nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2017‒04‒30
thirty papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Can conservation agriculture save tropical forests? The case of minimum tillage in Zambia By Ngoma, Hambulo; Angelsen, Arild
  2. Overcoming barriers to the adoption of climate-friendly practices in agriculture By Guillaume Gruère; Anita Wreford
  3. Spatial price transmission and trade policies: new evidence for agricultural products from selected sub-Saharan African countries with high frequency data By Lodovico Muratori; Susanne Fricke
  4. Resource endowments and agricultural commercialization in colonial Africa: Did labour seasonality and food security drive Uganda’s cotton revolution? By Michiel de Haas; Kostadis J. Papaioannou
  5. Crop Diversification and Technical Efficiency in Afghanistan: Stochastic Frontier Analysis By Hayatullah Ahmadzai
  6. The biofuel-development nexus: A meta-analysis By Johanna CHOUMERT; Pascale COMBES MOTEL; Charlain GUEGANG DJIMELI
  7. Biofuels technology: A look forward By William Stafford; Adrian Lotter; Alan Brent; Graham von Maltitz
  8. The growth drag of the agriculture in China By Jun bo Xue; Zhao Mengzhen
  9. Poverty, changing political regimes, and social cash transfers in Zimbabwe, 1980–2016 By Isaac Chinyoka
  10. Framework for analyzing and assessing the system of governance and the level of agrarian sustainability in Bulgaria and China By Bachev, Hrabrin; Ivanov, Bodjidar; Toteva, Desislava; Sokolova, Emilia
  11. Adaptation and the Mortality Effects of Temperature Across U.S. Climate Regions By Garth Heutel; Nolan H. Miller; David Molitor
  12. Evolution of Assessments of the Economics of Global Warming: Changes in the DICE model, 1992 – 2017 By William D. Nordhaus
  13. Structural Change and the Fertility Transition in the American South By Ager, Philipp; Brueckner, Markus; Herz, Benedikt
  14. Climate-resilient infrastructure: Getting the policies right By Lola Vallejo; Michael Mullan
  15. The Reconstruction of Brazil's Foreign Trade Series, 1821-1913 By Tena Junguito, Antonio; Absell, Christopher David
  16. Water Improvement and Health: Historical Evidence on the Effect of Filtering Water on Urban Mortality By Knutsson, Daniel
  17. Temperature and Rainfall Index Insurance in India By Ayako Matsuda; Takashi Kurosaki
  19. What are the Financial Implications of Public Quality Disclosure? Evidence from New York City’s Restaurant Food Safety Grading Policy By Michah W. Rothbart; Amy Ellen Schwartz; Rachel Meltzer; Thad Calabrese; Tod Mijanovich; Meryle Weinstein
  20. What Does It Mean To Live on the Poverty Threshold? Lessons From Reference Budgets By Tim Goedemé; Tess Penne; Tine Hufkens; Alexandros Karakitsios; Anikó Bernát; Bori Simonovits; Elena Carillo Alvarez; Eleni Kanavitsa; Irene Cussó Parcerisas; Jordi Riera Romaní; Lauri Mäkinen; Manos Matsaganis; Marco Arlotti; Marianna Kopasz; Péter Szivós; Veli-Matti Ritakallio; Yuri Kazepov; Karel Van den Bosch; Bérénice Storms
  21. Global flood depth-damage functions: Methodology and the database with guidelines By Jan Huizinga; Hans de Moel; Wojciech Szewczyk
  22. Expenditure responses, policy interventions and heterogeneous welfare effects in Hungary during the 2000s By Zsombor Cseres-Gergely; Gyorgy Molnar; Tibor Szabo
  23. Woody Biomass Processing: Potential Economic Impacts on Rural Regions By Randall Jackson; Péter Járosi; Amir B. Ferreira Neto; Elham Erfanian
  24. Investor attention and Portuguese stock market volatility: We’ll google it for you! By Ana Brochado
  25. Is the Answer Blowing in the Wind (Auctions)? An Assessment of Italian Auction Procedures to Promote On-Shore Wind Energy By Cassetta, Ernesto; Meleo, Linda; Monarca, Umberto; Nava, Consuelo R.
