the recent price spikes. In particular, we estimate the pure fertilizer cartel effect explains up to 50% of crisis food price increases. While population growth, biofuels, high energy prices and financial speculation doubtlessly put stress on food markets, our results help to understand the severity and sudden emergence of the crisis and suggest avenues to prevent its repetition.
    JEL: F10 L40 Q02
    Date: 2016
  22. By: Meloni, Giulia; Swinnen, Johan
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Political Economy,
    Date: 2017–01
  23. By: Sims, Eric N.; Quintanar, Sarah
    Keywords: early pay discounts, wine, input prices, cost minimization, Agribusiness, Farm Management, Production Economics, L66, D24, G13,
    Date: 2017–02

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