nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒02‒12
twenty-six papers chosen by

  1. From Corn to Popcorn? Urbanization and Food Consumption in sub-Sahara Africa: Evidence From Rural-Urban Migrants in Tanzania By Lara Cockx; Liesbeth Colen; Joachim De Weerdt
  2. Statistical estimation of agricultural resource potential and opportunities for rural development in Russia based on Census By Bautin, Vladimir; Ukolova, Anna; Romanceva, Julia
  3. EU commodity market development: Medium-term agricultural outlook. Proceedings of the October 2017 workshop By IGNACIO PEREZ DOMINGUEZ; THOMAS FELLMANN; THOMAS CHATZOPOULOS; SIMONE PIERALLI; HANS JENSEN; JESUS BARREIRO-HURLE; FABIO MICALE
  4. EU Policies and Global Food Security By Jean-Christophe Bureau; Thorsten Rogall
  5. Efficiency of sustainability management in Bulgarian agriculture By Bachev, Hrabrin
  6. The EU-Wide Individual Farm Model for Common Agricultural Policy Analysis (IFM-CAP v.1): Economic Impacts of CAP Greening By Kamel Elouhichi; Maria Espinosa Goded; Pavel Ciaian; Angel Perni Llorente; Bouda Vosough Ahmadi; Liesbeth Colen; Sergio Gomez Y Paloma
  7. Russian food and agricultural import ban: The impact on the domestic market for cattle, pork and poultry By Perekhozhuk, Oleksandr; Glauben, Thomas
  8. Geographical Indications: a first assessment of the impact on rural development in Italian NUTS3 regions By Lorenzo Cei; Gianluca Stefani; Edi Defrancesco; Ginevra Virginia Lombardi
  9. Secondary towns, agricultural prices, and intensification: Evidence from Ethiopia By Joachim Vandercasteelen; Seneshaw Tamru; Bart Minten; Johan Swinnen
  10. Structural Change and the Fertility Transition in the American South By Philipp Ager; Markus Brueckner; Benedikt Herz
  11. Large-scale farms and smallholders: Evidence from Zambia By Lay, Jann; Nolte, Kerstin; Sipangule, Kacana
  12. Willingness to Pay for Government-Certified Agri-Products in South Korea By Lin, Yu-Hsuan; Kim, KyungJa
  13. Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain: A literature review on methodologies, impacts and regulatory aspects By Jan Falkowski; Claude Menard; Richard J. Sexton; Johan Swinnen; Senne Vandevelde
  14. Standards, Tariffs and Trade: The Rise and Fall of the Raisin Trade Between Greece and France in the Late 19th Century and the Definition of Wine By Giulia Meloni; Johan Swinnen
  15. Modelisation of the French forest Sector By Antonello Lobianco
  16. Three essays on agricultural insurance and farm real estate investment By Feng, Xiaoguang
  17. Disentangling the Effect of International Migration on Household Food and Nutrition Security By Donato Romano; Silvio Traverso
  18. Trade Liberalization and Child Mortality: A Synthetic Control Method By Alessandro Olper; Daniele Curzi; Johan Swinnen
  19. The Impact of Rural Electrification on Income and Education: Evidence from Bhutan By Santosh Kumar; Ganesh Rauniyar
  20. Temperature, Climate Change, and Mental Health: Evidence from the Spectrum of Mental Health Outcomes By Jamie Mullins; Corey White
  21. International commodity prices and civil war outbreak: new evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond By Antonio Ciccone
  22. Weather and crime in South Africa By Bruederle, Anna; Peters, Jörg; Roberts, Gareth
  23. Closing the gap: A model for estimating the cost of eradicating stunting and micronutrient deficiencies By Martínez, Rodrigo; Palma, Amalia
  24. Culture and Food Security By Elena Briones Alonso; Lara Cockx; Johan Swinnen
  25. The impact of assistance on poverty and food security in a protracted conflict context: the case of West Bank and Gaza Strip By Donato Romano; Gianluca Stefani; Benedetto Rocchi; Claudio Fiorillo
  26. Testing Evolutionary Theory of Household Consumption Behavior in the case of Novelty – Product characteristics approach. By Kenza Qaoumi; Pascal Le Masson; Benoit Weil; Aytunç Ün

  1. By: Lara Cockx; Liesbeth Colen; Joachim De Weerdt
