nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2017‒09‒03
twenty papers chosen by

  1. Detecting unsustainable pressures exerted on biodiversity by a company. Application to the food portfolio of a retailer By Anastasia Wolff; Natacha Gondran; Christian Brodhag
  2. Enhancing food availability and access in Asia-Pacific By Vatcharin Sirimaneetham from the Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division.
  3. Sustainability development: Biofuels in agriculture By Cheteni, Priviledge
  4. Moral Hazard: Experimental Evidence from Tenancy Contracts By Burchardi, Konrad B.; Gulesci, Selim; Lerva, Benedetta; Sulaiman, Munshi
  5. Assessing Impacts of Land Use and Climate Change on Soil and Water Resources in the Srepok Watershed, Central Highland of Vietnam By Nguyen Thi Huyen; Le Hoang Tu; Nguyen Duy Liem; Vo Ngoc Quyn Tram; Duong Ngoc Minh; Nguyen Kim Loi
  6. Trade Integration and the Polarisation of Eco-Labelling Strategies By Vera Danilina
  7. The Rise and Fall of Pellagra in the American South By Karen Clay; Ethan Schmick; Werner Troesken
  8. Agricultural Insurance in Southeast Asia: Status and Directions By Jose M. Yorobe, Jr.; Pilipinas M. Luis; Bessie M. Burgos
  9. We See Thee Rise: Quantifying Farm Size Expansion in Canada By Wenbiao Cai
  10. Fertility and Rural Electrification in Bangladesh By Fujii, Tomoki; Shonchoy, Abu S.
  11. China’s mobility barriers and employment allocations By L Rachel Ngai; Christopher A Pissarides; Jin Wang
  12. Substituting Freshwater: Can Ocean Desalination and Water Recycling Capacities Substitute for Groundwater Depletion in California? By Pierre Badiuzzaman; Eoin McLaughlin; Darren McCauley
  13. Impact of Climate Change on Aquaculture in Phu Vang District, Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam By Mac Nhu Binh; Le Van An; Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy; Ngo Thi huong Giang; Ho Thi Thu Hoai; Truong Van Dan
  14. The Joint Effects of a Health Insurance and a Public Works Scheme in Rural Ethiopia By Shigute, Zemzem; Strupat, Christoph; Burchi, Francesco; Alemu, Getnet; Bedi, Arjun S.
  15. Smooth transition and graduation of least developed countries: coping with natural disasters and climate change By Alberto Isgut, Ran Kim and Yusuke Tateno from the Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division.
  16. Increasing agricultural productivity for sustainable development: challenges and opportunities By Steve Gui-Diby and Oliver Paddison from the Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division.
  17. Fish Aggregating Devices and the Role of Socio-economic Factors in Driving Spatial Effort Allocation of Fishers By Edison Roi Macusi
  18. 'Rational Overeating' in a Feast-or-Famine World: Economic Insecurity and the Obesity Epidemic By Smith, Trenton G.; Stillman, Steven; Craig, Stuart
  19. Obesity Based Labour Market Discrimination in South Africa: A Dynamic Panel Analysis By Junita Henry; Umakrishnan Kollamparambil
  20. Environmental and Financial Performance. Is there a win-win or a win-loss situation? Evidence from the Greek manufacturing By Kounetas, Kostas; Alexopoulos, Elias; Tzelepis, Dimitris

  1. By: Anastasia Wolff (EVS - Environnement Ville Société - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Etienne] - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne - ENSAL - École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, AgroParisTech, FAYOL-ENSMSE - Département Management responsable et innovation - Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de St Etienne - Institut Henri Fayol); Natacha Gondran (FAYOL-ENSMSE - Département Génie de l’environnement et des organisations - Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de St Etienne - Institut Henri Fayol, EVS - Environnement Ville Société - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Etienne] - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne - ENSAL - École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Christian Brodhag (FAYOL-ENSMSE - Département Management responsable et innovation - Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de St Etienne - Institut Henri Fayol, EVS - Environnement Ville Société - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Etienne] - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne - ENSAL - École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Companies are called by institutional organizations to assess their impacts on biodiversity and to take actions to achieve collectively conservation objectives. This paper presents a method to assess whether the pressures exerted by a business and its value chain on biodiversity are compatible with biodiversity conservation. The absolute environmental sustainability assessment framework is used to compare relevant life cycle assessment midpoint and endpoint indicators to the ecological budgets assigned to the company. This approach is illustrated based on the case study of a mass-market retailer with a focus on the pressures exerted by its food portfolio at the agricultural production step. The results indicate that several pressures driving biodiversity loss are not sustainable. The study also highlights the prominent weight of a few product categories in the ecological burden. These findings have implications for mass-market retailers as well as their food value chains and open research perspectives to make such an approach fully operational.
