nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒03‒19
33 papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Agricultural extension and input subsidies to reduce food insecurity. Evidence from a field experiment in the Congo By Leuveld, Koen; Nillesen, Eleonora; Pieters, Janneke; Ross, Martha; Voors, Maarten; Wang Sonne, Elise
  2. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture: What have we learned and where do we go from here?: By Ruel, Marie T.; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Balagamwala, Mysbah
  3. The central position of agriculture within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: By Omilola, Babatunde; Robele, Sophia
  4. Does cooperative membership improve household welfare? Evidence from a panel data analysis of smallholder dairy farmers in Bihar, India: By Kumar, Anjani; Saroj, Sunil; Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
  5. Maintaining Food Security of Local Communities in Underdeveloped Regions through Agrarian Reform in Napan Village, Indonesian By Nia Kurniati
  6. Impact of European food safety border inspections on agri-food exports: Evidence from Chinese firms By Matthias Beestermöller; Anne-Célia Disdier; Lionel Fontagné
  7. Agricultural extension in Cambodia: An assessment and options for reform: By Ke, Sam Oeurn; Babu, Suresh Chandra
  8. A latent class analysis of improved agro-technology use behavior in Uganda: Implications for optimal targeting: By Bizimungu, Emmanuel; Kabunga, Nassul Ssentamu
  9. Is there complementarity between labels and brands? Evidence from small French co-operatives By Fares, M’hand; Raza, Saqlain; Thomas, Alban
  10. Eggs before chickens? Assessing Africa’s livestock revolution with an example from Ghana: By Andam, Kwaw S.; Arndt, Channing; Hartley, Faaiqa
  11. Does education enhance productivity in smallholder agriculture? Causal evidence from Malawi By Thomas Ferreira
  12. Remoteness, urbanization and child nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa: By Headey, Derek D.; Stifel, David; You, Liangzhi; Guo, Zhe
  13. Mothers’ non-farm entrepreneurship and child secondary education in rural Ghana: By Janssens, Charlotte; Van den Broeck, Goedele; Maertens, Miet; Lambrecht, Isabel
  14. Targeting mechanisms for cash transfers using regional aggregates By Chaaban, Jad M.; Ghattas, Hala; Irani, Alexandra; Thomas, Alban
  15. Will Urban Migrants Formally Insure their Rural Relatives? Family Networks and Rainfall Index Insurance in Burkina Faso By Harounan Kazianga; Zaki Wahhaj
  16. E15 and E85 Demand Under RIN Price Caps and an RVP Waiver By Gabriel E. Lade; Sebastien Pouliot; Bruce A. Babcock
  17. Autonomous Reform vs Global Isomorphism: Explaining Iran’s Success in Reducing Fertility By Lant Pritchett; Masoomeh Khandan
  18. The spatial sorting of informal dwellers in cities in developing countries: Theory and evidence By Harris Selod; Lara Tobin
  19. Agro-processing and horticultural exports from Africa : By Fukase, Emiko; Martin, Will
  20. Capacity and accountability in the Agricultural Extension System in Malawi: Insights from a survey of service providers in 15 districts: By Ragasa, Catherine; Mzungu, Diston; Kaima, Eric; Kazembe, Cynthia; Kalagho, Kenan
  21. Productive inefficiency in dairy farming and cooperation between spouses: Evidence from Senegal: By Hoel, Jessica B.; Hidrobo, Melissa; Bernard, Tanguy; Ashour, Maha
  22. Long-term and Spillover Effects of Rice Production Training in Uganda By Yoko Kijima
  23. Contract farming in Mozambique. Implications on gender inequalities within and across rural households By Cecilia Navarra
  24. The effect of weather index insurance on social capital: Experimental evidence from Ethiopia By Nigus, Halefom; Nillesen, Eleonora; Mohnen, Pierre
  25. The impact of credit policy on rice production in Myanmar: A fuzzy regression discontinuity design approach By Nilar Aung; Hoa-Thi-Minh Nguyen; Robert Sparrow
  26. Measuring the Equilibrium Impacts of Credit: Evidence from the Indian Microfinance Crisis By Emily Breza; Cynthia Kinnan
  27. Social risks of forest fires: a methodological proposal for their monetary evaluation By Isabel Mendes
  28. Animal sourced foods and child stunting: By Headey, Derek D.; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John F.
  29. Financing water: Investing in sustainable growth By OECD
  30. "Management Control Systems within Sustainable Ecotourism: A Study of Belitung" By Daryanto Hesti Wibowo
  31. Pathways out of poverty in rural Laos By Jonna P. Estudillo; Keijiro Otsuka; Saygnasak Seng-Arloun
  32. PATHWAYS TO DEEP DECARBONIZATION of the passenger transport sector in France By Yann Briand; Julien Lefevre; Jean-Michel Cayla
  33. Parametric models for biomarkers based on flexible size distributions By Davillas, Apostolos; Jones, Andrew M.

  1. By: Leuveld, Koen (Wageningen University); Nillesen, Eleonora (UNU-MERIT); Pieters, Janneke (Wageningen University); Ross, Martha (Wageningen University); Voors, Maarten (Wageningen University); Wang Sonne, Elise (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Small holder farming in sub-Saharan Africa is plagued by low productivity levels and high malnutrition. Extension services aim to increase knowledge and uptake of new technologies to boost yields. However, despite the potential benefits adoption rates are still low. One explanation may be that providing training and demonstration trials alone is not enough to increase input demand needed to raise productivity. Lifting multiple barriers simultaneously could prove to be more effective. We use a field experiment in eastern DRC to test whether adding input subsidies to an extension programme provides synergistic benefits. Specifically, in a sample of 64 villages that received an agricultural extension programme, a random half was given the opportunity to buy subsidised input packages. We estimate the impact of the subsidy scheme on knowledge, input use, yields and food security indicators. We find robust evidence on input use at the extensive margin: providing subsidies increases fertiliser uptake by 5 percentage points, while uptake of inoculant increases by 3 percentage points, one year after the subsidy scheme was introduced. These effects are substantial given the extremely low baseline use (3% in both cases) of fertiliser and inoculant even after the extension intervention. In addition, villages further away from these markets have lower adoption rates as cost of access increase. Our results caution against overoptimistic views on the downstream effects of productivity enhancing technologies and that investments in structural changes in markets are likely needed to stimulate growth in the agricultural sector.