    Abstract: There is rising concern that the ongoing wave of urbanization will have profound effects on eating patterns and increase the risk of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases. Yet, our understanding of urbanization as a driver of food consumption remains limited and primarily based upon research designs that fail to disentangle the effect of living in an urban environment from other socioeconomic disparities. Data from the Tanzania National Panel Survey, which tracked out-migrating respondents, allow us to compare individuals’ dietary patterns before and after they relocated from rural to urban areas and assess whether those changes differ from household members who stayed behind or moved to a different rural area. We find that individuals who relocated to urban areas experience a much more pronounced shift away from the consumption of traditional staples, and towards more high-sugar, conveniently consumed and prepared foods. Contrary to what is often claimed in the literature, living in an urban environment is not found to contribute positively to the intake of protein-rich foods, nor to diet diversity. Though we do not find a strong association with weight gain, these changes in eating patterns represent a clear nutritional concern regarding the potential longer-term impacts of urbanization. Our results however also indicate that the growth of unhealthy food consumption with urbanization is largely linked to rising incomes. As such, health concerns over diets can be expected to spread rapidly to less-urbanized areas as well, as soon as income growth takes off there. Our findings clearly call for more in-depth research that may help to improve health and food and nutrition security as well as correctly predict food demand and adapt trade, agricultural and development policies.
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Bautin, Vladimir; Ukolova, Anna; Romanceva, Julia
    Abstract: The census, which became the second in the recent history of the country, provided information on the real state of the resource base of the agricultural sector and gave an idea of the potential opportunities for expanded reproduction in the industry. The study of these issues is relevant in the context of the State Program development of agriculture and regulation of the market of food products, raw materials and foodstuffs for 2013-2020, aimed at ensuring food security of the population, developing rural areas and increasing the profitability of agricultural producers. The aim of the study were structural changes in Russian agriculture in 2006-2016. Comparative assessment of the resource potential of Russia's agrarian sector was carried out based on the statistical analysis of the data of the RAC 2006 and the RAC 2016: the size of land and labor resources has been studied, the changes in area and structure of crops have been assessed, the dynamics of the number and structure of livestock in Russia as a whole and in the context of farm categories has been examined. This made it possible to conclude that over the past decade agrarian reforms in Russia's agriculture have led to significant structural shifts, which manifested itself in the change in the composition of rural commodity producers and in the redistribution of resources between farm categories. The analysis of the data showed a trend of concentration and centralization of agricultural production, which was expressed in the size of the total area of land per household.
    Keywords: agriculture, agricultural census, resource potential, farm categories, structural changes
    JEL: Q18 R2
    Date: 2017–10–01
  3. By: IGNACIO PEREZ DOMINGUEZ (European Commission - JRC); THOMAS FELLMANN (European Commission - JRC); THOMAS CHATZOPOULOS (European Commission - JRC); SIMONE PIERALLI (European Commission - JRC); HANS JENSEN (European Commission - JRC); JESUS BARREIRO-HURLE (European Commission - JRC); FABIO MICALE (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The workshop on the 'EU commodity market development: Medium-term agricultural outlook' is an integral part of the intensive validation procedure of the results of the European Commission’s report on 'Prospects for EU agricultural markets and income'. It provides a forum for presentations on preliminary 10-year-ahead projections in EU agricultural commodity markets, and discussing in depth the EU prospects in a global context. This year the workshop was held on October 19-20 in Brussels. The workshop was jointly organised by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI). Participants included policy makers, modelling and market experts from various countries, as well as stakeholders of the agri-food industry. This document summarises the presentations and discussions on the macroeconomic and energy assumptions associated with this outlook, and on each of the EU agricultural markets addressed (arable crops, biofuels, sugar, wine, milk and dairy, meat).
