nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2017‒12‒11
24 papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Three essays on environmental and resource economics By Meyer, Kevin Michael
  2. Fairness to dairy cows or fairness to farmers: What counts more in the preferences of conventional milk buyers for ethical attributes of milk? By Markova-Nenova, Nonka; Wätzold, Frank
  3. Impact of India's demonetization on domestic agricultural markets By Nidhi Aggarwal; Sudha Narayanan
  4. Three essays on agricultural and environmental economics By Kim, Hyunseok
  5. Temperature shocks, growth and poverty thresholds: evidence from rural Tanzania By Marco Letta; Pierluigi Montalbano; Richard S.J. Tol
  6. Climate Change and the Water-Energy- Food Nexus in the MENA Region By Rabi H. Mohtar
  7. Big-Data-Augmented Approach to Emerging Technologies Identification: Case of Agriculture and Food Sector By Leonid Gokhberg; Ilya Kuzminov; Pavel Bakhtin; Elena Tochilina; Alexander Chulok; Anton Timofeev; Alina Lavrinenko
  8. Contract Farming, Farm Mechanization, and Agricultural Intensification: The Case of Rice Farming in Cote d’Ivoire By Yukichi Y.; Mano Yukichi Y.; Takahashi Kazushi; Otsuka Keijiro
  9. Are daily agricultural grains prices stationary? New evidence from GARCH-based unit root tests By Afees A. Salisu; Tirimisyu F. Oloko
  10. Subjective beliefs and decision making under uncertainty in the field By Agarwal, Sandip Kumar
  11. Cooperative Wineries and Wine Marketing in Spain By Francisco J. Medina-Albaladejo; Jordi Planas
  12. Investment in Education, Obesity and Health Behaviours By BARONE, Adriana; NESE, Annamaria
  13. Physical water use and water sector activity in environmental input-output analysis By Oluwafisayo Alabi; Max Mundy; Kim Swales; Karen Turner
  14. Improving access to savings through mobile money: Experimental evidence from smallholder farmers in Mozambique By Catia Batista; Pedro Vicente
  15. Regulating transgenic soybean production in Argentina By Pascale PHELINAS; Sonia SCHWARTZ
  16. An Empirical Test for Costs Subadditivity in the Fishery Sector By Laura Onofri; Francesc Maynou
  17. Geography and Agricultural Productivity: Cross-Country Evidence from Micro Plot-Level Data By Diego Restuccia; Tasso Adamopoulos
  18. Nudging Participation and Spatial Agglomeration in Payment for Environmental Service Schemes By Laure Kuhfuss; Raphaële Préget; Sophie Thoyer; Frans P. de Vries; Nick Hanley
  19. Market Inefficiencies and the Adoption of Agricultural Technologies in Developing Countries By B Kelsey Jack
  20. Incentivising Participation and Spatial Coordination in Payment for Ecosystem Service Schemes:Forest Disease Control Programs in Finland By Oleg Sheremet; Enni Ruokamo; Artti Juutinen; Rauli Svento; Nick Hanley
  21. A methodological note for the development of integrated aquaculture production models By Stella Tsani; Phoebe Koundouri
  22. International Fisheries Access Agreements and Trade By Tatyana Chesnokova; Stephanie F. McWhinnie
  23. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: A comparative analysis of property rights in solid waste By Giuseppe Danese
  24. Policies for forest landscape management – A conceptual approach with an empirical application for Swedish Conditions By Zabel, Astrid; Bostedt, Göran; Ekvall, Hans

  1. By: Meyer, Kevin Michael
    Abstract: Environmental issues in modern day Iowa are a perfect example of the indirect consequences of exploiting natural resources. Over 12,000 years ago, glaciers left the state with rich and fertile soil, perfect for agriculture. Over the course of more than one hundred years, Iowa's landscape has been cleared and drained to gain access to this valuable farmland. While the economic benefits of agriculture are clear, it is important to understand the environmental consequences of this transformation. This dissertation uses economic tools and analysis to investigate three environmental and resource issues related to the complex interplay between Iowa agriculture and the environment.The first chapter examines the relationship between an important adaptive tool, tile drainage, and climate. Tile drainage is largely responsible for transforming Iowa from mostly wetlands into prime farmland. It fundamentally changes the relationship between land, climate, and soil, by draining away excess water, allowing crops to grow. This chapter uses observations from over 800,000 farms across the U.S. to estimate the relationship between farmland value and climate while explicitly incorporating tile drainage. We find fundamental differences in the relationship between tile drained and non-tile drained land, which has not been accounted for in previous research. Using climate projections, we estimate the impact of climate change on farmland and show how these estimates can be biased when tile drained and non-tile drained farms are pooled together.The second chapter looks at the relationship between land change and lake