nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2017‒10‒22
nineteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Roles of Agricultural Transformation in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals on Poverty, Hunger, Productivity, and Inequality By Katsushi S. Imai
  2. Technical Efficiency Analysis of Wheat Farms in the Punjab, Pakistan: DEA Approach By Muhammad Aamir, Shahzad; Waqar, Akram; Muhammad, Khan
  3. Drivers of farmers' income: The role of farm size and diversification By Varun Kumar Das; A. Ganesh Kumar
  4. Welfare and Environmental Impact of Incentive Based Conservation: Evidence from Kenyan Community Forest Associations By Boscow Okumu; Edwin Muchapondwa
  5. Supply-Side Subsidies to Improve Food Access and Dietary Outcomes: Evidence from the New Markets Tax Credit By Matthew Freedman; Annemarie Kuhns
  6. Coaseian Biodiversity Conservation. Who Benefits? By Thomas Eichner; Rüdiger Pethig
  7. Between the Engine and the Fifth Wheel: An Analytical Survey of the Shifting Roles of Agriculture in Development Theory By Andersson, Martin; Rohne Till, Emelie
  8. Working Paper 288 - Return to Investment in Agricultural Cooperatives in Ethiopia By AfDB AfDB
  9. 2017 global hunger index: The inequalities of hunger: Synopsis By von Grebmer, Klaus; Bernstein, Jill; Hossain, Naomi; Brown, Tracy; Prasai, Nilam; Yohannes, Yisehac; Patterson, Fraser; Sonntag, Andrea; Zimmerman, Sophia-Maria; Towey, Olive; Foley, Connell
  10. Roads & SDGs, tradeoffs and synergies: Learning from Brazil's Amazon in distinguishing frontiers By Pfaff, Alexander S. P.; Robalino, Juan D.; Reis, Eustáquio José; Walker, Robert T.; Perz, Stephen George L.; Laurance, William F.; Bohrer, Claudio; Aldrich, Steven; Arima, E. Y.; Caldas, Marcellus Marques; Kirby, Katherine
  11. A Cost-Benefit Approach for Prioritizing Invasive Species By Pierre Courtois; Charles Figuières; Chloe Mulier; Joakim Weill
  12. Unilateral climate Policy and the Green Paradox: Extraction Costs matter By Kollenbach, Gilbert
  13. The Intricacy of Adapting to Climate Change: Flood Protection as a Local Public Goods Game By Anton Bondarev; Beat Hintermann; Frank C. Krysiak; Ralph Winkler
  14. Livestock asset dynamics among pastoralists in Northern Kenya By Mburu, Samuel; Kaiser, Micha; Sousa-Poza, Alfonso
  15. Validity and Reliability of Contingent Valuation and Life Satisfaction Measures of Welfare: An Application to the Value of National Olympic Success By Brad R. Humphreys; Bruce K. Johnson; John C. Whitehead
  16. Utilitarian framings of biodiversity shape environmental impact assessment in development cooperation By Jean Huge; Anne Julie A.J. Rochette; Luc L. Janssens de Bisthoven; Farid Dahdouh-Guebas; Nico Koedam; Maarten P M M.P.M. Vanhove
  17. Working Paper 286 - Climatic Shocks and Food Security The Role of Foreign Aid By AfDB AfDB
  18. Barriers to the development of temperate agroforestry as an example of agroecological innovation: Mainly a matter of cognitive lock-in? By Line Louah; Marjolein Visser; Alice Blaimont; Charles De Cannière
  19. Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) of Green Waste: An Environmental and Economic Assessment of HTC Coal in the Metropolitan Region of Berlin, Germany By Jakob Medick; Isabel Teichmann; Claudia Kemfert

  1. By: Katsushi S. Imai (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan and School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of the transformation of the rural agricultural sector in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2 and 10 drawing upon the cross-country panel data over the past four decades for 105 developing countries. We define agricultural transformation by three different indices, namely, (i) the agricultural openness index – the share of agricultural export in agricultural value added of the country, (ii) the commercialization index - the share of processed agricultural products, fruits, green vegetables, and meats in all primary and processed agricultural products, and (iii) the product diversification index to capture the extent to which the country diversify the agricultural production. Drawing upon the dynamic panel model, we have found that transformation of the agricultural sector in terms of agricultural openness has dynamically increased the overall agricultural productivity and its growth and has consequently reduced national, rural and urban poverty significantly. We have also found that agricultural openness tends to significantly alleviate child malnutrition, namely underweight and stunting, and improve food security in terms of energy supply adequacy, protein supply, lack of food deficit and reduction of the prevalence of anaemia among pregnant women. The agricultural openness is found to be negatively associated with the Gini coefficient at both national and subnational levels (for both rural and urban areas). Except for Latin America, product diversification reduces agricultural productivity, implying the efficiency gains from economies of scale of fewer crops. On the other hand, we argue that the commercialisation does not generally increase the agricultural productivity and this may be related to a positive effect of the higher share of cereal production on productivity observed in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. It has been suggested that policies improving the efficiency of agricultural production, for example through better rural infrastructure, or promoting agricultural exports, through regional economic integrations or reducing transaction costs such as tariff and non-tariff barriers, would help to achieve SDGs 1, 2 and 10 indirectly through the productivity improvement. However, a separate policy to support the poorest below the US$1.90 a day poverty line is also necessary for achieving SDG 1.
