nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒02‒26
twenty-one papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Agricultural Productivity Shocks, Labor Reallocation, and Rural-Urban Migration in China By Luigi Minale
  2. Short- and Long-Run Impacts of Rural Electrification: Evidence from the Historical Rollout of the U.S. Power Grid By Lewis, Joshua; Severnini, Edson R.
  3. Intertemporal Choice and Income Regularity: Non-Fungibility in a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment By Berber Kramer; David Kunst
  4. Seasonality matters: a multi-season, multi-state dynamic optimization in fishery By Ni, Yuanming; Sandal, Leif K.
  5. International Spillovers and Carbon Pricing Policies By Dolphin, G.; Pollitt, M.
  6. International Commodity Prices and Civil War Outbreak: New Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa and Beyond By Ciccone, Antonio
  7. Biodiversity of the natural mountains heritage – present challenges and sustainable perspectives By Antonescu, Daniela
  8. Adopt or Innovate: Understanding Technological Responses to Cap-and-Trade By Raphael Calel
  9. Impacts of climate change on transport: A focus on airports, seaports and inland waterways By Aris Christodoulou; Hande Demirel
  10. 'Getting to Denmark': the Role of Elites for Development By Jensen, Peter Sandholt; Lampe, Markus; Sharp, Paul; Skovsgaard, Christian
  11. Teachers’ environmental knowledge and pro-environmental behavior: An application of CNS and EID scales By Halkos, George; Gkargkavouzi, Anastasia; Matsiori, Steriani
  12. Consumers' attitudes on carbon footprint labelling: Results of the SUSDIET project By Feucht, Yvonne; Zander, Katrin
  13. Promoting Productive Uses of Electricity in Rural Electrification Programs By Janina Franco; V. Susan Bogach; Inés Pérez Arroyo; Maite Lasa
  14. Targeted Price Controls on Supermarket Products By Diego Aparicio; Alberto Cavallo
  15. Do Different Types of Assets Have Differential Effects on Child Education? Evidence from Tanzania By Kafle, Kashi; Jolliffe, Dean; Winter-Nelson, Alex
  16. Analyzing the structural transformation of commodity markets: financialization revisited By Filippo Natoli
  17. Improving quality of life through sustainable energy and urban infrastructure in Africa By Mutanga, Shingirirai Savious; Quitzow, Rainer; Steckel, Jan Christoph
  18. Circular economy measures to keep plastics and their value in the economy, avoid waste and reduce marine litter By ten Brink, Patrick; Schweitzer, Jean-Pierre; Watkins, Emma; Janssens, Charlotte; De Smet, Michiel; Leslie, Heather; Galgani, François
  19. The analysis and forecasting of ATP tennis matches using a high-dimensional dynamic model By P. Gorgi; Siem Jan (S.J.) Koopman; R. Lit
  20. The Implicit Price for Fair Trade Coffee: Does Social Capital Matter? By Moritz Bosbach; Ornella Wanda Maietta
  21. A spatial analysis of youth livelihoods and rural transformation in Ghana: By Diao, Xinshen; Silver, Jed

  1. By: Luigi Minale (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the way households in rural China use rural-urban migration and off-farm work as a response to negative productivity shocks in agriculture. I employ various waves of a longitudinal survey to construct a panel of individual migration and labour supply histories, and match them to detailed weather information, which I use to instrument agricultural productivity. For identification, I exploit the year-by-county variation in growing season rainfalls to explain within-individual changes in labor allocation. Data on days of work supplied to each sector allow to study the responses to weather shocks along both the participation and the intensive margin. Results suggest that farming activity decreases by 4.5% while migration increases by about 5% in response to a 1-standard deviation negative rainfall shock. Increment in rural-urban migration derives from both longer spells in the city as well as raise in the likelihood to participate in the urban sector. I find interesting heterogeneous responses across generations driven by age-specific migration costs and changes in the relative productivity of sectors. Finally, land tenure insecurity seems to partially prevent households from freely reallocating labor away from farming in bad times.