water quality. While most of Iowa's lakes are artificial, many are popular destinations for fishing, boating, swimming, and other recreational activities. But their close proximity to farmland results in high nutrient levels and decreased water quality, which can reduce recreational and ecosystem benefits. This chapter combines fifteen years of water quality measurements with satellite images of land use to estimate the impact of land use change on water quality. These estimates are used to assess the lake water quality impacts of the Renewable Fuel Policy, a government policy which has had a large impact on agriculture and land use in Iowa.The third chapter is concerned with the optimal management of the Iowa deer population through hunting licenses. Although not all species have benefited from the transformation of Iowa's landscape, the deer population has thrived due to a lack of predators and an abundant new food source in crops. While deer hunters enjoy a large population of deer, farmers and drivers face costs due to crop depredation and deer vehicle collisions, creating a complex management problem. This chapter uses the tools of dynamic programming to solve for an optimal policy that balances these opposing interests.Altering the natural landscape turned Iowa into one of the most productive farming regions in the world, but has also created the need to balance intensive farming practices with the impacts on the surrounding environment. The tools of economics provide an appealing framework to propose solutions to these problems. The goal of the following three chapters is to use these tools to shed some light on three such issues Iowa currently faces. The insight and results from this research will hopefully help inform future researchers and policymakers in Iowa and beyond.
    Date: 2017–01–01
  2. By: Markova-Nenova, Nonka; Wätzold, Frank
    Abstract: We investigate the willingness-to-pay (WTP) of German conventional milk buyers for ethical attributes of milk production through a choice experiment. Respondents have the highest WTP for animal welfare – free-stall plus summer pasture – followed by biodiversity conservation, support for small, below-average-income farms, and regional milk production. Respondents also have a positive WTP to support all farms but only in combination with regional production. We further find a positive WTP to support small farms in combination with tethering. This implies animal-welfare concerns are somewhat counterbalanced by fairness aspects. Our insights may support developing labels for ethical aspects of milk production.
    Keywords: dairy production, ethical attributes, fairness, choice modelling, latent class model, biodiversity, grassland
    JEL: Q13 Q18 Q5 Q51 Q57
    Date: 2017–12–01
  3. By: Nidhi Aggarwal (Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur); Sudha Narayanan (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the impact on domestic trade in agricultural commodities of India's demonetization exercise that invalidated 86 of the currency in circulation. Using data on arrivals and prices from close to 3000 regulated markets in India for 35 major agricultural commodities for the period 2011-2017, we focus on short term effects up to 3 months after demonetization, tracking both the impact and recovery. These 35 commodities account for an overwhelming share of land under cultivation and value of production and hence are representative of Indian agriculture in more than one sense. Using earlier years as comparison years, we use a combination of difference in differences techniques and synthetic control methods to identify the causal impact of demonetization. We find that demonetization has displaced domestic agricultural trade in regulated markets by over 15 in the short run settling at 7 after recovery at the end of the 90 day period after demonetization. Trade in perishables was displaced to the extent of 23 in the week following demonetization. It recovered slightly by the end of 90 days, but was still 18 lower than the usual. Most of this decline is on account of the significant decline in prices rather than of arrivals, which appear to have recovered over a period of three months. There are significant differences across commodities but almost all of these are in expected ways. The impacts are sharpest for kharif crops where government intervention is minimal or absent and for perishables and least for crops where farmers are well organized or commodities which governments actively procure. Robustness checks and falsification tests support our findings to a large extent. Overall, it seems to be the case that the monetary contraction embodied in demonetization significantly impacted arrivals and prices, though the price impacts are perhaps more lasting. The findings from this analysis and anecdotal evidence from field visits suggest that the impacts of demonetization potentially have effects that could last beyond the immediate impact.