  26. Innovative Food Price Collection in Developing Countries. Focus on Crowdsourcing in Africa By Heidrun Zeug; Gunter Zeug; Conrad Bielski; Gloria Solano-Hermosilla; Robert M’barek
  27. Public acceptance of environmentally friendly electric heating in rural Beijing By Zhang Jingchao; Koji Kotani; Tatsuyoshi Saijo
  28. The role of environmental regulations and innovation in TFP convergence: Evidence from manufacturing SMEs in Viet Nam By Thanh Tam Nguyen-Huu; Minh Nguyen-Khac; Quoc Tran-Nam
  29. Contaminants and pathogens in waterways - economic assessment of risks By Antti Simola; Juntunen, Janne; Meriläinen, Päivi
  30. Place-Based Innovation Ecosystems: Espoo Innovation Garden and Aalto University (Finland) By Gabriel Rissola; Fernando Hervás; Milena Slavcheva; Koen Jonkers

  1. By: Ngoma, Hambulo (School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Angelsen, Arild (School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: Minimum tillage (MT) is a key component in the promotion of conservation agriculture (CA). This paper asks whether MT reduces cropland expansion and thus deforestation. We develop a simple theoretical household model of land expansion, and test hypotheses by estimating a double hurdle model using household survey data from 368 smallholders in rural Zambia. We find that about 19% of the farmers expanded cropland into forests, clearing an average of 0.14 ha over one year. Overall, MT adoption does not significantly reduce deforestation among households in our sample, while labor availability stimulate expansion. Yield augmenting agricultural technologies (such as MT) may not reduce expansion unless combined with other forest conservation measures.
    Keywords: Cropland expansion; deforestation; minimum tillage; double hurdle; Zambia
    JEL: D13 Q12 Q23
    Date: 2017–04–26
  2. By: Guillaume Gruère (OECD); Anita Wreford (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
    Abstract: Considerable efforts have been devoted to understanding and developing technologies and practices that can help the agricultural sector reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The uptake of these "climate-friendly" technologies and practices, however, remains low. This report, based on a comprehensive review of the literature, analyses barriers that may prevent farmers from adopting climate-friendly practices. A multitude of potential barriers exist, some associated with farm-level constraints, others operating at the sector level, or created by existing policies. A series of recommendations are made to properly identify these types of barriers and to select the right instruments that would work to implement effective policy solutions.
    Keywords: adaptation policies, Agriculture, climate change, climate mitigation, technology adoption
    JEL: Q16 Q18 Q54
    Date: 2017–04–27
  3. By: Lodovico Muratori (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany); Susanne Fricke (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: We assess the conjunctural impact of price insulating policies on spatial price transmission of maize, rice and wheat in Cameroon, Kenya and Tanzania in the period 2005-2015. We therefore separately estimate the impact of trade policies within two regimes of behaviour of the domestic price series: the first regime with an increasing trend of domestic prices and the second regime with a decreasing trend. We find a significant impact of trade policies in both price regimes. This is however much larger if prices are increasing. Our results show that trade policies were able to insulate the three analyzed countries from the price shocks on international markets during the food price spike crisis 2007/2008. Although the impact of these policy instruments proved to be relevant as a counter-cyclical measure during the food price spike crisis, these policies cannot be regarded as structural long-term solutions. This paper extends the existing literature on spatial price transmission in agricultural markets by estimating the impact of tariff and non-tariff trade policies using monthly data. Employing monthly data allows for a more precise assessment of short-lived movements in the analysed series, which could disappear due to a time aggregation bias at lower yearly frequencies. While monthly price series are provided in the GIEWS database, we obtain monthly ad-valorem equivalent tariff rates by a time disaggregation of the yearly effectively applied weighted average tariff rate from the WITS/UNCTAD- TRAINS database through the monthly trade policies from the FAO-FADPA. By presenting high frequency analyses and techniques that are able to detect non-linearities in the Data Generating Process (DGP), this study provides results which differ from what is stated in the standard literature (Anderson and Nelgen, 2012a) (Anderson and Nelgen, 2012b) (Anderson and Nelgen, 2012c).