    Keywords: Agricultural productivity, Labor supply, Rural-urban migration, China
    JEL: J22 R23 J61
    Date: 2018–02
  2. By: Lewis, Joshua (University of Montreal); Severnini, Edson R. (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: Electrification among American farm households increased from less than 10 percent to nearly 100 percent over a three decade span, 1930{1960. We exploit the historical rollout of the U.S. power grid to study the short- and long-run impacts of rural electrification on local economies. In the short run, rural electrification led to increases in agricultural employment, rural farm population, and rural property values, but there was little impact on the local non-agriculture economy. Benefits exceeded historical costs, even in rural areas with low population density. As for the long run, rural counties that gained early access to electricity experienced increased economic growth that persisted for decades after the country was fully electrified. In remote rural areas, local development was driven by a long-run expansion in the agricultural sector, while in rural counties near metropolitan areas, long-run population growth coincided with increases in housing costs and decreases in agricultural employment. This last result suggests that rural electrification stimulated suburban expansion.
    Keywords: rural electrification, short run, long run, agriculture, suburbanization
    JEL: N72 N92 N32 O13 O18 Q48
    Date: 2017–12
  3. By: Berber Kramer (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)); David Kunst (VU Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: This paper tests whether the choice of when to be paid depends on the income type. A lab-in-the-field experiment in Kenya asked dairy cooperative members to allocate both an irregular windfall and their regular milk payments between two dates. Participants allocated the windfall to the earlier of the two dates, in line with theory, but allocated milk payments to the later date. Survey evidence suggests that allocations of regular dairy income were significantly more patient because farmers earmarked milk payments, but not the irregular windfall, for bulky expenditures. Given that compliance with informal contracts depends on whether the timing of payment aligns with recipient preferences, these findings have implications for contract design in rural value chains.
    Keywords: time preferences; mental accounting; fungibility; collective marketing
    JEL: D03 Q13 O12
    Date: 2018–02–03
  4. By: Ni, Yuanming (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics); Sandal, Leif K. (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: Many biological and economic processes in fishery happen seasonally. Most of the extant literature tends to neglect this fact. This work is an initial attempt to treat seasonality in a systematic and proper way. We apply a periodic Bellman approach to obtain the optimal feedback policy of each season. Our approach has rich potentials. It could deal with seasonal patterns of uneven lengths: some may span years and some within the year. We find that, in some cases the equilibrium consists of one harvesting season followed by a moratorium period, indicating an optimal closure of the fishery that would be overlooked by a yearly model. Unlike a typical policy that enforces a moratorium to recover the stock, we find that many states first undergo harvesting all year round and later evolve into the seasonal moratorium. A rising group biomass could be the overshooting effect instead of a clear sign to increase harvest. We sometimes observe declining optimal harvest with increasing states (‘valley’), which may relate to the unit profit difference between seasons. Fishing pressure on the mature elicits even heavier harvest in the next season on the same group. A protective moratorium of the immature seems to hinder the value of the whole stock.
    Keywords: OR in natural resources; Seasonality; Dynamic programming; Feedback policy; Fisheries
    JEL: C44 C61 Q00 Q20 Q22 Q50
    Date: 2018–02–12
  5. By: Dolphin, G.; Pollitt, M.
    Abstract: Globally coordinated climate action has resulted in sub-optimal emissions reductions and unilateral (second-best) climate policies have so far provided the bulk of emissions reductions. This paper argues that the development of new unilateral carbon pricing policies was fostered by international signalling and technological spillover effects. The strength of both effects hinges, for each jurisdiction, on trade relations with other CO2-abating jurisdictions. We provide a stylised theoretical discussion in support of our proposition and investigate it using data on a panel of 121national jurisdictions over the period 1990-2014. Results show a strong positive association between import-weighted exposure to CO2-pricing partners and domestic environmental policy. The analysis also supports the technological spillover channel: trade-weighted installed capacity of wind and solar energy seems to prompt implementation of and more stringent carbon pricing policies.