    Keywords: demonetization, agricultural markets, India, difference-in-differences, synthetic control
    JEL: E5 E51 Q02 Q11 Q13
    Date: 2017–11
  4. By: Kim, Hyunseok
    Abstract: This dissertation consists of three essays that explore the effects of biofuel and environmental policies on relevant industries. The first essay focuses on examining the market impacts and welfare consequences of U.S. biofuel policies. The second essay quantifies the U.S. agricultural supply response during the biofuel policy period. The third essay focuses on understanding the performance of a different kind of market-based policies in reducing industry-wide emissions.The U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS), initiated in 2005 and extended in 2007, has been rationalized as pursuing, for example, reduction of greenhouse gas emission and reduction of the U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources. While its effects on food prices and actual environmental benefits remain controversial, the first essay constructs a multi-market equilibrium model and assesses the current and future economic effects of the RFS. The model integrates the U.S. agricultural sector with the energy sector and explicitly considers both U.S. ethanol and biodiesel production. The model is parameterized to represent observed 2015 data as status quo and then simulated to analyze alternative scenarios. The results confirm that the current RFS program considerably benefits the agricultural sector but also leads to overall welfare gains for the United States. Implementation of projected 2022 mandates, which would require further expansion of biodiesel production, would lead to a considerable welfare loss (relative to the status quo).While the abovementioned analysis relies on elasticities from the literature, the second essay directly quantifies the U.S. corn and soybean dynamic supply response. The RFS has been credited with being one of the main causes of (i) the recent global commodity price increases and (ii) the spatial changes in prices by affecting local basis nearby biofuel plants. The presence of these two demand-induced price effects provides an ideal opportunity to revisit the econometric analysis of the agricultural supply response. By focusing on recent years (2005-2015), therefore, the acreage and yield responses are estimated by using county-level panel data for the twelve Midwest states. The results indicate that the acreage and yield responses are highly inelastic. With relatively significant cross-price acreage elasticities, when corn and soybean prices move together, the response of the total acreage of these two key crops is very small. This result indicates that the ability of the U.S. corn and soybean production sector to accommodate the demand shock caused by the RFS is limited.As alternatives to command-and-control-type instruments such as mandates, market-based policies, such as voluntary agreement (VA) and Pigouvian tax, can be used to deal with environmental externalities. Given the increasing use of VAs, the third essay examines the performance of VA, relative to a tax policy and laissez faire policy, as a way to reduce environmental pollution. We find that when the market is non-competitive, the VA, relative to other policy options, improves welfare despite suffering from free-riding behavior. It is also found that as consumers value the green good more, the VA increases the number of green firms and provides a less competitive environment for free-riders, who increase the price of regular goods. As a result, the total market under the VA becomes less covered, at some point, than the tax policy. As for implementation, the potential gains from of the VA are attainable provided the regulator’s threat is credible and sufficiently strong.
    Date: 2017–01–01
  5. By: Marco Letta (Sapienza University of Rome); Pierluigi Montalbano (Sapienza University of Rome; University of Sussex); Richard S.J. Tol (University of Sussex; Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute, Amsterdam; CESifo, Munich)
    Abstract: Using the LSMS-ISA Tanzania National Panel Survey by the World Bank, we study the relationship between rural household consumption growth and temperature shocks over the period 2008 – 2013. Temperature shocks have a negative and significant impact on household growth only if their initial consumption lies below a critical threshold. As such, temperature shocks slow income convergence among households. Agricultural yields and labour productivity are the main transmission channels. These findings support the Schelling Conjecture: economic development would allow poor farming households to cope with climate change, and closing the yield gap and modernizing agriculture is crucial for adaptation to the negative impacts of global warming.