    Keywords: agriculture, outlook, markets, Aglink, Cosimo
    Date: 2017–12
  4. By: Jean-Christophe Bureau; Thorsten Rogall
    Abstract: This paper reviews evidence on the impact of EU policies on global food security, focusing on four EU policy areas: agricultural policy, bioenergy policy, trade policy, and development (food aid) policy. Old concerns related to the detrimental impact of EU farm subsidies, food aid and tariffs on poor countries’ food security. New concerns relate to impacts of EU food standards and bioenergy policies. The EU policies which created the largest distortions on global markets (in the area of trade, agriculture, food aid, and bioenergy) have been bstantially reformed over the past decades. Recent global food price fluctuations have also re-emphasized that the impact of EU policies on the poor’s food security differ depending on whether these are consumers or producers, or whether countries are exporters or importers. Overall, our review explains that in many areas the impact of EU policies on global food security is less obvious and more complex than often argued.
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Bachev, Hrabrin
    Abstract: This paper applies a holistic framework for assessing efficiency of environmental and sustainability management in Bulgarian agriculture. Initially the multiprinciple, multictiteria and mulriindicator framework for assessing environmental and sustainability management in agriculture is outlined. After that environmental sustainability of Bulgarian agriculture at national and farms levels is evaluated. Finally, factors for improving environmental and sustainability management in agricultural farms in the country are identified. Our assessment at national and farm level have found out that there are significant discrepancies in efficiency levels based on aggregate national data and assessment (perception) of farm managers. Therefore, in management practices all kind of data have to be used in order to be able to take efficient decision at different managerial levels. Having in mind the importance of holistic assessments of efficiency of environmental and sustainability management in agriculture, and the enormous benefits for the farm management and agrarian policies, such studies are to be expended and their precision and representation increased.
    Keywords: environmental management, efficiency, sustainability, Bulgarian agriculture
    JEL: Q1 Q12 Q13 Q18 Q2 Q3 Q5
    Date: 2018–01
  6. By: Kamel Elouhichi (European Commission - JRC); Maria Espinosa Goded (; Pavel Ciaian (; Angel Perni Llorente (; Bouda Vosough Ahmadi (European Commission - JRC); Liesbeth Colen (European Commission - JRC); Sergio Gomez Y Paloma (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This report presents the first EU-wide individual farm level model (IFM-CAP) aiming to assess the impacts of CAP towards 2020 on farm economics and environmental effects. The rationale for such a farm-level model is based on the increasing demand for a micro simulation tool capable to model farm-specific policies and to capture farm heterogeneity across the EU in terms of policy representation and impacts. Based on Positive Mathematical Programming, IFM-CAP seeks to improve the quality of policy assessment upon existing aggregate and aggregated farm-group models and to provide assessment of distributional effects over the EU farm population. To guarantee the highest representativeness of the EU agricultural sector, the model is applied to every EU-FADN (Farm Accountancy Data Network) individual farm (83292 farms). The report provides a detailed description of the first IFM-CAP model version (IFM-CAP V.1) in terms of design, mathematical structure, data preparation, modelling livestock activities, allocation of input costs, modelling of the CAP post-2013 and calibration process. The theoretical background, the technical specification and the outputs that can be generated from this model are also briefly presented and discussed. Model capability is illustrated in this study with an analysis of the EU farmers' responses to the greening requirements introduced by the 2013 CAP reform.
    Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy, CAP greening, farm model, positive mathematical programming model, EU, IFM-CAP
    Date: 2018–01
  7. By: Perekhozhuk, Oleksandr; Glauben, Thomas
    Abstract: This study analyses the impact of the Russian food and agricultural import ban on import of meat, the structural changes of trade pattern and reallocation of import flows of meat and meat products, and the price development in the import market and its impact on producers and consumers market for cattle, pork and poultry meat in the Russian Federation (RF). There is empirical evidence that the collapse of meat exports to Russia and, hence, the increase of meat prices happened even long before the import ban was introduced. The structure of Russian import market for meat has significantly changed. Brazil became the largest meat exporter in the Russian meat import market achieving market share in the total meat import of the RF almost 50% in 2015-2016. The structural changes of the Russian import market suggests that the beef and pork exporters are not price-takers on the one hand. On the other hand, they may be able to discriminate prices in the Russian import markets.
    Keywords: import ban,meat export,market structure,pricing,Russia,Importverbot,Fleischexport,Marktstruktur,Preisbildung,Russland
    JEL: Q11 Q17 L11 L13
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Lorenzo Cei; Gianluca Stefani; Edi Defrancesco; Ginevra Virginia Lombardi (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: Geographical indications (GIs) are a 25 years old European policy instrument which have, among its objectives, to foster rural development. In this respect, very few studies quantitatively investigate to what extent this policy is effective. Literature is in fact mainly focused on specific GIs, studied through case studies, trying to identify which factors are responsible for the success or failure of specific initiatives. The aim of the present study is instead to quantify the impact of such policy instrument on a single indicator of rural development: agricultural value added. In order to assess the impact we firstly built an index measuring the number of GI schemes implemented at NUTS3 level in the Italian regions. Then, following a difference-in-difference evaluation strategy and relying on an explicit theoretical model, a fixed effect estimator was implemented. The choice of the model, as well as the variables to be considered, is specified using a directed acyclic graph. Results show that an overall positive effect of GI protection on agricultural value added could be identified in Italy, thus providing evidence of a positive impact of the European policy on rural development.
    Keywords: geographical indication; impact evaluation; rural development
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Joachim Vandercasteelen; Seneshaw Tamru; Bart Minten; Johan Swinnen
    Abstract: Urbanization is happening fast in the developing world and especially so in sub-Saharan Africa where growth rates of cities are among the highest in the world. While cities and, in particular, secondary towns, where most of the urban population in sub-Saharan Africa resides, affect agricultural practices in their rural hinterlands, this relationship is not well understood. To fill this gap, we develop a conceptual model to analyze how farmers’ proximity to cities of different sizes affects agricultural prices and intensification of farming. We then test these predictions using large-scale survey data from producers of teff, a major staple crop in Ethiopia, relying on unique data on transport costs and road networks and implementing an array of econometric models. We find that agricultural price behavior and intensification is determined by proximity to a city and the type of city. While proximity to cities has a strong positive effect on agricultural output prices and on uptake of modern inputs and yields on farms, the effects on prices and intensification measures are lower for farmers in the rural hinterlands of secondary towns compared to primate cities.
    Keywords: urbanization, cities, secondary towns, Ethiopia, sub-Saharan Africa, agricultural prices, intensification
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Philipp Ager; Markus Brueckner; Benedikt Herz
    Abstract: This paper provides new insights on the link between structural change and the fertility transi-tion. In the early 1890s agricultural production in the American South was severely impaired by the spread of an agricultural pest, the boll weevil. We use this plausibly exogenous variation in agricultural production to establish a causal link between changes in earnings opportunities in agriculture and fertility. Our estimates show that lower earnings opportunities in agriculture lead to fewer children. We identify two channels: households staying in agriculture reduced fertility because children are a normal good, and households switching to manufacturing faced higher opportunity costs of raising children. The lower earnings opportunities in agriculture also stimulated human capital formation, which we argue is consistent with the predictions of a quantity-quality model of fertility.