    Keywords: international spillovers, trade, carbon pricing
    JEL: F18 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2018–01–22
  6. By: Ciccone, Antonio
    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 reflects changes in international commodity prices. Price shocks based on time varying export shares partly reflect (possibly endogenous) changes in the quantity and variety of countries' exports, which jeopardizes causal estimation. I also show that setting time-invariant export shares equal to average export shares over the sample period, can be a way of dealing with attenuation bias due to mismeasured export shares. When I differentiate between agricultural commodities on the one hand and minerals, oil, and gas on the other, I find stronger increases in the risk of civil war outbreak following downturns in agricultural commodity prices.
    Keywords: civil wars; commodity price downturns
    JEL: E3 O1 Q1 Q10
    Date: 2018–01
  7. By: Antonescu, Daniela
    Abstract: Between mountain regions and biodiversity exists a direct and indissoluble link: the mountain areas represent, perhaps, the most important source of eco-systems at global level, true scientific laboratories for researching and learning about the evolution and distribution of species and live bodies, about the relationships between these and about their adjustment to various environments and about the crucial influences of human actions, that led to the current climate changes. The mountains operate as true refuge for endemic species affected by uncontrolled human actions, while alpine meadows are exposed to losses of traditional pasture practices. The diverse and complex mountainous regions are the core elements of the environmental and sustainable development policies, the difficulties and problems encountered by these areas in adjusting to the new climate changes requiring adequate, swift and especially permanent (continuously supported) measures. The mountains belong, as a rule, to environmental geography but, just the same, they may be analysed also from the economic, social, cultural viewpoint, etc. as their multi-disciplinary nature is acknowledged both in the academic milieu but also by the decision factors involved in territorial development policy. Recently, the New Economic Geography, promoted intensively at global level, considers economic and social development of mountain regions of particular importance: mountain areas are important sources for raw materials and materials necessary for basic output and consumption (agriculture, industry, services) an aspect which affects under the present circumstances, both biodiversity and the living standard of local communities. The economic perspective is of particular importance both at the level of regional groups of interest, but the more so at the local level for the communities depending directly and permanently on the resources and conditions provided by the mountain. The negative impact on the mountain area of economic activities is increasingly more visible both at high and low altitude and therefore it should lead to a common vision and sustainable approach regarding the state of the biodiversity for this area because affecting a habitat might attract also the destruction of the entire ecologic balance which is already very fragile nowadays. Having as starting point the above considerations, the present paper provides a broad image of the relationship between the biodiversity of the mountain area and the implications of its economic and social development by resorting foremost to national and international documentary sources, to statistic data and information which attempt to complete the global image about the evolution of the relationship in time and space.
    Keywords: biodiversity, mountain area, natural heritage, sustainable development, local communities
    JEL: Q2 Q28 Q5 Q51 Q54 Q57
    Date: 2018–02–09
  8. By: Raphael Calel
    Abstract: Environmental regulations have consistently been found to spur innovation in ‘clean’ technologies, with one significant exception. Past cap-and-trade programs have encouraged adoption of existing pollution control technologies, but had little effect on innovation. Several explanations have been offered, including secondary market failures and a lack of polluter sophistication. In this paper I argue that it likely has more to do with the state of the technologies. Using a newly constructed panel of British companies, I show that the European carbon market - the world’s largest cap-and-trade program - has, contrary to past experience, encouraged innovation rather than adoption. I discuss how these contrasting findings can be reconciled, and the implications for planned reforms.
    Keywords: EU emissions trading system, induced innovation, directed technological change, technology diffusion
    JEL: O30 Q55 Q58
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Aris Christodoulou (European Commission - JRC); Hande Demirel (Istanbul Technical University (Istanbul, Turkey))
    Abstract: The report assesses the impacts of climate change on transport for Europe using projections of climate data, coastal inundation, river flooding and river discharge data. Impacts considered include those of sea level rise, storm surges, extreme weather events and floods on airports and seaports, as well as floods and droughts on inland waterways. Main outputs include the identification of transport infrastructure at risk in future time periods and the estimation of economic impacts.