    Keywords: Life cycle assessment, Biodiversity, Business, Carrying capacity,Sustainability, Corporate social responsibility
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Vatcharin Sirimaneetham from the Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division. (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific)
    Abstract: Undernourishment in Asia-Pacific has decreased in the past decade but remains notable in several countries. Based on the FAO data, around 1 in 3 people in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Tajikistan and Timor-Leste were undernourished in 2012. In Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia and Sri Lanka, this ratio stood at around 1 in 5. According to some estimates, around 305 million people in the region are likely to remain undernourished by 2030. This indicates that the challenge to ensure food security in Asia-Pacific remains paramount. Several factors would continue to put pressure on efforts to reduce malnourishment in Asia-Pacific. For instance, the region is expected to have almost one billion people more by 2050 relative to 2013, increasing the demand for food considerably. At the same time, stagnant agricultural land area, water scarcity, soil degradation and increasing use of biofuels are all constraining food production. Finally, since Asia-Pacific is the world’s most disaster-prone region, frequent natural disasters disrupt food production and supply.
  3. By: Cheteni, Priviledge
    Abstract: Biofuels are socially and politically accepted as a form of sustainable energy in numerous countries. However, cases of environmental degradation and land grabs have highlighted the negative effects to their adoption. Smallholder farmers are vital in the development of a biofuel industry. The study sort to assess the implications in the adoption of biofuel crops by smallholder farmers. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 129 smallholder farmers who were sampled from the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. A binary probit model was used to investigate the determinants of smallholder farmers adopting biofuel crops. The empirical results showed that the variables membership in association, occupation and incentives were statistically significant in influencing farmers’ decision to adopt biofuel crops. Furthermore, it was discovered that the studied areas have a potential to grow biofuel crops.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Biofuels, Binary Model, Sustainable Development, South Africa
    JEL: Q5 Q58
    Date: 2017–01–05
  4. By: Burchardi, Konrad B.; Gulesci, Selim; Lerva, Benedetta; Sulaiman, Munshi
    Abstract: We report results from a field experiment designed to estimate the effects of tenancy contracts on agricultural input choices, risk-taking, and output. The experiment induced variation in the terms of sharecropping contracts: some tenants paid 50% of output in compensation for land usage; others paid 25%; again others paid 50% of output and received cash, either fixed or stochastic. We find that tenants with higher output share utilized more inputs, cultivated riskier crops, and generated 60% more output relative to control. Cash transfers did not effect farm output. We interpret the increase in output as the incentive effect of sharecropping.
    Keywords: Agricultural Productivity; Contracts; Incentive Effects; Sharecropping
    JEL: C93 D22 O13
    Date: 2017–08
  5. By: Nguyen Thi Huyen; Le Hoang Tu; Nguyen Duy Liem; Vo Ngoc Quyn Tram; Duong Ngoc Minh; Nguyen Kim Loi
    Abstract: The Srepok River basin, which flows along four provinces in Vietnam and parts of Cambodia, is presently facing critical issues such as floods and droughts, pollution of waterways, deforestation of catchments, erosion and resultant sedimentation of reservoirs, overexploitation of groundwater, water-use conflicts, and transborder issues. This study aims to investigate changes in streamflow and sediment yield that result from land use changes, and climatic variation in the Srepok watershed. Plausible scenarios of land use change are simulated through Geographic Information System (GIS) using current conditions and information from the area as bases, and climate change scenarios built on outputs of General Circulation Models (GCMs) from the Southeast Asia System for Analysis, Research and Training (SEA-START 2009). These changes, individually or in combination, are input into the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) to project future hydrological variables. Simulations have shown increase in annual average temperature at 0.75–2.5 degrees celsius and decrease in precipitation at 200–500 milimeters. These are both in medium- and high-emission scenarios for the period 2011–2039 and 2040–2069. Annual streamflow in medium- and high-emission scenarios appeared to be 3.7–5.6 times lower than the base scenario in 1990–2010. All scenarios are different in terms of amount and distribution of streamflow in the dry and rainy seasons. Shifts in rainy season, rainfall, and land cover have led to fluctuations in the amount of sediments. Total sediment yield in 1990–2010 is 9.1 times higher than in the medium-emission scenario, and 8.1 times higher in the high-emission scenario. For water components, the Srepok watershed showed over 60 percent streamflow and 36 percent evapotranspiration. Groundwater contributes over 60 percent to the total flow in the watershed than surface water. Therefore, groundwater also contributes to water availability in the Srepok watershed in the future. Results of this research can serve as baseline for plans for the Srepok watershed.