    Keywords: weather shocks; climate change; household consumption growth; rural development
    JEL: I32 O12 Q12 Q54
    Date: 2017–11
  6. By: Rabi H. Mohtar
    Abstract: Understanding the interlinkages between Climate Change and the water-energy-food securities is critical for developing effective strategies to adapt to projected changes and ensure sufficient access to these resources for a growing global population. This Policy Brief identifies some of the key factors and specific climate change impact in each of the water, energy and food sectors and possible adaptation strategies will be explored. Climate change is already happening; according the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Earth’s temperature has warmed faster in the last 3 decades than ever before since 1850; oceans have warmed around 0.11 C per decade in the last 40 years. The rate of sea level rise is now more than 3 mm per year since the 1990s (due to climate change and other aspects) (IPCC, 2014). These and other changes in climate such as precipitation have sever implications for human systems.
    Date: 2017–11
  7. By: Leonid Gokhberg (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Ilya Kuzminov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel Bakhtin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Elena Tochilina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alexander Chulok (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anton Timofeev (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alina Lavrinenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper discloses a new approach to emerging technologies identification, which strongly relies on capacity of big data analysis, namely text mining augmented by syntactic analysis techniques. It discusses the wide context of the task of identifying emerging technologies in a systemic and timely manner, including its place in the methodology of foresight and future-oriented technology analysis, its use in horizon scanning exercises, as well as its relation to the field of technology landscape mapping and tech mining. The concepts of technology, emerging technology, disruptive technology and other related terms are assessed from the semantic point of view. Existing approaches to technology identification and technology landscape mapping (in wide sense, including entity linking and ontology-building for the purposes of effective STI policy) are discussed, and shortcomings of currently available studies on emerging technologies in agriculture and food sector (A&F) are analyzed. The opportunities of the new big-data-augmented methodology are shown in comparison to existing results, both globally and in Russia. As one of the practical results of the study, the integrated ontology of currently emerging technologies in A&F sector is introduced. The directions and possible criteria of further enhancement and refinement of proposed methodology are contemplated, with special attention to use of bigger volumes of data, machine learning and ontology-mining / entity linking techniques for the maximum possible automation of the analytical work in the discussed field. The practical implication of the new approach in terms of its effectiveness and efficiency for evidence-based STI policy and corporate strategic planning are shortly summed up as well
    Keywords: Emerging technologies, foresight, strategic planning, STI policy, Russian Federation, agriculture, food sector, text mining, tech mining, STI landscape mapping, horizon scanning
    JEL: O1 O3
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Yukichi Y.; Mano Yukichi Y.; Takahashi Kazushi; Otsuka Keijiro
    Abstract: It is critically important to intensify farming systems by disseminating proper agronomic practices and promoting the increased application of inputs to raise agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the region’s public agricultural extension systems are weak, and their input and output markets often fail to function properly. Under these circumstances, contract farming (CF) is expected to be a promising way to overcome market imperfections by providing inputs, production training, and marketing services. We examine this possibility by analyzing the case of rice production CF in Cote d’Ivoire. We find that CF did not lead to farming intensification, due mainly to the inadequate and uncertain provision of tractor services. Further analysis reveals a complementarity between tractor use and labor inputs, whereby tractor use in land preparation enhanced the adoption of input- and labor-intensive practices in subsequent farming activities, thereby increasing labor use and improving land productivity. The diffusion of tractors is thus likely to be key to the intensification of rice farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: contract farming, rice production, tractor, farm mechanization, agricultural intensification, Green Revolution, sub-Saharan Africa, Cote d’Ivoire
    Date: 2017–11
  9. By: Afees A. Salisu (Centre for Econometric and Allied Research, University of Ibadan); Tirimisyu F. Oloko (Centre for Econometric and Allied Research, University of Ibadan)
    Abstract: In this paper, we employ the GARCH-based unit root tests including the one proposed by Narayan and Liu (NL) (2015) to further examine the stationarity of daily agricultural grain prices from 1986 to 2015. We also compare the performance of these tests with standard unit root tests. Our results suggest that the unit root test for agricultural grains prices is better modeled in the presence of GARCH process with a time trend and possibly one or two shifts in the intercept. The policy implications of these findings are well documented in the paper.