    Keywords: climate change, transport, sea level rise, inundation, droughts, floods, airports, seaports, inland waterways
    Date: 2017–12
  10. By: Jensen, Peter Sandholt; Lampe, Markus; Sharp, Paul; Skovsgaard, Christian
    Abstract: We explore the role of elites for development and in particular for the spread of cooperative creameries in Denmark in the 1880s, which was a major factor behind that country's rapid economic catch-up. We demonstrate empirically that the location of early proto-modern dairies, so-called hollænderier, introduced onto traditional landed estates as part of the Holstein System of agriculture by landowning elites from the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein in the eighteenth century, can explain the location of cooperative creameries in 1890, more than a century later, after controlling for other relevant determinants. We interpret this as evidence that areas close to estates which adopted the Holstein System witnessed a gradual spread of modern ideas from the estates to the peasantry. Moreover, we identify a causal relationship by utilizing the nature of the spread of the Holstein System around Denmark, and the distance to the first estate to introduce it, Sofiendal. These results are supported by evidence from a wealth of contemporary sources and are robust to a variety of alternative specifications.
    Keywords: cooperatives; dairying; institutions; technology
    JEL: N53 O13 Q13
    Date: 2018–02
  11. By: Halkos, George; Gkargkavouzi, Anastasia; Matsiori, Steriani
    Abstract: Environmental education’s teachers are responsible to endow students with the knowledge, values, attitudes and skills necessary to protect and sustain the environment. The current study investigates Greek teachers’ environmental attitudes, behavior and knowledge via Connectedness to Nature Scale (CNS) and Environmental Identity (EID) Scale. The approach combines applied methodological research like item analysis and Factor Analysis. Teachers’ derived scores in both scales were high confirming their positive attitudes in terms of the environment. Furthermore, teachers have positive environmental attitudes, showing pro-environmental behavior but also a moderate level of environmental knowledge.
    Keywords: Environmental attitudes; pro-environmental behavior; teachers; CNS; EID scale.
    JEL: I29 Q56 Q57
    Date: 2018–02–11
  12. By: Feucht, Yvonne; Zander, Katrin
    Abstract: The purchase of products labelled with Carbon footprints is one option for consumers to act climate-friendly and consumers frequently state that they are interested in this kind of labels. But even though various carbon footprint labelling schemes exist throughout Europe, their market relevance is low. In this context, the present research investigates preferences for climate-friendly food and identifies barriers for climate friendly food choices in the European market. Using a mixed methods approach combining an online survey (choice experiments and a questionnaire) with qualitative face-to-face interviews, the preferences and willingness to pay for different carbon labels and a climate-friendly claim were explored in six European countries. While the online survey mainly aimed at eliciting consumer preferences for different ways of communicating climate-friendliness, the face-to-face interviews which were based on the results of the online survey, deepened and broadened the quantitative results. Thereby, consumers' perceptions of climate-friendly food and their information needs with respect to climate-friendly food are elicited. Our results show that the presence of a carbon label on a product increases the purchase probability and that consumers are willing to pay a (small) price premium for a carbon label in all countries under investigation (France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Germany, UK). However, the contribution of a carbon label to a more climate-friendly consumption will be limited. Main reasons are the lack of knowledge of climate friendly actions, reluctance to change consumption habits (e.g. meat and dairy consumption), time preference and uncertainty regarding the relevance of climate change. Consumers appear to be frequently overstrained with respect to climate-friendly buying decisions. Policy makers and retailers are challenged to set appropriate structures to support climate-friendly consumption.