    Keywords: climate change, land use, Vietnam
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Vera Danilina (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille)
    Abstract: Growing ecological concerns give rise to salient discussions of green policy impact within different social sciences domains. This research studies the outcomes of voluntary environmental labelling in autarky and upon trade integration in the presence of two types of heterogeneity, across countries and across producers. It investigates the impact of the two main types of eco-labels - multiple-criteria-based programmes (ISO Type I) and self-declared environmental claims (ISO Type II), both of which are simultaneously introduced due to the environmental concerns of consumers. The model illustrates the polarisation of eco-labels when the least productive firms tend to avoid green strategies, lower-middle productive and the most efficient firms are incentivized to greenwash, and the upper-middle productive firms choose trustful programmes. It also shows that voluntary green restrictions lead to substantial productivity effects in the market upon opening to international trade, conditionally, depending on the type of the labelling and the relative degree of environmental awareness across trading countries. The model predicts average market productivity losses and within segments productivity gains for the relatively more eco-concerned country, while the effects for the relatively less eco-concerned country are the opposite.
    Keywords: eco-labelling,firm heterogeneity,trade integration,voluntary environmental regulation,firms productivity
    Date: 2017–07
  7. By: Karen Clay; Ethan Schmick; Werner Troesken
    Abstract: The result of insufficient niacin consumption, pellagra caused more deaths than any other nutrition-related disease in American history, and it reached epidemic proportions in the South during the early 1900s. In this paper, we explore the forces that drove the rise and fall of pellagra. Historical observers have long-believed that pellagra stemmed from the South’s monoculture in cotton, which displaced the local production of nutritionally-rich foods. To test this hypothesis, we begin by showing that, at the county level, pellagra rates are positively correlated with cotton production. We then exploit the arrival of the boll weevil—which prompted Southern farmers to begin planting food instead of cotton—to show that this correlation is likely causal. We close by studying how fortification laws passed during the 1940s helped to eliminate pellagra.
    JEL: I18 N32 N52 Q12
    Date: 2017–08
  8. By: Jose M. Yorobe, Jr.; Pilipinas M. Luis; Bessie M. Burgos
    Abstract: With climatic shifts becoming more prominent and extreme climatic events becoming more frequent, Southeast Asia (SEA) is considered one of world’s most vulnerable to climate change because of its heavy reliance on agriculture (ADB 2009). In 2013, around 40 million people in SEA were affected by natural calamities, many of whom are dependent on agriculture. Loss due to floods amounted to USD 10.7 billion in 2010 (ADB 2014). Super Typhoon Haiyan, the powerful tropical cyclone that hit Southeast Asia on 8 November 2013, is the worst ever recorded, with an economic cost amounting to USD 13 billion (International Business Times 2015). Agricultural interests are fundamental in managing food security. Local governments are major stakeholders in agriculture as well as the best contenders to partake in a robust finance-based solution, such as insurance. Of the 11 countries in SEA, only six (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand [pilot stage], and Vietnam [pilot stage]) have agricultural insurance programs (World Bank 2010). Several countries have already adopted index insurance program in the region. Basis risk is one of the serious obstacles to the effectiveness of index insurance. However this can be reduced in two ways (Miranda and Farrin 2012): (1) to offer a wider array of index insurance products tailored to different risk exposures; and (2) by constructing indemnity schedules that correlates maximally with policy holder losses. To achieve both requires sound and accurate information, and data from which the index was based. Weather index-based crop insurance that will incorporate historical weather and crop production data is more costeffective and efficient than traditional agricultural insurance. It will reduce farmlevel monitoring and transaction costs (ADB 2013). The promotion of market-based agricultural insurance is proven to be critical for the emergence of sustainable agricultural insurance program (Mahul and Stutley 2010). The public-private partnership (PPP) can be viewed as an initial step in providing the direction towards the emergence of private led agricultural insurance programs. The role of the government is confined in correcting market and regulatory imperfections for a competitive insurance market to emerge. The SEA countries collaboration in the areas of research and training, institution and capacity building, information sharing and knowledge management, and awareness raising can provide a less costly support service mechanism in the development of a more competitive insurance market. Pooling research funds by governments for insurance purposes will be effective in addressing the information and data needs for a more viable risk and cost assessments. The pan-ASEAN agriculture pool is a collective scheme that can ease the risks associated with agricultural production and food security in the region. The ASEAN Member States (AMS) contribute underwriting capacity based on the relative importance of agriculture trade to their economies (Corona 2013). The AMS which are net consumers of agricultural products will subsidize the insurance premiums of those countries which are net producers, as a result fostering food security and political stability across the region. The main goal of the insurance scheme is to encourage farmers to continue food production despite risks.