    Date: 2017–10
  2. By: Muhammad Aamir, Shahzad; Waqar, Akram; Muhammad, Khan
    Abstract: The wheat productivity in the Punjab is less than the potential maximum due to technical farm and management issues. The farm level panel survey data was used for the said purpose comprising 17 districts of the province of the Punjab from the period 2005-06 to 2007-08. The technical efficiency of wheat farms was analyzed using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach. Subsequently, the same was calculated by analyzing the socioeconomic factors responsible for (in) efficiency using Tobit Regression Model. The DEA didn’t accommodate statistical noise such as random shocks which were beyond the control of farmers. However, the technical efficiency of wheat farms was estimated using the DEA approach. The mean technical efficiency estimated through variable return to scale (VRS) was 60.13 percent and constant return to scale (CRS) was 56.61 percent. The results of analyses were supported by the literature. The technical efficiency could be improved by educating the young farmers, building road infrastructure and providing access to essential inputs to farmers. The study undertaken supports the argument that technically wheat farmers are less efficient in the Punjab, Pakistan.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis, Variable Return to Scale, Constant Return to Scale.
    JEL: Q12 Q18
    Date: 2016–10–01
  3. By: Varun Kumar Das (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research); A. Ganesh Kumar (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: The basic objective of this study is to analyse the role of farm size and diversification in determining farmers' income. Using data from NSS 70th round Situation Assessment Survey, the study considers two measures of income, viz., farm income per hectare (from crop and animal husbandry) and farmer's income per capita (from both farm and non-farm sources). Linear, log linear and panel data models are estimated to understand the nature of relationship between income, farm size and the two forms of diversification (on-farm and off-farm diversification). The study finds that a U-shaped relationship exists between farm size and farm / farmer's income. The results also show that both on-farm and off-farm diversification have an inverted U-shape relationship with farm / farmer's income. That is, diversification up to some level helps improve income but excessive diversification might lead to misallocation of resources and hence a fall in income. The results also show that engagement in public works programme such as MGNREGA has an adverse impact on farm / farmer's income, possibly due to the opportunity cost of time spent in such programmes. Finally, positive effect of education on income is seen only at somewhat high education levels.
    Keywords: Farm size, farm income, farmer's income, on-farm / off-farm diversification
    JEL: L25 Q12 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2017–09
  4. By: Boscow Okumu; Edwin Muchapondwa
    Abstract: This paper focuses on whether the provision of landless forest-adjacent communities with options to grow appropriate food crops inside forest reserves during early stages of reforestation programmes enable vertical transition of low income households and conserves forests. We consider the welfare and environmental impact of a unique incentive scheme known as the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS) in Kenya. PELIS was aimed at deepening community participation in forestry, and improving the economic livelihoods of adjacent communities. Using data collected from 22 Community Forest Associations and 406 households, we evaluated the mean impact of the scheme on forest cover and household welfare using matching methods and further assessed the heterogeneous impact of the scheme on household welfare using the endogenous quantile treatment effects model. The study revealed that on average, PELIS had a significant and positive impact on overall household welfare (estimated between 15.09% and 28.14%) and on the environment (between 5.53% and 7.94%). However, in terms of welfare, the scheme cannot be defended on equity grounds as it has inequitable distributional impacts on household welfare. The scheme raises welfare of the least poor than the poorest and marginalizes sections of the community through elite capture and lack of market linkages.