    Keywords: carbon footprint labelling,consumer research,climate change,climate-friendly food,mixed methods,choice experiments,CO2-Labels,Verbraucherforschung,Klimawandel,Klimafreundliche Lebensmittel,Mixed methods,Kaufexperimente
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Janina Franco; V. Susan Bogach; Inés Pérez Arroyo; Maite Lasa
    Keywords: Energy - Electric Power Energy - Energy Policies & Economics Rural Development - Rural Poverty Reduction Strategies Rural Development - Rural and Renewable Energy
    Date: 2017–10
  14. By: Diego Aparicio; Alberto Cavallo
    Abstract: We study the impact of targeted price controls for supermarket products in Argentina from 2007 to 2015. Using web-scraping, we collected daily prices for controlled and non-controlled goods and measured the differential effects on inflation, product availability, and price dispersion. We first show that, although price controls are imposed on goods with significant CPI weight, they have a temporary effect on aggregate inflation and no downward effect on other goods. Second, contrary to common beliefs, we find that controlled goods are consistently available for sale. Third, firms compensate for price controls by introducing new product varieties at higher prices. This behavior, which increases price dispersion within narrow categories, is consistent with a standard vertical differentiation model in the presence of price controls.
    JEL: D22 E31
    Date: 2018–02
  15. By: Kafle, Kashi (International fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)); Jolliffe, Dean (World Bank); Winter-Nelson, Alex (University of Illinois)
    Abstract: This analysis is motivated by recognition that anti-poverty interventions often affect both the level and composition of assets held by beneficiaries. To assess the conventional view that assets uniformly improve childhood development through wealth effects, we use three waves of panel data from Tanzania and test whether different types of assets have differential effects on children's educational out-comes. Our results indicate that household durables and housing quality have positive effects, but agricultural assets have adverse effects on children's highest grade completed and exam performances. We use a Hausman-Taylor instrumental variable (HTIV) panel data estimator to identify the effects of both time-varying and time-invariant endogenous variables. We find that the negative effect of agricultural assets is driven by large agricultural equipment and livestock ownership and the negative effect is more pronounced among rural children, poor children, and children from farming households, presumably due to the higher opportunity cost of schooling.
    Keywords: LSMS-ISA, Tanzania, asset ownership, child education, highest grade completed, school performance
    JEL: I25 J22 D13 O12
    Date: 2017–12
  16. By: Filippo Natoli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The first decade of the 21st century saw wide fluctuations in commodity prices and a massively increased participation of financial investors in the commodity derivatives markets. The investigation of whether the presence of financial investors was responsible for these fluctuations - and, more in general, whether large trades affected futures and spot prices - has yielded mixed results in the literature. We take up this question by linking financialization to the ongoing structural transformation of the commodity markets. First, we discuss issues related to the identification of the price effects of financialization; then, we present models of commodity markets with heterogeneous agents and informational frictions and discuss the role of financial investors as the counterparts of commercial hedgers. Lastly, we suggest some avenues for future research, including the possible implications of the shale revolution and of commodity trading in the financialization process.
    Keywords: commodity, oil, financialization, speculation, limits to arbitrage, informational frictions
    JEL: G12 G13 Q02
    Date: 2018–01
  17. By: Mutanga, Shingirirai Savious; Quitzow, Rainer; Steckel, Jan Christoph
    Abstract: Focusing on critical aspects of infrastructure, such as energy, this paper argues that African countries, and African cities in particular, need infrastructure that advances both basic needs and industrialization, and avoids a lock-in of unsustainable, high-carbon technologies. G20 countries can promote and support quality of life in African countries by: (1) aligning and cementing the G20 Agenda for Africa with African initiatives, SDGs and the Paris Agreement, (2) mitigating economic risks of climate change through supporting low carbon development pathways in Africa, (3) creating and enabling a level playing field for low carbon technologies, which includes integrated strategies for derisking renewable energy investments, and (4) supporting smart and sustainable urban planning.