    Keywords: spatial price transmission, staple crops, trade barriers, food price spikes
    JEL: F14 O24 Q11 Q17
    Date: 2017–04–27
  4. By: Michiel de Haas (Wageningen University, University of Michigan); Kostadis J. Papaioannou (London School of Economics & Political Science)
    Abstract: Why did some African smallholders adopt cash crops on a considerable scale, while most others were hesitant to do so? This study sets out to explore the importance of factor endowments in shaping the degrees to which cash crops were adopted in colonial tropical Africa. We conduct an in-depth case study of the ‘cotton revolution’ in colonial Uganda to put the factor endowments perspective to the test. Our empirical findings, based on an annual panel data analysis at the district-level from 1925 till 1960, underscore the importance of Uganda’s equatorial bimodal rainfall distribution as an enabling factor for Uganda’s ‘cotton revolution’. We also provide evidence at a unique spatial micro-level, by capitalizing on detailed household surveys from the same period. We demonstrate that previous explanations associating variegated responses of African farmers to cash crops either to the role of colonial coercion, or to a distinction between ‘forest/banana’ and ‘savannah/grain’ zones cannot explain the widespread adoption of cotton in Uganda. We argue, instead, that the key to the cotton revolution were Uganda’s two rainy seasons, which enabled farmers to grow cotton while simultaneously pursuing food security. Our study highlights the importance of food security and labour seasonality as important determinants of agricultural commercialization in colonial tropical Africa.
    Keywords: Agricultural Commercialization, Resource Endowments, African Economic History, Rainfall distribution, Cotton
    JEL: N17 N57 Q17 C23 N97
    Date: 2017–04
  5. By: Hayatullah Ahmadzai
    Abstract: Using Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA), this paper centered on analysing the impact of Crop Diversification (CD) on farm level technical efficiency in Afghanistan. Data from a household level survey conducted in 2013-2004 by the Central Statistic Organization (CSO) is used in the analysis. The results revealed that adoption of a diversified portfolio of crops by the farmers significantly improves technical efficiency. In addition, access to extension services, farm size, cattle, oxen and tractor ownership by the farm households, and regional variables were other important factors that significantly affect technical efficiency. It is evident from the results that the estimated technical efficiency indices from the preferred truncated normal distribution range from 1.5% to 99.29%, with a sample mean of 71.9%. The basic SFA model was investigated for potential endogeneity in crop diversification. Instrumental Variable (IV) method was employed to correct for endogeneity in crop diversification. The results of the IV estimation reveal that failing to account for endogeneity in the basic model leads to a downward bias which is consistent with attenuation bias (measurement error in CD implies that OLS coefficients are biased towards zero, so one would predict IV coefficients greater in absolute size). The results of crop diversification index showed the presence of a relatively low level of crop diversification. Maximum likelihood estimation of translog stochastic frontier model shows that land, labour, and other purchased inputs (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides usage) have positive impact on farm revenues. The results show an evidence of constant returns to scale.
    Keywords: Agricultural economics, Afghanistan, applied econometrics, technical efficiency, crop diversification JEL Classification: O12, Q12, O13, Q18, D24
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Johanna CHOUMERT (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI)); Pascale COMBES MOTEL (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI)); Charlain GUEGANG DJIMELI
    Abstract: While the production of biofuels has expanded in recent years, findings in the literature on its impact on growth and development remain contradictory. This paper presents a meta-analysis of computable general equilibrium studies published between 2006 and 2014. Using 26 studies, we shed light on why their results differ. We investigate factors such as biofuel type, geographic area and the characteristics of models employed. Our results indicate that the outcomes of CGE simulations are sensitive to model parameters and also suggest heterogenous effects of biofuel expansion between developed / emerging countries and Sub-Saharan African countries. Our quantitative meta-analysis complements existing narrative surveys and confirms that results are sensitive to key hypotheses on essential parameters. Simulations on longer time periods and in multi-country studies lead to results that indicate higher impacts of biofuel expansion on growth and household income. Moreover, simulations with a shock in agricultural productivity indicate positive welfare gains, unlike simulations with a shock on land expansion. Lastly, we find that biodiesels lead to higher welfare gains than biofuels.
    Keywords: Biofuel, Bioethanol, Biodiesel, Energy, Development, Meta-regression, Computable General Equilibrium Model.
    JEL: C68 O13 Q16
    Date: 2017–04
  7. By: William Stafford; Adrian Lotter; Alan Brent; Graham von Maltitz
    Abstract: This paper assesses biofuels technology readiness and provides foresight to biofuels development in Southern Africa. Efficient conversion pathways, coupled with biomass from waste or high-yielding energy crops, reduces both the costs of biofuels production and the environmental impacts. Currently, most biofuels are more expensive than petroleum fuels and market uptake will be influenced by mandates and subsidies. Advanced biofuels promise greater efficiencies and carbon emission reductions at reduced cost, but will require further R&D to reach commercialization. If developed appropriately, biofuels can reduce carbon emissions and improve energy security, while enabling sustainable agriculture and improved natural resource management.