    Keywords: Fertility Transition, Structural Change, Industrialization, Agricultural Income
    JEL: J13 N31 O14
    Date: 2018–01
  11. By: Lay, Jann; Nolte, Kerstin; Sipangule, Kacana
    Abstract: In light of the surge in large-scale farms in developing countries, concerns have been raised that smallholders may be negatively affected. There is, however, very little evidence beyond case studies to support these claims. Drawing on nationally representative household data sets and an inventory of large-scale farms in Zambia, this study investigates the relationship between large-scale farms and smallholders. First, we analyse the geographical contexts of wards that host large-scale farms and show that large-scale farms are found in wards with good infrastructure and soil quality. Second, we adopt a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impacts of large-scale farms on smallholders' area cultivated, maize yields, and access to fertiliser. We find that smallholders in wards with large-scale farms increase their area cultivated and maize yields, but have lower fertiliser usage. This hints at positive spillovers at the extensive and intensive margins but not at improved access to agricultural inputs. It is likely that these results are also driven by the emergence of medium-scale farms in these regions.
    Keywords: large-scale farms,yields,smallholders,spillovers,Zambia
    JEL: Q12 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Lin, Yu-Hsuan; Kim, KyungJa
    Abstract: This study investigated the value that government-issued certification labels adds to agricultural products. Using a face-to-face questionnaire administered in the Greater Seoul area, it assessed consumers’willingness to pay for government certification labels on four types of agri-products. Our results indicated that the premium for goods with these labels ranged from 7 to 32 per cent above the prices of non-certified products of the same types, while organic certificates for meat products earned higher willingness-to-pay scores than other certificate types. This clearly indicates the importance of such certification schemes to South Korean consumers. 본 연구에서는 다양한 정부인증마크가 부착된 농축산물에 대한 소비자 지불의도를 파악하고자 하였다. 이를 위해 수도권 지역 주부 소비자 306 명을 설문지를 이용한 대면면접 방식으로 조사하였다. 조사대상 농축산물은 곡류(쌀), 과일(사과), 채소(배추), 축산물(쇠고기)를 선정하고 인증마크가 없는 농축산물의 기준가격을 제시한 다음 유기농 마크와 우수농산물마크(GAP), 지리적 표시(GIS) 생산자이력추적 표시(APTMS)가 부착된 농축산물에 대한 추가지불의도(WTP)를 각각 측정하였다. 조사결과 인증마크가 부착된 농축산물에 대한 추가지불의도는 인증마크 미부착 농축산물에 비해 7~32% 높게 나타났다. 인증마크별로는 유기농 인증에 대한 지불의사가 가장 높았고 품목별로는 축산물에 대한 지불의사가 가장 높았다. 인증마크와 품목별 지불의사에 영향을 미치는 요소들도 또한 분석하였다.
    Keywords: certification system, Korean agri-product market, Willingness to pay, contingent valuation method (CVM)
    JEL: C83 D12 Q13
    Date: 2017–12
  13. By: Jan Falkowski (University of Warsaw); Claude Menard (Université de Paris); Richard J. Sexton (University of California); Johan Swinnen (KU Leuven); Senne Vandevelde (KU Leuven)
    Abstract: This report constitutes a compilation of the principal issues raised by the speakers at the workshop jointly organised by the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development and Joint Research Centre on ‘Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain’ held in Brussels between 17-18 July 2017. The workshop brought together international experts in the field of economic and political sciences, who have authored work of relevance for commercial practices in the food supply chains with a view to discuss the available scientific literature on methodologies, impacts and regulatory aspects of UTPs. The workshop discussions addressed the following four topics, and the present report summarises the presentations on them: 1. The strengths and weaknesses of methodologies applied in the literature to analyse UTPs 2. The empirical evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of UTPs 3. The regulatory aspects and enforcement costs of UTPs 4. The way forward to better understand UTPs in food supply chains
    Keywords: Unfair trading practices, CAP, food chain, farmers, bargaining power, agricultural policy
    JEL: L11 Q13 Q18
    Date: 2017–12
  14. By: Giulia Meloni; Johan Swinnen
    Abstract: There is much debate on the impact of product and process standards on trade. The conceptual arguments are complex and empirical evidence is mixed. We analyze the impact of standards and tariffs on the dramatic rise and fall of the raisin trade between France and Greece in the course of 25 years at the end of the 19th century. The case illustrates how product standards can be used to address consumer concerns and to protect producer interests. Economic conditions and French policies first stimulated Greek raisin imports. Later, changing conditions and political pressures led to the introduction of tariffs and wine standards which caused major declines in Greek exports and ultimately the bankruptcy of the Greek economy. Interestingly, this trade episode of more than a century ago still has a regulatory legacy today as it is the origin of the EU’s definition of wine.