    Keywords: sustainable development,climate policy,Africa
    JEL: Q01 Q54 H23 R11
    Date: 2018
  18. By: ten Brink, Patrick; Schweitzer, Jean-Pierre; Watkins, Emma; Janssens, Charlotte; De Smet, Michiel; Leslie, Heather; Galgani, François
    Abstract: We live in the plastic age (the "plasticene"), producing over 300 million tonnes (mt) of plastic every year globally, 5-15 mt of which flow into already polluted oceans. Plastic remains a key material in the global economy, but low rates of collection, reuse and recycling, emissions of microplastic from product wear and tear, and often insufficient disposal measures are leading to far-reaching environmental, health, social and economic impacts. The costs of inaction are unacceptably high. Globally there is a growing recognition of the need to address marine litter and rethink our approach to plastics and plastic packaging within the economy. Measures that enable a transition to a circular economy can avoid waste and reduce marine litter, and contribute to keeping plastics and their value in the economy.
    Keywords: G20,circular economy,plastics,marine pollution
    JEL: E23 F53 Q01 Q20 Q52 Q53 Q57 L65
    Date: 2018
  19. By: P. Gorgi (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Siem Jan (S.J.) Koopman (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands; CREATES Aarhus University, Denmark); R. Lit (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: We propose a basic high-dimensional dynamic model for tennis match results with time varying player-specific abilities for different court surface types. Our statistical model can be treated in a likelihood-based analysis and is capable of handling high-dimensional datasets while the number of parameters remains small. In particular, we analyze 17 years of tennis matches for a panel of over 500 players, which leads to more than 2000 dynamic strength levels. We find that time varying player-specific abilities for different court surfaces are of key importance for analyzing tennis matches. We further consider several other extensions including player-specific explanatory variables and the accountance of specific configurations for Grand Slam tournaments. The estimation results can be used to construct rankings of players for different court surface types. We finally show that our proposed model can also be effective in forecasting. We provide evidence that our model significantly outperforms existing models in the forecasting of tennis match results.
    Keywords: Sports statistics; Score-driven time series models; Rankings; Forecasting.
    JEL: C32 C53
    Date: 2018–01–26
  20. By: Moritz Bosbach (Università di Napoli Federico II); Ornella Wanda Maietta (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF)
    Abstract: This study aims to ascertain whether the implicit price paid for Fair Trade coffee in regular supermarkets is influenced by the stock of social capital in the territory where consumers live. A hedonic regression set-up is adopted, based on Italian scanner data taken at NUTS3 level. Regressors include attributes described on the label, which contain separate certifications for Fair Trade and organic/eco-label status, plus various indicators of social capital and their interactions with the Fair Trade and organic/eco-label attributes. The consumers’ implicit price paid for the Fair Trade attribute is significantly and positively affected by a social capital proxy, which is the percentage of co-op members over total employment.
    Keywords: ethical consumption; hedonic regression; scanner data
    JEL: C50 D12 L66 Z13
    Date: 2018–02–17
  21. By: Diao, Xinshen; Silver, Jed
    Abstract: Ghana’s population is becoming younger and increasingly urbanized – by 2010, over half the population lived in urban settlements of more than 5,000 people – raising concerns among policy makers regarding the location and types of jobs required to employ the youth. The slow creation of for-mal urban jobs has particularly strong implications for young people entering the labor force: they are more educated than the older generation, with greater aspirations for non-farm employment and urban lifestyles (Anyidoho, Leavy, and Asenso-Okyere 2012). Without rapid industrialization to create more formal manufacturing and other non-agricultural jobs, youth in Ghana who leave the agricultural sector are increasingly likely to resort to informal services in both rural and urban areas. While much youth-related research has focused on changes in youth employment and livelihoods through rural-urban migration, a re-cent IFPRI Discussion Paper focuses on youth in the rural non-farm economy (Diao et al. 2017).
    Keywords: urbanization, youth, employment, off farm employment, nonfarm income, livelihoods, youth,
    Date: 2017

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