    Keywords: Trend, Structural break, Conditional heteroscedasticity, Unit root, Agricultural grains prices
    JEL: C12 C58 Q11
    Date: 2017–11
  10. By: Agarwal, Sandip Kumar
    Abstract: Nutrient management decision under uncertainty is a critical and complex decision that a farmer has to make on his field. It is complex as it is a decision that may be linked to several other decisions on their field.Research studies have shown that nutrient application alters the crop yield density. This indicates that nutrient is not limited to be a productive input, but it can also be used as a tool for risk management under uncertainty in agriculture.Researchers have developed models of decision making under uncertainty in agriculture and elsewhere, where strong restrictions on the decision making agents' perception and preferences has been imposed to identify the underlying decision process. Similar, framework has been used for studying the farmer's nutrient decision (mostly based on expected utility or expected profit maximization framework). In the process of modeling the nutrient decision, farmer's perception (expectations) about the nitrogen uncertainty is artificially constructed, which is assumed by researchers to be rational expectations. It is important to note that the choice of optimal nitrogen in a field is a subjective concept, which rests upon the truth and validity of the assumptions introduced in the decision making framework.This dissertation relaxes those arbitrary assumptions about the nitrogen uncertainty by measuring the subjective uncertainty perceived by a farmer surrounding the chosen level of nitrogen. Although, the uncertainty around the chosen level of nitrogen is measured, nothing much can be said about the choice of optimal nitrogen. The subjective expectations of farmer around the optimal level of nitrogen are measured and juxtaposed with the agronomic benchmark. This dissertation is a contribution to the field by providing factual evidence about the discordance between the subjective beliefs of farmers to objective reality. More broadly, this research is an effort towards advancement of the study of agriculture decision making under uncertainty by measurement of subjective expectations of farmer in context to nitrogen yield mapping, which when combined with risk preferences of farmer may be able to identify the true underlying nitrogen decision model for a farmer.
    Date: 2017–01–01
  11. By: Francisco J. Medina-Albaladejo (Universitat de València, València, Spain); Jordi Planas (Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)
    Abstract: Cooperative wineries emerged with a double objective: on the one hand, the common production ofwine, to reduce production costs and at the same time to increase the quality of the product; on the other hand, the common sale of wine, with a reduction of intermediaries and an improvement of the position of winegrowers in the marketing process. Both objectives had to lead to a higher remuneration for the product and, consequently, for producers’ income. In the wine sector producers were mainly small family farmers who faced a context of tendential fall in wine prices and, consequently, a decrease in their income. If the advantages of winemaking in common seem obvious, success in the second objective seems more doubtful. In this article we want to analyze the marketing of wine in Spain through the cooperative wineries: What was their role in the wine trade? What types of sales did they adopt and why? How did they adapt to changes in the wine consumption patterns?
    Keywords: Cooperative Wineries, Wine Trade, Twentieth Century, Spain
    JEL: L66 N84 Q13
    Date: 2017–12
  12. By: BARONE, Adriana (CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno - Italy); NESE, Annamaria (CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno - Italy)
    Abstract: This study reports new evidence on the association between educational outcomes for young adults in Italy (in terms of both schooling levels and type of education) and selected health behaviours (simultaneously taken). The results indicate the following: i) individuals who decide to stay at school longer also do things that improve their own health, such as not smoking, practicing physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and low consumption of unhealthy food (snacks, cakes, etc.), thereby confirming complementarities between investment in education and health (Fuchs, 2004, Becker 2007); and ii) particularly for females, a positive association is observed between the choice of Sciences vs. Humanities, a normal body weight and the adoption of healthy behaviours (not smoking, practising physical activity, and consuming healthy food).
    Keywords: Human capital; Education; Health Behaviour; Gender; Microeconometrics
    JEL: C25 I12 I21 J16 J24
    Date: 2017–10–26
  13. By: Oluwafisayo Alabi (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde); Max Mundy (Welsh Economy Research Unit (WERU), Cardiff University); Kim Swales (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde); Karen Turner (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper uses input-output accounting methods to identify the direct, indirect and induced physical demand for water. Previously the seminal work by Leontief (1970) has been employed to motivate a fuller account of issues related to sectors that generate and sectors that clean/treat polluting outputs (Allan et al 2007). The present paper extends this approach to deal with sectors that use a natural resource and the sector(s) that supply it. We focus on the case of water use and supply and a case study for the Welsh regional economy. The analysis shows how the proposed method, using both the quantity input-output model and the associated price dual, can be used to consider economy wide implications of the deviation between actual expenditure on the output of the water sector and actual physical water use. The price paid per physical amount of water appears to vary greatly amongst different uses. This may occur for various reasons. We argue that such analysis and information is essential for policy makers and regulators in understanding the demands on and supply of UK regional water resources, their role in supporting economic expansion, and can ultimately inform water sustainability objectives and strategies.