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Antonello Lobianco (LEF - Laboratoire d'Economie Forestière - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroParisTech)
    Abstract: Given the importance of anthropogenic determinants in forest ecosystems within Europe, the objective of the FFSM++ model is to link the evidence arising from biological models with socio-economic determinants, where the expected returns of forest investments represent the main drivers. An (inventory-based) forest dynamic model is hence coupled with a (partial equilibrium) market module and a (micro-based) management one in a national level forest sector model for France (FFSM++).
    Keywords: forest model sector,modélisation filière bois
    Date: 2016–11–21
  16. By: Feng, Xiaoguang
    Abstract: This dissertation consists of three essays discussing topics on agricultural insurance and farm real estate investment. The first essay focuses on diversifying systemic risk in crop insurance portfolios. Portfolio risk in crop insurance due to the systemic nature of crop yield losses has inhibited the development of private crop insurance markets. Government subsidy or reinsurance has therefore been used to support crop insurance programs. We investigate the possibility of converting systemic crop yield risk into “poolable†risk. Specifically, we examine whether it is possible to remove the co-movement as well as tail dependence of crop yield variables by enlarging the risk pool across different crops and countries. Hierarchical Kendall copula models are used to allow for potential non-linear correlations of the high-dimensional risk factors. A Bayesian estimation approach is applied to account for estimation risk in the copula parameters. The results indicate that the systemic risk in crop insurance can be eliminated by combining crop insurance policies across crops and countries.The second essay attempts to provide an explanation for the high return-low risk paradox in farmland investment. We investigate both the nominal and real returns of a farmland portfolio from a forward-looking perspective. Land values and cash rents are slow to adjust and therefore the return from owning land is likely to be time-varying and serially correlated. Time-series and copula modeling techniques are used to construct the optimal portfolio and to evaluate the risk-return profile. The results indicate that it takes a number of years for the expected return to reach the long-term equilibrium. From a forward-looking perspective, the attractive average return level observed historically can only be attained over a long investment period. The risk involved in the long investment period, however, is also considerably higher than the historical sample volatility. This is due to autocorrelation in the return series. These findings help explain the “high return and low risk†puzzle observed in historical farmland returns.The third essay examines the predictive power of capital market risk factors for farmland returns. Farmland value slightly increased in 2017 even though farm income was lower. This development suggests the rate of return required by investors for farmland asset has been reduced. A similar phenomenon has been observed in the equity market which also suggests reduced equity risk premium. One possible explanation for the decreasing required rate of return is an increased money supply. Previous research suggests that the money supply affects several macroeconomic risk factors through different transmission channels, which in turn influence investor behaviors and asset returns. This article examines the predictive power of these risk factors for farmland asset returns. Both linear and neural network models are used and the forecast accuracy is compared across different models. The results indicate that farmland return prediction is significantly improved by adding capital market excess return as an explanatory variable. Adding additional risk factors, however, does not improve the prediction with the sample used in this study.