    Keywords: household welfare, heterogeneity, Selection Matching, QTE
    JEL: D02 Q23
    Date: 2017–08
  5. By: Matthew Freedman (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine); Annemarie Kuhns (US Department of Agriculture)
    Abstract: In an effort to improve diet and health outcomes, policymakers have increasingly turned to supply-side subsidies aimed at encouraging investment by supermarkets and other food retailers in low-income areas. This paper examines whether the U.S. federal government’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) has affected the entry of retail food establishments, and in turn food shopping and purchasing patterns, in low-income communities. To identify the impacts of the program, we take advantage of a discontinuity in NMTC funding generated by the formula used to determine the eligibility of census tracts for investment under the program. We find that the NMTC Program has had modest, but positive impacts on supermarket entry in low-income communities. Based on household-level scanner data, there are no detectable effects on households’ food purchasing patterns in affected neighborhoods, at least in the short run.
    Keywords: Place-based policies; Retail food; Tax incentives; Community health; Regression discontinuity
    JEL: H25 I18 R23
    Date: 2017–10
  6. By: Thomas Eichner; Rüdiger Pethig
    Abstract: We consider a world economy, in which the global public good ’biodiversity’ is positively correlated with that share of land which is protected by land-use restrictions against the deterioration of habitats and ecosystems. The willingness-to-pay for biodiversity conservation is positive in ’rich’ developed countries (North), but very low in ’poor’ developing countries (South). Taking the no-policy scenario (Regime 1) as our point of departure, we analyze the changes in allocations and welfare when the North financially supports biodiversity conservation in the South – as stipulated in the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992). We model that support as a market for biodiversity conservation and distinguish the cases, in which the North does (Regime 3) or does not (Regime 2) coordinate its biodiversity conservation actions. Our numerical examples exhibit various unexpected and even undesirable results. The move from Regime 1 to Regime 2 hardly improves welfare and biodiversity in our examples irrespective of whether governments act strategically. That may explain the low level of North’s financial support of biodiversity in the South we observe in practice. Without strategic action, the move from Regime 1 to 3 enhances aggregate welfare, because Regime 3 is efficient, but the North or the South may be worse off due to unfavorable changes in their terms-of-trade. If governments act strategically, the aggregate welfare may decline when moving from Regime 1 to 3, but the welfare changes with opposite signs for North and South tend to be smaller than without strategic action.
    Keywords: biodiversity, conservation, protected areas, developing countries
    JEL: Q15 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Andersson, Martin (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Rohne Till, Emelie (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: Over the last decade, attention to agricultural development in less developed countries has increased. However, two opposing views on its role in economic development exist within the scholarly debate, either as a potential engine for economic growth or as a fifth wheel unlikely to generate transformative growth. Taking these contrary opinions as a point of departure, this paper reviews the origins of prominent views of the role of agriculture in development theory. Next it bibliometrically assesses the pattern of fluctuating scholarly attention to agriculture, and attempts to understand the reasons behind this pattern. The paper identifies four influential views on agriculture in development theory; five distinct phases of ups and downs in the scholarly attention to agriculture and discusses five potential reasons behind these fluctuations.
    Keywords: agriculture; economic development; development theory; bibliometric analysis
    JEL: N50 O13 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2017–09–01
  8. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2017–10–04
  9. By: von Grebmer, Klaus; Bernstein, Jill; Hossain, Naomi; Brown, Tracy; Prasai, Nilam; Yohannes, Yisehac; Patterson, Fraser; Sonntag, Andrea; Zimmerman, Sophia-Maria; Towey, Olive; Foley, Connell
    Abstract: The 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report—the twelfth in an annual series—presents a multidimensional measure of hunger at the global, regional, and national levels. It shows that the world has made progress in reducing hunger since 2000, but that this progress has been uneven, with levels of hunger still serious or alarming in 51 countries and extremely alarming in one country. This year’s report shines a light on the inequalities underlying hunger—including geographic, income, and gender inequality—and the inequalities of social, political, and economic power in which they are rooted.
    Keywords: Americas; South America; Europe; Asia; Africa South of Sahara; Africa; hunger; nutrition; health; malnutrition; gender; women; income; economic development; food policies; food security; nutrition security; inequality
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Pfaff, Alexander S. P.; Robalino, Juan D.; Reis, Eustáquio José; Walker, Robert T.; Perz, Stephen George L.; Laurance, William F.; Bohrer, Claudio; Aldrich, Steven; Arima, E. Y.; Caldas, Marcellus Marques; Kirby, Katherine
    Abstract: To inform the search for SDG synergies in infrastructure provision, and to reduce SDG tradeoffs, the authors show that road impacts on Brazilian Amazon forests have varied significantly across settings. Forest loss varied predictably with prior development - both prior roads and prior deforestation - and in a spatial pattern suggesting a synergy between forests and urban growth in such frontiers. Examining multiple roads investments, the authors estimate impact for settings of high, medium and low prior roads and deforestation. Census-tract observations are numerous for each setting and reveal a pattern, not consistent with endogeneity, that confirms our predictions for this kind of frontier. Impacts are: low after relatively high prior development; larger for medium prior development, at the forest margin; then low again for low prior development. For the latter setting, the authors note that in such isolated areas, interactions with conservation policies influence forest impacts over time. These Amazonian results suggest "SDG strategic" locations of infrastructure, an idea they suggest for other frontiers while highlighting differences in those frontiers and their SDG opportunities.