    Keywords: agri-insurance, Southeast Asia
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Wenbiao Cai
    Abstract: Average land size of Canadian farms increased from 500 to 730 acres between 1976 and 2006. Productive resources were also increasingly concentrated in farms from the upper tail of the size distribution. This paper uses a two-sector equilibrium model to quantify the importance of technological change versus farm subsidy in explaining this episode of farm size expansion. Exogenous variations in TFP and factor endowment account for 60 percent of the observed increase in average acreage. When farm subsidy is added, the model replicates the entire trajectory of farm size. The model’s predictions of employment in agriculture, agricultural value added per worker, average farm capital, and land value also accord well with data.
    Date: 2017–08
  10. By: Fujii, Tomoki (School of Economics, Singapore Management University); Shonchoy, Abu S. (Institute for Developing Economies, IDE-JETRO)
    Abstract: We use a household-level panel dataset from Bangladesh to examine the household-level relationship between fertility and the access to electricity. We find that the household's access to electricity reduces the change in the number of children by about 0.1 to 0.25 children in a period of five years in most estimates. This finding also applies to retrospective panel data and is robust to the choice of covariates and estimation methods. Our finding passes falsication test and corroborates with the predictions of our theoretical model on the households' time use and consumption pattern.
    Keywords: Bangladesh; infrastructure; television; difference in differences; propensity score matching; retrospective panel data.
    JEL: J13 O20
    Date: 2017–07–11
  11. By: L Rachel Ngai (Reader in Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science; Institute for Advanced Study, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS)); Christopher A Pissarides (London School of Economics; Institute for Advanced Study, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS)); Jin Wang (Division of Social Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS))
    Abstract: China’s hukou system imposes two main barriers to population movements. Agricultural workers get land to cultivate but run the risk of losing it if they migrate. Social transfers (education, health, etc.) are conditional on holding a local hukou. We show that the land policy is a more important barrier on industrialization. This distortion can be corrected by giving property rights to farmers. Social transfers dampen mainly urbanization. We calculate that the two policies together lead to overemployment in agriculture of 6.7 points, under-employment in the urban sector of 6.3 points and have practically no impact on the rural non-agricultural sector.
    Date: 2017–08
  12. By: Pierre Badiuzzaman (School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews); Eoin McLaughlin (School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews); Darren McCauley (School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: While the sustainability of resource depletion is a longstanding environmental concern, wider attention has recently been given to growing water scarcity and groundwater depletion. This study seeks to test the substitutability assumption embedded in weak sustainability indicators using a case study of Californian water supply. The volume of groundwater depletion is used as a proxy for unsustainable water consumption, and defined by synthesising existing research estimates into low, medium and high depletion baselines. These are compared against projected supply increases from ocean desalination and water recycling by 2035, to determine whether new, drought-proof water sources can substitute for currently unsustainable groundwater consumption. Results show that maximum projected supply of new water, 2.47 million acre feet per year (MAF/yr), is sufficient to meet low depletion estimates of 2.02 MAF/yr, but fails to come near the high baseline of 3.58 MAF/yr. This does not necessarily indicate physical limitations of substitutability, but more so socio-economic limitations influenced by high comparative costs. By including capacities in demand-substitutability via urban water conservation, maximum pre-dicted capacities reach 5.57 MAF/yr, indicating wide room for substitution. Based on these results, investment in social and institutional capital is an important factor to enhance demand-side substitutability of water and other natural resources, which has been somewhat neglected by the literature on the substitutability of natural resources.
    Keywords: Substitutability; Weak Sustainability; Water; Desalination; Water Recycling; California.