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Jun bo Xue; Zhao Mengzhen
    Abstract: Calculted the growth drag of water, land and energy of the agriculture sectors in China. Macro econometric model, DEA model water and energy play a more important role than the farmland in China. And the redudancy of the labor in the agriculture sectore is very serious.
    Keywords: China, Macroeconometric modeling, Agricultural issues
    Date: 2016–07–04
  9. By: Isaac Chinyoka
    Abstract: Since 2000, Zimbabwe has been under some pressure to provide more fully for its children. It is not clear whether child poverty has worsened, although AIDS, drought, and economic mismanagement have all compromised poverty reduction. In any case, child poverty has come under increased scrutiny, in part because of the Millennium Development Goals and the growing interest in new kinds of intervention among international agencies and donors. Zimbabwe might have adopted the child-oriented cash transfer programmes or subsidies associated with one or other of the ‘models’ developed by its richer neighbours to the south (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia). It might also have adopted the models favoured, and promoted energetically, by the World Bank, UNICEF, and other external agencies. But ZANU-PF—which was in power until 2009 and after 2013, and shared power between those dates—resisted cash transfer programmes, favouring instead agricultural interventions (including land reform and farm input subsidy programmes). ZANU-PF’s ambivalence towards cash transfer programmes represents political choices informed by the nature of Zimbabwean society and politics.
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Bachev, Hrabrin; Ivanov, Bodjidar; Toteva, Desislava; Sokolova, Emilia
    Abstract: This framework is a part of a bilateral research cooperation project between Bulgaria and China on „Governing and Assessment of Agrarian Sustainability - Experiences, Challenges, and Lessons from Bulgaria and China“ funded by the Bulgarian Science Fund and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China ( First, major definitions are presented. After that a Framework for analyzing the system of governance of agrarian sustainability is outlined. Finally, a Framework for assessing sustainability levels of agriculture is presented. Theoretical and mythological approaches are previously presented by another publication (Bachev, Ivanov, Toteva, Sokolova). This framework is being used for analyzing the system of governance and the level of agrarian sustainability in Bulgaria and China, and comparative analysis between two countries
    Keywords: agrarian sustainability, governance, sustainability indicators, Bulgaria, China
    JEL: Q1 Q10 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2017–04–01
  11. By: Garth Heutel; Nolan H. Miller; David Molitor
    Abstract: We study heterogeneity in the relationship between temperature and mortality across U.S. climate regions and its implications for climate adaptation. Using exogenous variation in temperature and data on all elderly Medicare beneficiaries from 1992 – 2011, we show that the mortality effect of hot days is much larger in cool ZIP codes than in warm ones and that the opposite is true for cold days. We attribute this heterogeneity to historical climate adaptation. As one adaptive mechanism, air conditioning penetration explains nearly all of the regional heterogeneity in heat-driven morality but not cold-driven mortality. Combining these results with projected changes in local temperature distributions by the end of the century, we show that failure to incorporate climate heterogeneity in temperature effects can lead to mortality predictions that are wrong in sign for both cool and warm climates. Allowing regions to adapt to future climate according to the degree of climate adaptation currently observed across climates yields mortality impacts of climate change that are much lower than those estimated without allowing for adaptation, and possibly even negative.
    JEL: I18 J14 Q54
    Date: 2017–03
  12. By: William D. Nordhaus
    Abstract: Many areas of the natural and social sciences involve complex systems that link together multiple sectors. Integrated assessment models (IAMs) are approaches that integrate knowledge from two or more domains into a single framework, and these are particularly important for climate change. One of the earliest IAMs for climate change was the DICE/RICE family of models, first published in Nordhaus (1992), with the latest version in Nordhaus (2017, 2017a). A difficulty in assessing IAMs is the inability to use standard statistical tests because of the lack of a probabilistic structure. In the absence of statistical tests, the present study examines the extent of revisions of the DICE model over its quarter-century history. The study finds that the major revisions have come primarily from the economic aspects of the model, whereas the environmental changes have been much smaller. Particularly sharp revisions have occurred for global output, damages, and the social cost of carbon. These results indicate that the economic projections are the least precise parts of IAMs and deserve much greater study than has been the case up to now, especially careful studies of long-run economic growth (to 2100 and beyond).