    Keywords: deforestation,roads,infrastructure,climate change,biodiversity,Brazil
    JEL: O12 O13 H23 H41 Q23 Q24 Q56
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Pierre Courtois (INRA - SAE2, LAMETA); Charles Figuières (Aix-Marseille Univ. (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS and Centrale Marseille); Chloe Mulier (Innovation, Montpellier); Joakim Weill (Dpt of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2159 Social Sciences and Humanities, University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: Biological invasions entail massive biodiversity losses and tremendous economic impacts that justify significant management efforts. Because the funds available to control biological invasions are limited, there is a need to identify priority species. This paper first review current invasive species prioritization methods and explicitly highlights their pitfalls. We then construct a cost-benefit optimization framework that incorporates species utility, ecological value, distinctiveness, and species interactions. This framework offers the theoretical foundations of a simple and operational method for the management of invasive species under a limited budget constraint. It takes the form of an algorithm for the prioritization of multiple biological invasions.
    Keywords: prioritization, biological invasions, cost/benefit, optimization, diversity
    JEL: Q28 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2017–09
  12. By: Kollenbach, Gilbert
    Abstract: To analyze the effect of unilaterally tightened climate policies, we augment the two country model of Hoel (2011) with fossil fuel extraction costs. It turns out that a tighter climate policy of the country with the initially stricter policy causes neither a weak nor a strong green paradox if the fossil fuel stock is sufficiently small. In case of a tighter climate policy in the country with the initially laxer policy, a weak green paradox depends on the price-elasticity of energy demand.
    JEL: Q41 Q42 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Anton Bondarev; Beat Hintermann; Frank C. Krysiak; Ralph Winkler
    Abstract: We study adaptation to climate change in a federalist setting. To protect themselves against an increase in flood risk, regional governments choose among adaptation measures that vary with respect to their costs, the level of protection they offer, and the presence and nature of spillovers to neighboring regions. The central government can provide co-funding in response to specific proposals. If it has to deduce the vulnerability of regions by their actions, the resulting adaptation measures are too costly from a social point of view. The results show that adaptation cannot be expected to be efficient without specifically designed incentive schemes.
    Keywords: climate change, adaptation, federalism, asymmetric information, vertical interaction, spillovers, non-cooperative games, signaling
    JEL: C72 C73 H23 H41 H77 Q52 Q54 Q58 R53
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Mburu, Samuel; Kaiser, Micha; Sousa-Poza, Alfonso
    Abstract: Understanding household-level asset dynamics has important implications for designing relevant poverty reduction policies. To advance this understanding, we develop a microeconomic model to analyze the impact of a shock (for example a drought) on the behavioral decisions of pastoralists in Northern Kenya. Using household panel data this study then explores the livestock asset dynamics using both non-parametric and semi-parametric techniques to establish the shape of the asset accumulation path and to determine whether multiple equilibria exist. More specifically, using tropical livestock units as a measure of livestock accumulation over time, we show not only that these assets converge to a single equilibrium but that forage availability and herd diversity play a major role in such livestock accumulation.