    JEL: Q01 Q25 Q56
    Date: 2017–07
  13. By: Mac Nhu Binh; Le Van An; Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy; Ngo Thi huong Giang; Ho Thi Thu Hoai; Truong Van Dan
    Abstract: Climate change is a major global concern that greatly affects people, including their source of living. In 2010, the Asian Development Bank reported that Vietnam is one of the five countries most severely affected by climate change. About 70 percent of the country's total population lives along coastal areas and in islands. This study aimed to (1) evaluate the impacts of climate change on aquaculture in Phu Vang district (Thua Thien Hue province, Vietnam), and (2) develop a climate change adaptation model for aquaculture. Data on impact of climate change to aquaculture production were gathered through participatory rural appraisal tools, while spatial changes in water quality were determined through Geographic Information System (GIS). Experimental polyculture models were set up in the five study-site communes to determine the aquaculture practices that could be disseminated to small farmers. It was found out that Phu Vang had suffered heavy losses from climate change brought about by a combination of droughts and prolonged heat waves, and cold weather that lasted longer. Floods and typhoons have likewise occurred with stronger intensities, and tide amplitude has changed drastically. All these affected agricultural activities, especially aquaculture, which is considered as one of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change impacts. As a result, many households shifted from intensive to extensive culture, and some even left their ponds for other jobs. The limited understanding and capacity of people on climate change aggravated the situation, affecting their ability to respond and mitigate negative impacts. Water quality, specifically for aquaculture, was also affected as a result of rising temperature, prolonged droughts, rainfall, flooding, and salinization, which in turn reduced productivity and yield. Meanwhile, polyculture models of aquaculture implemented for this study brought high economic returns, and could be promising to replicate in various communes of Phu Vang district. The following are the primary recommendations to mitigate climate change impact in aquaculture and to facilitate sustainable livelihood for coastal people: capacitate communities and government in climate change adaptation and mitigation; expand promising aquaculture practices, area, infrastructure, and marketing of produce; and implement policies to mitigate damages of climate change to aquaculture and the community as a whole.
    Keywords: climate change, aquaculture, Vietnam
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Shigute, Zemzem (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam); Strupat, Christoph (German Development Institute); Burchi, Francesco (German Development Institute); Alemu, Getnet (University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); Bedi, Arjun S. (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Rural households in Ethiopia are exposed to a variety of covariate and idiosyncratic risks. In 2005, the Ethiopian government introduced the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and in 2011 launched the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHI). This paper analyses the interaction between the two schemes and their joint effect on health care utilization, labor supply, asset accumulation and borrowing. The empirical analysis relies on three rounds of individual-level panel data collected in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and on several rounds of qualitative work. We find that individuals covered by both programs, as opposed to neither, are 5 percentage points more likely to use outpatient care and are 21 percentage points more likely to participate in off-farm work. Furthermore, participation in both programs is associated with a 5 percent increase in livestock, the main household asset, and a 27 percent decline in debt. These results suggest that at least in Ethiopia bundling of interventions enhances protection against multiple risks and shows the potential of linked social protection schemes.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, Productive Safety Net Program, Community Based Health Insurance Scheme, joint effect
    JEL: J22 I15
    Date: 2017–08
  15. By: Alberto Isgut, Ran Kim and Yusuke Tateno from the Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division. (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific)
    Abstract: The Asia-Pacific least developed countries (LDCs) have been making remarkable progress towards meeting the criteria for graduation. However, the high level of economic vulnerability to exogenous shocks, particularly those associated with natural disasters and climate change, has repeatedly disrupted the graduation process, leaving doubts on the ability of those countries to sustain their development gains in the long run. This suggests the need for a framework that goes beyond current graduation transition arrangements to build resilience and better reflects environmental and climate-related challenges of LDCs. Enhanced resilience does not only contribute to mitigating the adverse impact of natural disasters and climate change, but it also induces multiplier effects and helps LDCs make their structural transformation and graduation smooth and sustainable.
  16. By: Steve Gui-Diby and Oliver Paddison from the Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division. (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific)
    Abstract: To increase productivity in agriculture, appropriate policies and strategies are needed to affect a convergence of labour productivity across agriculture, industry and services. Such policies will, for one, include the removal of regulations that limit the movement of labour and capital across sectors. Importantly, absorbing labour from agriculture will require concerted efforts to improve its employability in other sectors: workers need to be retrained so that they can carry out different functions, can operate more sophisticated machines and can become industrial workers that are better able to utilize technical services in rural areas. This requires the provision of good-quality education and training systems. Furthermore, access to financial services, particularly for small and medium enterprises, needs to be improved, especially in rural areas, to foster rural industrialization.