    JEL: C6 Q5 Q54
    Date: 2017–04
  13. By: Ager, Philipp (Department of Business and Economics); Brueckner, Markus (Australian National University); Herz, Benedikt (European Commission)
    Abstract: This paper provides new insights on the link between structural change and the fertility transition. In the early 1890s agricultural production in the American South was severely impaired by the spread of an agricultural pest, the boll weevil. We use this plausibly exogenous variation in agricultural production to establish a causal link between changes in earnings opportunities in agriculture and fertility. Our estimates show that lower earnings opportunities in agriculture lead to fewer children. We identify two channels: households staying in agriculture reduced fertility because children are a normal good, and households switching to manufacturing faced higher opportunity costs of raising children. The rather bleak outlook for unskilled agricultural workers also increased the demand for human capital, which reinforced the fertility decline that occurred in the American South during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
    Keywords: Fertility transition; structural change; industrialization; agricultural income
    JEL: J13 N31 O15
    Date: 2017–04–24
  14. By: Lola Vallejo; Michael Mullan
    Abstract: Climate change will affect all types of infrastructure, including energy, transport and water. Rising temperatures, increased flood risk and other potential hazards will threaten the reliable and efficient operation of these networks, with potentially large economic and social impacts. Decisions made now about the design, location and operation of infrastructure will determine how resilient they will be to a changing climate. This paper provides a framework for action aimed at national policymakers in OECD countries to help them ensure new and existing infrastructure is resilient to climate change. It examines national governments’ action in OECD countries, and provides recent insights from professional and industry associations, development banks and other financial institutions on how to make infrastructure more resilient to climate change.
    Keywords: adaptation, climate change, infrastructure, risk management
    JEL: H54 O18 Q54
    Date: 2017–04–25
  15. By: Tena Junguito, Antonio; Absell, Christopher David
    Abstract: To date, research on the economic history of Brazil during the nineteenth century has relied on official foreign trade statistics, the accuracy of which has repeatedly been put into question. This paper provides insights into the accuracy of the official series by examining the accuracy of the export and import series for Brazil during the nineteenth century. We re-estimate the official import series using trading partner sources, and find that the official series was marginally under-valued during certain periods of the nineteenth century. Furthermore, we provide new upper- and lower-bound estimates of the export series by testing different assumptions regarding the size of the cif-fob factor adjustments. Finally, we introduce a new import price index for the period 1827-1913.
    Keywords: Price Indices; Foreign trade reconstruction; Brazil; Nineteenth Century globalization
    JEL: N76 F14
    Date: 2017–04
  16. By: Knutsson, Daniel (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: In this paper, I analyse how technologies for cleaning and distributing water can affect health using new historical data from Sweden. The city of Stockholm introduced a slow filter water cleaning system and piped distribu- tion network in 1861 enabling parts of the population in-house access. The historical context allows me to analyse these technologies without sewerage access as no major sewerage system was constructed at the same time. By using detailed information on water access through contemporary contract lists I can measure access to clean water with great precision. My findings suggest large beneficial effects of having access to clean in-house water. This effect is apparent for the general population but not as precise for infants and in line or even larger than previous estimates. I document heterogeneity in infant mortality with respect to gender where girls seem to have benefited more.
    Keywords: Water; Piped water; Filtered water; Infant Mortality; Mortality; Public Health
    JEL: I15 I18 J11 N33 Q53
    Date: 2017–04–21
  17. By: Ayako Matsuda (Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP)); Takashi Kurosaki (Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)
    Abstract: Weather index insurance has been attracting much attention from academics and policy makers. This paper investigates the demand for temperature and rainfall index insurance in India using the data from randomized subsidy experiments. We find that price, income and asset levels influence the demand for both temperature and rainfall insurance. We also show that richer farmers are less price-sensitive and farmers' response to the discount becomes less price-sensitive as the amount of discount increases. Non-price factors such as age and education level of a respondent are important correlates. Purchase decisions are also influenced by individual prior experience and society experience of insurance.