    Keywords: poverty dynamics,pastoralists,livestock,semi-parametric estimation,Kenya
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Brad R. Humphreys; Bruce K. Johnson; John C. Whitehead
    Abstract: The contingent valuation method (CV) has long been used to estimate nonmarket values of environmental and other public goods and amenities. Recently, life satisfaction (LS) measures have been used to estimate nonmarket values. This paper empirically compares CV and LS measures of welfare. We elicit willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimates for medals won by Canadian athletes and LS measures using Canadian survey data collected before and after the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. These data permit comparative analyses of reliability and validity of CV and LS measures. Both exhibit econometric reliability. CV and LS WTP estimates for medals increases after the Olympics. CV measures of WTP exhibit temporal reliability but LS measures of welfare lack temporal reliability and are significantly greater than CV measures. Key Words: contingent valuation method; life satisfaction method; willingness-to-pay; validity reliability
    JEL: C18 C52 D12 D62 I15 Q51
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Jean Huge; Anne Julie A.J. Rochette; Luc L. Janssens de Bisthoven; Farid Dahdouh-Guebas; Nico Koedam; Maarten P M M.P.M. Vanhove
    Abstract: Biodiversity is under threat from anthropogenic pressures, in particular in biodiversity-rich developing countries. Development cooperation actors, who traditionally focus on the improvement of socio-economic conditions in the South, are increasingly acknowledging the linkages between poverty and biodiversity, e.g. by referring to the ecosystem services framework. However, there are many different framings which stress the need for biodiversity integration and which influence how biodiversity and development are and/or should be linked. Moreover, there is a gap between the lip service paid to biodiversity integration and the reality of development cooperation interventions. This study analyses how biodiversity framings are reflected in environmental impact assessment (EIA) practice, and how these framings influence EIA and decision-making. The findings, based on an in-depth qualitative analysis of World Bank EIAs undertaken in West Africa, indicate the incoherent quality but also the dominance of the ‘utilitarian’ and ‘corrective’ framings, which respectively stress human use of nature and mitigation of negative unintended development impacts. Identifying and highlighting these discursive trends leads to increased awareness of the importance of biodiversity among all development actors in North and South. However, some framings may lead to an overly narrow human-centred approach which downplays the intrinsic value of biodiversity. This study proposes recommendations for an improved integration of biodiversity in development cooperation, including the need for more systematic baseline studies in EIAs.
    Keywords: Africa; Baseline; Biodiversity; Development cooperation; Environmental impact assessment (EIA)
    Date: 2017–09
  17. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2017–10–04
  18. By: Line Louah; Marjolein Visser; Alice Blaimont; Charles De Cannière
    Abstract: Agroforestry (AF) is promoted as an environmentally sound farming practice to address the pressing challenges of meeting a rising global demand for agricultural commodities while conserving biodiversity. Although AF played an important role in European farming in the past, reintroducing the planting of trees in fields is a radical innovation in the modern context, and is, initially, a researcher's idea. This paper investigates stakeholders’ perspectives on modern AF in two contrasting sub-regions of southern Belgium (Wallonia). Using Q methodology to identify patterns of subjectivity, we found that the conversation splits into three idealised-types of discourse that reflect different farming styles. Only one of the three discourses is in favour of AF. The results indicate that the paradigm type (holism vs. reductionism) underlying each discourse is a major factor that influences stakeholders’ position on AF. The main barriers hampering mainstreaming of AF seem cognitive in nature, and are related to the level of ecological knowledge. By exploring the ‘cognitive unlocking process’, our Q methodological study led to the identification of two readily available strategies to scale up AF: (1) ecological education and (2) social learning within multi-actor innovation networks. Such networks could foster on-farm innovation development and research, in which the farmer is an expert at the same level as the researcher. While this study focuses on the development of AF, the findings could be extrapolated to other agroecological innovations.
    Keywords: Agroecology; Agroforestry; Qmethodology; Stakeholder perception
    Date: 2017–09
  19. By: Jakob Medick; Isabel Teichmann; Claudia Kemfert
    Abstract: Based on a life-cycle sustainability assessment and the calculation of carbon abatement costs, we quantify the greenhouse-gas emission reductions and costs if green waste in the metropolitan region of Berlin, Germany, is diverted from composting into the production of hydrothermally carbonized coal (HTC coal) that is used as a substitute for hard coal in the generation of electricity and heat. Depending on the geographical origin of the green waste, we specify an urban scenario, a rural-urban scenario, and a rural scenario. Approximately 302 kilogram (kg) of carbon-dioxide equivalents (CO2e) can be saved per megagram (Mg) of fresh-matter (FM) input in the urban scenario, 298 kg CO2e/Mg FM input in the rural-urban scenario, and 316 kg CO2e/Mg FM input in the rural scenario. All three scenarios combined can mitigate a total of 70,511 Mg CO2e per year. This corresponds to about 1.6% of Berlin’s annual greenhouse-gas reduction targets overthe 2005-2020 period. If only private costs are considered, the HTC scenarios are less profitable than their reference cases. However, the inclusion of emissionrelated damage costs has the potential to render them socially preferable. The respective thresholds for social desirability coincide with the carbon abatement costs, about 163 €/Mg CO2e in the urban scenario, 74 €/Mg CO2e in the rural-urban scenario, and 75 €/Mg CO2e in the rural scenario. The lower abatement costs in the latter two scenarios are due to HTC-coal co-firing in an existing power plant rather than mono-firing it in a newly built biomass power plant. This shows that a comparatively favorable use of HTC coal might be as a bridging technology.
    Keywords: Hydrothermal carbonization, char, biocoal, climate change, renewable energy, biomass, waste management, life cycle
    JEL: Q42 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2017

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