    Date: 2017–01–01
  17. By: Donato Romano; Silvio Traverso (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: This paper explores the linkages between international migration and household food and nutrition security (FNS) from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. First, building on the limited previous literature, the paper develops a unifying conceptual framework for identifying the main microeconomic channels through which international migration can affect household FNS. Second, adopting an encompassing definition of migrant households and using Bangladesh as case-study, it estimates the overall impact of international migration on household FNS. Third, by disentangling the overall effect, the paper assesses the importance of the various microeconomic channels, i.e. the change in the household structure, overseas remittances and the presence of returned migrants. The empirical strategy is based on a multiple treatment counterfactual framework, using a linearized propensity score matching technique. On the one hand, the estimates indicate that international migration has a positive impact on all FNS dimensions, allowing households to consume more food, to have access to more expensive food products and to shift towards a more diversified diet, richer in foods and micronutrients. On the other hand, the disentanglement of the impact corroborates the validity of the conceptual framework and supports the conclusion that the average effect of international migration on household FNS through all the identified microeconomic channels is always non-negative. Finally, the paper contributes to the literature on the so-called ‘Bangladesh paradox’ suggesting that international migration may have contributed to the exceptional progress in health and nutrition achieved by Bangladesh during a period of relatively poor economic growth.
    Date: 2017
  18. By: Alessandro Olper; Daniele Curzi; Johan Swinnen
    Abstract: We study the causal effect of trade liberalization on child mortality by exploiting 41 policy reform experiments in the 1960-2010 period. The Synthetic Control Method for comparative case studies allows to compare at the country level the trajectory of post-reform health outcomes of treated countries (those which experienced trade liberalization) with the trajectory of a combination of similar but untreated countries. In contrast with previous findings, we find that the effect of trade liberalization on health outcomes displays a huge heterogeneity, both in the direction and the magnitude of the estimated effect. Among the 41 investigated cases, 19 displayed a significant reduction in child mortality after trade liberalization. In 19 cases there was no significant effect, while in three cases we found a significant worsening in child mortality after trade liberalization. Trade reforms in democracies, in middle income countries and which reduced taxation in agriculture reduce child mortality more.
    Keywords: Trade liberalization, Child Mortality, Synthetic Control Method.
    JEL: Q18 O24 O57 I15 F13 F14
    Date: 2017
  19. By: Santosh Kumar (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University); Ganesh Rauniyar (Independent Evaluator, Paraparaumu, New Zealand)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of a rural electrification program on household income and children’s schooling in rural Bhutan. Using Propensity Score Matching, we find that electrification had a statistically significant impact on non-farm income and education. Non-farm income increased by 61 percent and children gained 0.72 additional years of schooling and 9 minutes of study time per day. We do not observe significant effects on farm income. Results are consistent and robust to different matching algorithms. Our findings indicate that investments in reducing energy deficit may help improve human welfare in Bhutan.
    Keywords: Rural electrification, income, education, Bhutan
    JEL: O12 O13 Q48
    Date: 2018–02
  20. By: Jamie Mullins (Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Corey White (Department of Economics, California Polytechnic State University)
    Abstract: This paper characterizes the link between ambient temperatures and a broad set of mental health measures. We find that the realization of low temperatures leads to fewer self-reported days of poor mental health, fewer mental-health related emergency department visits, and fewer suicides. Conversely, exposure to more hot days is associated with more days of self-reported poor mental health, more mental health-related emergency department visits, and higher rates of suicide. We consider the efficacy of a number of potential mitigating factors including access to mental health services and residential penetration of air conditioning, among others. We find that the identified relationship is insensitive to all considered modulating factors and has not moderated over time, suggesting a lack of effective adaptation. We offer evidence for sleep quality as the mechanism by which temperatures impact mental health and discuss the implications of our findings in light of climate change.