    Keywords: Weather Insurance, Temperature Insurance, Demand for Insurance
    JEL: O13 O16 G22
    Date: 2017–04
  18. By: Julius Mukarati; Makombe Godswill
    Abstract: To analyse the impact of an agricultural shock and analyse the various channels through which the shock affect poor household income. SAM decomposition and structural path analysis -the shock will be transmitted mainly through the returns to factors of production especially low skilled labour income
    Keywords: South Africa, Agricultural issues, Sectoral issues
    Date: 2016–07–04
  19. By: Michah W. Rothbart (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 426 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244); Amy Ellen Schwartz (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 426 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244); Rachel Meltzer (Milano School, The New School); Thad Calabrese (Wagner School, New York University); Tod Mijanovich (Wagner School, New York University); Meryle Weinstein (Institute for Education and Social Policy, Steinhardt School, New York University)
    Abstract: Grading schemes are an increasingly common method of quality disclosure for public services. Restaurant grading makes information about food safety practices more readily available and may reduce the prevalence of foodborne illnesses. However, it may also have meaningful financial repercussions. Using fine-grained administrative data that tracks food safety compliance and sales activity for the universe of graded restaurants in New York City and its bordering counties, we assess the aggregate financial effects from restaurant grading. Results indicate that the grading policy, after an initial period of adjustment, improves restaurants’ food safety compliance and reduces fines. While the average effect on revenues for graded restaurants across the municipality is null, the graded restaurants located geographically closer to an ungraded regime experience slower growth in revenues. There is also evidence of revenue convergence across graded and ungraded restaurants in the long-term.
    Keywords: Public Grades, Restaurant Revenues, Public Resources
    JEL: D12 H22 H27
    Date: 2017–04
  20. By: Tim Goedemé; Tess Penne; Tine Hufkens; Alexandros Karakitsios; Anikó Bernát; Bori Simonovits; Elena Carillo Alvarez; Eleni Kanavitsa; Irene Cussó Parcerisas; Jordi Riera Romaní; Lauri Mäkinen; Manos Matsaganis; Marco Arlotti; Marianna Kopasz; Péter Szivós; Veli-Matti Ritakallio; Yuri Kazepov; Karel Van den Bosch; Bérénice Storms
    Abstract: Over the past 20 years the use of the at-risk-of-poverty threshold has become increasingly widespread. However, as is well known, the indicator builds on a number of assumptions and simplifications that have given rise to several criticisms. In this paper we illustrate how reference budgets can help to ‘contextualise’ the weaknesses of the at-risk-of-poverty threshold by generating more insight into the kind of living standard that can be afforded with an income at the level of the threshold in different countries. This provides essential background information for those using the indicator. More in particular, we make use of the first effort to construct cross-country comparable reference budgets in Europe to show what the strong cross-national differences in living standards imply in practice for the adequacy of incomes at the level of the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. The budgets show that in the poorest EU Member States, even adequate food and housing are barely affordable at the level of the threshold, whereas a decent living standard is much more in reach for those living on the threshold in the richer EU Member States. The reference budgets also suggest that the poverty risk of some groups (for instance children) is underestimated relative to that of other age groups, while the poverty risk of homeowners is probably relatively overestimated.
    Date: 2017–04
  21. By: Jan Huizinga (HKV Consultants, Lelystad, Netherlands); Hans de Moel (VU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies); Wojciech Szewczyk (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: Assessing potential damage of flood events is an important component in flood risk management. Determining direct flood damage is commonly done using depth-damage curves, which denote the flood damage that would occur at specific water depths per asset or per land-use class. Many countries have developed flood damage models using depth-damage curves based on analysis of past flood events and on expert judgement. However, the fact that such damage curves are not available for all regions hampers damage assessments in some areas. Moreover, due to different methodologies employed for various damage models in different countries, damage assessments cannot be directly compared with each other, obstructing also supra-national flood damage assessments. To address these problems a globally consistent database of depth-damage curves has been developed. This dataset contains damage curves depicting fractional damage as a function of water depth as well as the relevant maximum damage values for a variety of assets and land use classes. Based on an extensive literature survey normalised damage curves have been developed for each continent, while differentiation in flood damage between countries is established by determining maximum damage values at the country scale. These maximum damage values are based on construction cost surveys from multinational construction companies, which provide a coherent set of detailed building cost data across dozens of countries. A consistent set of maximum flood damage values for all countries was computed using statistical regressions with socio-economic World Development Indicators. Further, based on insights from the literature survey, guidance is also given on how the damage curves and maximum damage values can be adjusted for specific local circumstances, such as urban vs. rural locations or use of specific building material. This dataset can be used for consistent supra-national scale flood damage assessments, and guide assessment in countries where no damage model is currently available.