    Keywords: Water resources; Full Leontief environmental model; input-output; Multipliers; Wales
    JEL: C67 Q25 Q51 R11
    Date: 2016–09
  14. By: Catia Batista; Pedro Vicente
    Abstract: Investment in improved agricultural inputs is infrequent for smallholder farmers in Africa. One barrier may be limited access to formal savings. We designed and conducted a field experiment in rural Mozambique that randomized access to a savings account through mobile money to a sample of smallholder farmers. All subjects were given access to mobile money and information about fertilizer use. We also randomized whether closest farming friends were targeted by the same intervention. We find that the savings account increased savings, the probability of fertilizer use, by 31-36 pp, and the use of other agricultural inputs. We also show that the savings account increased household expenditures, in particular non-frequent ones. Our results suggest that the network intervention decreased social pressure to share resources and that the savings account protected farmers against this network pressure. JEL codes: D14, D85, Q12, Q14
    Keywords: Mobile money, savings, agriculture, smallholder farmers, social networks, field experiment, Mozambique, Africa. Length: 41 pages
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Pascale PHELINAS; Sonia SCHWARTZ (Université d'Auvergne(UdA))
    Abstract: This article investigates how to regulate transgenic soybean production in Argentina. Taking into account the broad range of negative externalities associated with transgenic soybean production, we explore the effects of two different policy instruments, namely a subsidy for non-transgenic soybean and production quotas for transgenic soybean. Taking into account the political and economic context in Argentina, we demonstrate that auctioned production quotas are the best way to achieve the regulation of transgenic soybean production. However, the organization of the agricultural sector in Argentina is such that "raising rivals’ costs" behavior could occur on the quota market although the output price is set exogenously. We show that auctioned quotas limit this anti-competitive behavior. Finally, we demonstrate that introducing a shadow cost of public funds leads to an increase in the optimal production level of transgenic soybean.
    Keywords: Transgenic soybean, Argentina, Glyphosate, Environmental regulation, Production quotas, Market power.
    JEL: Q58 Q32 Q38
    Date: 2017–11
  16. By: Laura Onofri; Francesc Maynou
    Abstract: The seminal work by Baumol et al. (1982) has highlighted the importance of analyzing firms’ costs structure. This allows to design proper policy measures and to understand the impacts of those policies in markets. The note presents an original method and an application for testing costs subadditivity in the fishery sector, by using a system of supply functions under strict conditions and assumptions. The method is practical, though robust, and can be applied in the absence of detailed data on costs structures. Under stringent hypothesis (that delimit the application) they can be inferred from the supply functions. Subadditivity in costs, in fact, is a more proper economic definition (and methodological approach) than traditional economies of scale in fishery. The latter, in fact, does not depend from the vessel technology, but on the degree of quantity and variety of fish species in the ocean.
    Keywords: Cost subadditivity, vessel, fishery, simultaneous equations model, 2SLS
    JEL: C01 C30 D24 Q22
    Date: 2017–11–10
  17. By: Diego Restuccia (University of Toronto); Tasso Adamopoulos (York University)
    Abstract: What accounts for the extremely low agricultural productivity in poor countries? We assess the quantitative role of geography and land quality for agricultural productivity differences across countries using high-resolution micro-geography data and a simple spatial accounting framework. Our rich spatial data provide in each plot of land covering the entire globe actual yields for crops produced and potential yields for 18 main crops that account for soil quality, climate conditions, and terrain topography. There is considerable heterogeneity in land quality across space, even within narrow geographic regions. Yet, we find that low agricultural productivity in poor countries is not due to poor land endowments. If countries produced current crops according to potential yields, the rich-poor agricultural yield gap would virtually disappear, from more than 200 percent to less than 5 percent. If in addition countries produced in each location the crop with the highest potential yield, the yield gap turns into a gain of 23 percent. Our evidence indicates that the rich-poor yield gap is mostly due to low efficiency in producing existing crops within plots in poor countries, with a smaller role for the composition of crops within plots and the distribution of crop production across plots within countries.