  17. By: Edison Roi Macusi
    Abstract: Although fish aggregating devices (FADs) efficiently gather fish, save time and fuel, and alleviate food insecurity, their widespread use has become contentious because of the destructive impact on juvenile oceanic tuna. The call to regulate the number of deployed FADs has been continuous to reduce the unintended catching of non-target juvenile species of tuna. Improving the practice of using FADs could also benefit from studying fishers' spatial behavior, FAD distribution, and decision making. This research thus examined how fishers use their FADs and how their characteristics and socio-economic factors influence their decision making and catch productivity. Semi-structured interview was administered to a total of 229 respondents in four study sites—Mati City, Lupon, Governor Generoso, and General Santos City, all in Southern Philippines. On the other hand, focus group discussions (FGDs) clarified information on catch data and on factors essential to understand where fishers fish and where they deploy their FADs. Potential catch data estimates from logbooks of fishers provided information on probability of catch on FADs and influence of monsoon. Results showed that fishers decided where to fish based on weather and sea conditions, socio-economic factors such as price of fuel and fish, information from other fishers and their other activities, and the imposition of sea regulations. On the other hand, decision on where to deploy FADs were influenced by the availability of the area, information on the pathway of fish and sea current, information from other fishers on good locations, and previous catches from a particular area. The study also revealed that while FAD deployment might be a long-term strategy to keep fishing grounds, the high probability that a potential catch exists on FADs (>70%) has increased the deployment of FADs in nearshore areas. Excessive deployment of FADs has resulted to overfishing. To conserve fish resources, a moratorium on the number of boats and FADs should be implemented. Issuance of licences for boats, gears, and FADs should also be controlled and limited.
    Keywords: fishery, fish aggregating device, spatial effort allocation, Philippines
    Date: 2017
  18. By: Smith, Trenton G. (University of Otago); Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano); Craig, Stuart (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Obesity rates have risen dramatically in the US since the 1980s, but well-identified studies have struggled to explain the magnitude of the observed changes. In this paper, we estimate the causal impact of economic insecurity on obesity rates. Specifically, we construct a synthetic panel of demographic groups over the period 1988 to 2012 by combining the newly developed Economic Security Index (ESI) with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). According to our estimates, increased economic insecurity over this time period explains 50% of the overall population-level increase in obesity.
    Keywords: obesity, economic insecurity, economic security index
    JEL: D10 I12 I18 J60
    Date: 2017–08
  19. By: Junita Henry; Umakrishnan Kollamparambil
    Abstract: There is increasing concern regarding obesity related healthcare costs in South Africa. Obesity is also seen to have far reaching effects that seep into labour market outcomes (Barnett & Kumar, 2009). Using NIDS panel data, this study aims to examine the relationship between Body Mass Index and employment status as well as wage levels. This is done using a probit and tobit model and thereafter a system GMM model to take endogeneity into account. Thereafter, the paper uses ethnicity backed obesity thresholds to measure the discrimination obese individuals face on the probability of becoming employed and their wages earned once employed. It is found that obesity is indeed, an influencing factor and a source of discrimination within the labour market in South Africa. Moreover, this discrimination is seen to be more so for females than males.
    Keywords: Obesity, unemployment, Wages, Discrimination, Labour market, South Africa
    JEL: I14 J71 J31
    Date: 2017–08
  20. By: Kounetas, Kostas; Alexopoulos, Elias; Tzelepis, Dimitris
    Abstract: This study examines the causal linkage between environmental and financial performance in Greek manufacturing firms. Environmental performance is measured according to accounting data following the Eco Management and Auditing Scheme guidelines and ISO certification. Return on assets and return on sales are used as indicators of financial performance. Empirical findings suggest that there seems to be a link between these dimensions irrespectively of the particular sector of activity. Contrary to similar studies a “virtuous circle” does not exist as the avoidance of environmental improving investments is related to a better financial performance. On the other hand firms with superior financial performance seem to achieve a better environmental performance. At the same time firm specific and market characteristics significantly affect this relationship. These findings provide evidence that governmental and corporate actions are necessary in order to lead to a more sustainable corporate performance in the long run
    Keywords: environmental performance; financial performance; causality; GMM; Greece.
    JEL: Q0 Q00 Q56
    Date: 2016–03–01

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