    Keywords: Floods, inundation, damage functions, global
    Date: 2017–04
  22. By: Zsombor Cseres-Gergely (European Commission, Joint Research Centre and research fellow at Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Gyorgy Molnar (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Tibor Szabo (Credit Risk Modeler at Raiffeisen Bank)
    Abstract: VAT rates have changed multiple times and to a relatively great extent in Hungary during the past years. We use the resulting price changes in estimating the price- and income-elasticity of households’ expenditures. As a novelty, we introduce an interaction term in estimating the demand system and show that the own price elasticity of food is increasing with increasing production for own consumption. Based on the estimation results, we compute the average welfare effect of the changes and describe also its heterogeneity within the population. We find that the VAT-reforms in 2006 and 2009 have both decreased the welfare of those in the first income quintile. We also look at the welfare effect of multiple hypothetic reforms such as the decrease of the VAT rate of food and a decrease of utility prices as well as a subsidy to production for own consumption. We find that the best targeted measure is an income-transfer to the low-income unemployed either directly or through participation in the public works scheme.
    Keywords: QUAIDS model, household expenditures, consumer behaviour, compensating variation, simulation, welfare effect, production for own consumption
    JEL: D12 H20 H31
    Date: 2017–01
  23. By: Randall Jackson (Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University); Péter Járosi (Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University); Amir B. Ferreira Neto (Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University); Elham Erfanian (Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University)
    Abstract: This paper reports on economic and environmental impacts of introducing woody biomass processing in an economically distressed area in central Appalachia, one of the more heavily forested areas in the U.S. Woody biomass is a readily available unconventional energy source that has the potential to boost the rural region’s economy. We use a static regional computable general equilibrium model to assess regional economic impacts of two different WBP production pathways, biomass to ethanol and biomass to biofuel via fast pyrolysis. In an economy with a workforce approaching 160,000, we find that introducing woody biomass ethanol or fast pyrolysis processing would increase regional output by 0.45% and 0.78%, boost jobs by 0.13% and 0.20%, and increase income by 0.16% to 0.26%, respectively. The results from the environmental assessment show that the ethanol pathway is substantially more environmentally friendly than the fast pyrolysis pathway.
    Keywords: woody biomass processing, computable general equilibrium models, central Appalachia, rural economic development
    JEL: R58 R15 Q51
    Date: 2017–04–06
  24. By: Ana Brochado
    Abstract: The aim of this work is to analyze the influence of investor attention on the Portuguese stock market activity and volatility. As a proxy of investor attention, we use investors’ online search behavior, both at the individual stock and the overall market level, provided by Google Trends. The econometric analysis is performed both for each stock and for the index portfolio. The model include both market states and the crisis effects. As introduced by previous studies, Google search volume revealed to be a reliable proxy of investor attention and to be a significant determinant of the contemporaneous stock market historical volatility. The results are robust even after controlling for variations in market returns and market volume. Moreover, the model estimates revealed that the impact of investor attention seems to be more sensitive to the high-return market state and becomes stronger during periods of crisis.
    Keywords: Portugal, Finance, Modeling: new developments
    Date: 2016–07–04
  25. By: Cassetta, Ernesto; Meleo, Linda; Monarca, Umberto; Nava, Consuelo R. (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The present article provides a quantitative data-based assessment of on-shore wind auctions implemented in Italy from 2012 to 2016. More specifically, this paper investigates policy effectiveness and cost effciency of on-shore wind auction scheme and explores the determinants of the likelihood of being awarded an incentive according to current auction design. Our objective is to provide new insights for better understanding of auction potential outcomes in RES context as well on the different design elements which are more appropriate for specific policy goals. The extreme simplicity of the auction design undoubtedly has promoted competition, encouraging many on-shore wind project developers to bid. Our results show that localisation factors have not constitute a competitive constraint for project developers. When many sites are available and auctioned capacity is not sufficiently high, the administratively setting of ceiling prices becomes a central issue. Doubts also exist on policy effectiveness of the current support scheme which makes difficult to control the totalamount of support provided justifying stop-and-go cycles of nancing thus favouring distorted bidding behaviour by project developers.