    Date: 2017
  18. By: Laure Kuhfuss (School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews); Raphaële Préget (INRA, UMR 1135 LAMETA, F-34000 Montpellier, France); Sophie Thoyer (Montpellier Supagro, UMR 1135 LAMETA, F-34000 Montpellier, France); Frans P. de Vries (Division of Economics, University of Stirling Management School, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK); Nick Hanley (School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: The environmental benefits from Payment for Environmental Service (PES) schemes can often be enhanced if landowners can be induced to enrol land in a spatially - coordinated manner. This is because the achievement of many targets for biodiversity conservation policy or water quality improvements are increasing in the spatial connectedness of enrolled land. One incentive mechanism which has been proposed by economists to achieve such connectedness is the Agglomeration Bonus (AB). There has also been an interest within the literature on PES design in using “nudges” to enhance participation and scheme performance. This paper explores whether a specific nudge in the form of information provided to participants on the relative environmental performance of their group can improve participation and spatial coordination, and enhance the AB performance. We design a laboratory experiment whereby the environmental benefits generated by a PES scheme are materialized by real contributions to an environmental charity, mirroring the situation in actual PES schemes where participants derive utility from contributing to the environmental outputs of the scheme, in addition to the monetary payoffs they receive. The experimental results confirm positive environmental outcomes derived under an AB, but the impact of the nudge is less environmentally effective. Interestingly, we find that the nudge does not significantly supercharge the AB, and can even worsen its performance
    Keywords: Social norms; Laboratory experiments; Coordination games; Agricultural policy;Environmental performance; Agri-environmental schemes; Charity
    JEL: C91 C92 Q15 Q18 Q57
    Date: 2017–11
  19. By: B Kelsey Jack
    Abstract: This paper summarizes selected research on market inefficiencies that constrain agricultural technology adoption and how these inefficiencies can be overcome. In developing country settings, agricultural technologies that would be profitable in an ideal world without market inefficiencies may go unadopted because of associated market failures, such as lack of access to credit or insecure property rights. The review organizes these barriers to adoption into seven categories and analyzes what we do and do not know about strategies to overcome these barriers. In analyzing this question, the review draws upon relevant findings from agricultural and non-agricultural studies in economics and related disciplines. Particular attention is given to studies that generate rigorous causal evidence, and areas lacking such evidence are noted.
    Keywords: technology adoption, agriculture, development, market failures
  20. By: Oleg Sheremet (Mathematics, University of Stirling); Enni Ruokamo (Oulu Business School, University of Oulu); Artti Juutinen (NAtural Resources Institute Finland); Rauli Svento (Oulu Business School, University of Oulu); Nick Hanley (School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: This paper considers the problem of designing PES-type contracts to encourage participation and spatial coordination amongst private forest owners in Finland. The aim of the policy is to increase efforts to mitigate risks from invasive forest pests and diseases. Such control actions yield spill-over benefits to other landowners and to wider society, meaning that the level of privately-optimal disease control is likely to be less than the socially-optimal level. The policy designer may wish to encourage spatial coordination in the uptake of such PES-type contracts, as spatial coordination delivers an increase in the effectiveness of control measures on disease risks. We conducted a choice experiment with private forest owners in Finland in October 2016. The study elicited the preferences of woodland owners with respect to the design of forest disease control contracts,and gauged their willingness to cooperate with neighbouring forest owners within the framework of such programs.