    Keywords: Mental Health, Weather, Climate, Suicide, Health
    JEL: I10 I12 I18 Q50 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Antonio Ciccone
    Abstract: A new dataset by Bazzi and Blattman (2014) allows examining the effects of international commodity prices on the risk of civil war outbreak with more comprehensive data. I find that international commodity price downturns sparked civil wars in Sub-Saharan Africa. Another finding with the new dataset is that commodity price downturns also sparked civil wars beyond Sub-Saharan Africa since 1980. Effects are sizable relative to the baseline risk of civil war outbreak. My conclusions contrast with those of Bazzi and Blattman, who argue that the new dataset rejects that commodity price downturns cause civil wars. The reason is that I calculate commodity price shocks using time-invariant (fixed) export shares as commodity weights. Bazzi and Blattman also calculate commodity price shocks using export shares as commodity weights but but the exports shares they use are time-varying. Using time-invariant export shares as commodity weights ensures that time variation in price shocks solely re ects changes in international commodity prices. Price shocks based on time-varying export shares partly re ect (possibly endogenous) changes in the quantity and variety of countries' exports, which jeopardizes causal estimation.
    Keywords: civil wars, commodity price downturns
    JEL: E3 O1 Q1 Q10
    Date: 2018–01
  22. By: Bruederle, Anna; Peters, Jörg; Roberts, Gareth
    Abstract: South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world, incurring high cost for society. The present paper examines the effect of weather shocks on various types of crime. Using a 12-year panel data set at monthly resolution on the police ward level, we demonstrate a short-term effect of warmer temperatures on violent crime and thereby offer support for the heat-aggression link as suggested by psychological research. Furthermore, we find evidence for a mid-term effect of weather on crime via agricultural income, which is in line with the economic theory of crime. Our findings have direct policy implications for the design of crime prevention strategies, in which weather forecasts could play an important role.
    Keywords: South Africa,weather,crime,income shocks
    JEL: C33 O55 Q54 R11
    Date: 2017
  23. By: Martínez, Rodrigo; Palma, Amalia
    Abstract: The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the World Food Programme (WFP), both agencies of the United Nations System, have agreed to carry out a study to estimate the costs related to adopting more effective actions to fight stunting and micronutrient deficiencies in vulnerable populations. This document proposes a methodology for performing this analysis that can be replicated in various countries in the region.
    Date: 2017–12–31
  24. By: Elena Briones Alonso; Lara Cockx; Johan Swinnen
    Abstract: TThis paper reviews available cross-disciplinary evidence on how culture affects food security. We discuss the impact of culture on all four dimensions (availability, access and choice, utilization, and stability). Although there is large heterogeneity in the size and breadth of available evidence, with research often biased toward high-come countries, it is clear that how and why we obtain, process, prepare, and eat food is influenced by culture in various ways. In addition, gender, family, and decision-making power play a critical role in the impact of culture. The dynamics of culture as well as the magnitude and relative importance of cultural effects in the context of food security are still poorly understood. Nevertheless, there remains ample scope for improving food security policy by taking culture better into account.
    Keywords: Culture; Food security; Nutrition
    Date: 2017
  25. By: Donato Romano; Gianluca Stefani; Benedetto Rocchi; Claudio Fiorillo (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: This paper assesses what is the impact of assistance on the wellbeing of Palestinian households, using in an original way standard econometric techniques coupling the classical counterfactual framework of the impact evaluation analysis – specifically, using a difference-in-difference approach that allows the treatment of sample selection bias – with instrument variable econometric modelling – specifically a fixed effect IV model that gets rid of endogeneity problems. Using data from the last two rounds (2013 and 2014) of the Palestinian Socio-Economic and Food Security (SEFSec) survey, we estimate the impact of assistance to West Bank and Gaza Strip households on their poverty and food security status. Results suggest that whereas in the case of poverty reduction there is a clear positive impact of the intensity of assistance, in the case of food security results show mixed evidence. Specifically, the intensity of assistance affects positively the frequency of consumption of fruit, vegetable, cereals, tubers and pulses while it seems to have a negative impact on the consumption of other food groups such as meat, milk, oil and sugar.
    Keywords: Q18, I32
    Date: 2017
  26. By: Kenza Qaoumi (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Pascal Le Masson (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Benoit Weil (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Aytunç Ün (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Date: 2017

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.