    Date: 2017–03
  26. By: Heidrun Zeug (Zeug Consulting (Miltenberg, Germany)); Gunter Zeug (Terranea UG (Burgstadt, Germany)); Conrad Bielski (EOXPLORE UG (Weil am Rhein, Germany)); Gloria Solano-Hermosilla (European Commission – JRC); Robert M’barek (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: Recent food crises have revealed the importance of timely and reliable food price information for food security monitoring and to support informed policy decision making. The increasing number of mobile phone users in Africa, combined with improved networks and broadband coverage, makes it increasingly possible to use mobile-based crowdsourcing to obtain accurate and up-to-date food price information. The use of mobile technologies also affords the possibility of reaching a large number of volunteers (crowd workers) in specific geographic locations, thus enhancing the available sets of information. This study provides a literature review of the concept of crowdsourcing and an overview and analysis of previous and on-going innovative food price collection initiatives in developing countries, particularly in Africa. Based on the research and interviews with relevant stakeholders, potential benefits and challenges have been identified and a set of recommendations has been drafted. The research shows that there is not a single crowdsourcing solution. The main challenges are encouraging crowd participation, and ensuring that data collected are trustworthy and of high quality, which in turn depends on offering the right incentives. Although the financial rewards offered to the crowd are often low, completely unpaid voluntary work is not common, which to some extent limits the potential cost advantage of crowdsourcing methods of data collection. New technologies empower people, and crowdsourcing might in future have potential to provide additional earnings and skills in poor communities, where skill development and ensuring access to technology are both potentials and challenges.
    Keywords: Crowdsourcing, food prices, Africa, mobile technologies
    Date: 2017–01
  27. By: Zhang Jingchao (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Koji Kotani (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Tatsuyoshi Saijo (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: China has long suffered from severe haze pollution due to coal consumption in rural areas. One possible solution is promotion of a new electric heating system called a “low temperature air source heat pump (LTHP) technology.†This paper explores the possibility of public acceptance for the LTHP technology of electric heating. To this end, we elicit people’s willingness to adopt (WTA), willingness to pay (WTP) for the LTHP technology, socio-demographic and perception information by conducting field surveys of 579 households and empirically characterize the determinants of the public acceptance. The analysis reveals that income, science literacy and local environmental concern positively affect WTA and WTP, while global environmental concern does not show any significance. Contrary to our initial expectation, people in mountainous areas express the highest WTA and WTP followed by those in hilly and plain areas. Overall, these findings suggest that the promotion could start from mountainous to hilly and from hilly to plain areas, advancing public education on local environmental concerns and science literacy. With such a plan, the electric heating system shall be successfully promoted in the least-cost manner, and energy switch from coal to electricity in rural Beijing will be facilitated for cleaner environment.
    Keywords: public acceptance, air pollution, LTHP, rural Beijing
  28. By: Thanh Tam Nguyen-Huu; Minh Nguyen-Khac; Quoc Tran-Nam
    Abstract: This is a pioneer study investigating the relationship between environmental compliance and TFP convergence for SMEs. It examines the impacts of environmental compliance, and its combination with innovation, on TFP convergence of manufacturing SMEs. We applied the dynamic panel regression method to estimate stochastic TFP. We find evidence of a ß-convergence but a s-divergence. Impacts of environmental practices of firms—pollution abatement and control expenditure, and environmental treatment—are only significant through their interaction with innovation. The ß-convergence in firms’ TFP is influenced by their industrial identity, while firms’ size and investment have marginal impacts.
    Date: 2017
  29. By: Antti Simola; Juntunen, Janne; Meriläinen, Päivi
    Abstract: Assessment of health risks related transport of contaminants and pathogens in waterways Combination of water transport models, quantitative health analysis and regional CGE modeling Preliminary results: a low probability event can cause notable economic losses in the study region
    Keywords: Finland, General equilibrium modeling, Impact and scenario analysis
    Date: 2016–07–04
  30. By: Gabriel Rissola (European Commission – JRC); Fernando Hervás (European Commission - JRC); Milena Slavcheva (European Commission - JRC); Koen Jonkers (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: The present case study pursues to identify key success factors in Espoo innovation ecosystem, with a particular attention to the role of Aalto University, with a view to inform policies aimed at supporting the strengthening and emergence of existing and new place-based innovation ecosystems in other EU regions and cities, as well as of entrepreneurial universities. It starts by defining what a place-based innovation ecosystem is intended to be, and identifies a conceptual framework that can operationalise the study of concrete cases. The study continues with a presentation of the main local actors and pre-existing enabling factors, progressively moves to the catalysers that have made this innovation garden flourish (notably the reforms that enabled the emergence of Aalto University with its particular governance model) and finally analyses its Quadruple Helix collaboration model and the way the whole ecosystem is orchestrated.
    Keywords: place-based, territorial, urban, innovation ecosystem, smart specialisation, entrepreneurial university, quadruple helix, orchestration
    Date: 2017–04

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