    Keywords: Choice Experiment; Payments for Ecosystem Services; Forest Pests and Diseases; Disease Control Measures; Spatial Coordination
    JEL: C35 Q23 Q57
    Date: 2017–11
  21. By: Stella Tsani (Athens University of Economics and Business); Phoebe Koundouri
    Abstract: Aquaculture production can yield significant economic, social and environmental effects. These exceed the financial costs and benefits aquaculture producers are faced with. We propose a methodology for the development of integrated production models that allow for the inclusion of the socio-economic and environmental effects of aquaculture into the production management. The methodology develops on a Social Cost-Benefit Analysis context and it includes three parts: i) environmental, that captures the interactions of aquaculture with the environment, ii) economic, that makes provision for the incorporation of economic determinants in the production models and iii) social, that introduces the social preferences to the production and management process. Alternatives to address data availability issues are also discussed. The methodology extends the assessment of the costs and benefits of aquaculture beyond pure financial metrics and beyond the quantification of private costs and benefits. It can also support the development of integrated models of aquaculture production that take into consideration both the private and the social costs and benefits associated with externalities and effects not appropriately captured by market mechanisms. The methodology can support aquaculture management and policies targeting sustainable and efficient aquaculture production and financing from an economic, financial, social and environmental point of view.
    Keywords: Aquaculture, Production Model, Socio-economic assessment, Environmental Effects, Blue Growth
    JEL: Q01 Q22 Q51 B41
    Date: 2017–12–07
  22. By: Tatyana Chesnokova (Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, Waseda University,Tokyo, Japan.); Stephanie F. McWhinnie (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: International fishery access agreements allow fishermen from one country to harvest fish in another country's waters. We empirically examine, using a unique global panel dataset, why countries sign fisheries access agreements with each other and compare these to the characteristics of countries that choose the path of international trade. We show that access agreements and fish exports are driven by two key motives: a pattern of comparative advantage in fishing, which depends on fish stocks and fishing capacities; and gravity factors of economic size and distance. Our results suggest that most gravity factors work similarly for agreements and exports: larger countries that are closer to each other are more likely to sign access agreements or to trade. However, the pattern of advantage is determined differently: source countries with larger fishing capacity are more likely to export fish, while source countries with lower fishing capacity are more likely to sign agreements.
    Keywords: International fisheries, access agreements, international trade, empirical
    JEL: Q22 Q27 F13 F14 F18
    Date: 2017–10
  23. By: Giuseppe Danese (Católica Porto Business School – CEGE – Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
    Abstract: Previous literature has studied waste picking as an economic, social and environmental phenomenon of great importance in countries characterized by ineffective waste collection and recycling programs. The legal foundations of waste picking have, however, received little scholarly attention. Surveys conducted with waste pickers from 5 cities (Bogotá, Pune, Belo Horizonte, Durban, Nakuru) find that existing, and often hostile, regulations and competition from new entrants are key concerns for the waste pickers. In this paper, I argue that any system of legal rules that tries to exclude the waste pickers from the waste value chain results in high transaction costs and risks further aggravating existing social injustices. Several inclusive property right regimes are conceivable, from waste picker ownership of waste to a res nullius (nobody’s property) regime complemented by a right of first possession. Res nullius creates incentives for the stakeholders of waste to specialize in different segments of the collection and recycling chain. Possible drawbacks of this regime are dissipating rents because of open access to waste.
    Keywords: property rights, solid waste, waste pickers, informal economy, res nullius
    JEL: K11 Q53 O17
    Date: 2017–11
  24. By: Zabel, Astrid (School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Bern University of Applied Sciences); Bostedt, Göran (CERE, the Department of Forest Economics, SLU); Ekvall, Hans (the Department of Forest Economics, SLU)
    Abstract: Habitat loss and habitat fragmentation are major factors leading to forest biodiversity decline. This paper discusses landscape planning as strategy to improve connectivity in a landscape with a heterogeneous distribution of ecologically valuable areas across land owners. A tax-fund system is proposed, that following the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, tries to spread the burden of conservation equally across land owners while optimizing the environmental outcome. Design options of such a tax-fund system are discussed along the lines of a simple theoretical model. Financial effects of a tax-fund system are computed for a small model landscape set in Sweden. Two design questions stand out as particularly important. The first is whether the policy is intended to be self-sustained among the land owners or if the budget can be supplemented by general tax money. The second is whether the land owners or the relevant authority select the stands for conservation set-aside.
    Keywords: Forest policy; landscape planning; biodiversity; Sweden
    JEL: Q23 Q28 Q57
    Date: 2017–10–24

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