    Keywords: agricultural extension, input subsidies, impact evaluation, food security, DRC
    JEL: O13 O33 Q12
    Date: 2018–02–19
  2. By: Ruel, Marie T.; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Balagamwala, Mysbah
    Abstract: A growing number of governments, donor agencies, and development organizations are committed to supporting nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) to achieve their development goals. Although consensus exists on pathways through which agriculture may influence nutrition-related outcomes, empirical evidence on agriculture’s contribution to nutrition and how it can be enhanced is still weak. This paper reviews recent empirical evidence (since 2014), including findings from impact evaluations of a variety of NSA programs using experimental designs as well as observational studies that document linkages between agriculture, women’s empowerment, and nutrition. It summarizes existing knowledge regarding not only impacts but also pathways, mechanisms, and contextual factors that affect where and how agriculture may improve nutrition outcomes. The paper concludes with reflections on implications for agricultural programs, policies, and investments, and highlights future research priorities.
    Keywords: agriculture; diet; impact assessment; nutrition; child nutrition; maternal nutrition;,
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Omilola, Babatunde; Robele, Sophia
    Abstract: This paper provides a helpful framing to understand both why and how policy attention and investments should be channeled through agriculture and agrifood systems as key vehicles for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It illustrates the ways in which agriculture, particularly within the context of food value chains, is uniquely positioned to holistically address the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development because of its existing reach and future potential. In this paper’s examination of the multiplicity of entry points the sector offers for fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth, reversing harmful environmental trends, and enhancing the resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable populations, it traces some of the most potent pathways for agricultural policies and interventions to accelerate development outcomes across all country contexts.
    Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; agriculture; poverty; food security; famine; sustainable development; environment; economic development; social change; gender; nutrition; resilience; climate change; agricultural policies; agricultural development,
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Kumar, Anjani; Saroj, Sunil; Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: The promotion of cooperatives is widely viewed as the most important institutional arrangement for spurring dairy development in India and much of the success of the White Revolution in India is attributed to the cooperative framework of the country's dairy development strategies. However, empirical evidences on impact of dairy cooperatives based on sound econometric analysis are scarce. To bridge the gap in literature, this paper examines the impact of dairy cooperative membership on farm performance indicators, such as milk yield, net returns, and adoption of food safety measures (FSM) in milk production, using panel data from a survey of milk producers in 2007 and 2015 in Bihar, India. An endogenous switching regression model, which accounts for selection bias, is used in the analysis.
    Keywords: food safety, dairy cooperatives, dairy farms, profitability, agricultural development, milk yield, returns, agricultural policies, food policies,
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Nia Kurniati (Law Faculty, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia Author-2-Name: Reginawanti Hindersah Author-2-Workplace-Name: Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Padjadjaran, Jl. Raya Bandung Sumedang KM.21, Hegarmanah Jatinangor, Sumedang 45363 West Java, Indonesia)
    Abstract: Objective – The objective of this study is to identify the food security characteristics in local communities at Napan Village, Nusa Tenggara Timur Indonesia and to study the implementation of agrarian reform principles covering asset reform and access reform, in achieving food sustainability. Methodology/Technique – The method used is a normative judicial method. The data is analysed through qualitative judicial means, supported by Focus Group Discussion, to obtain primary qualitative data. Findings – The results show that synchronization of agrarian reform programs, including asset reform with "Food Intensification Program" along with "Social Forestry Program", reinforce farmers' rights over their farmlands and assure farmland tenure and ownership. The approach of "access reform" by means of the "Food Intensification Program", integrated with government intervention, might serve as the base for achieving the inclusivity and continuity of food sustainability in Napan Novelty – This study highlights the need for central and local governments to accelerate food production in underdeveloped regions through asset and access reform programs. Land Certification, Social Forestry Program, and the Food Intensification Program can all be implemented to strengthen farmers' land rights as well as their productivity.
    Keywords: Agrarian Reform; Food Security; Napan Village; Indonesia
    JEL: Q1 Q18
    Date: 2017–12–15
  6. By: Matthias Beestermöller (LMU Munich - University of Munich); Anne-Célia Disdier (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Lionel Fontagné (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The cost of complying with a sanitary standard is certain. However, such measure introduces uncertainty for exporters in relation to border rejections. Shipments may fail to pass inspections and may be refused entry into the importing country. This risk is shaped by variance in the quality of the exported product, and the stringency of the border controls. We examine how the risk of rejection at European borders on safety grounds is affecting Chinese agri-food exporters. We combine information from the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed with Chinese firm-level export data by product, destination and year for the period 2000-2011. Information externalities and reputation effects are important. Border rejections amplify the turnover among firms at the extensive margin of trade. This risk is curbing small exporters and resulting in a concentration of Chinese exports among big exporters.
    Keywords: Food Safety,Border inspections,Import refusals,Uncertainty,Firm heterogeneity
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Ke, Sam Oeurn; Babu, Suresh Chandra
    Abstract: This paper assesses the performance of Cambodia’s agriculture extension system, identifies challenges and analyzes constraints and opportunities for that system, and finally identifies actions needed to improve the extension system. We offer recommendations for both policy makers and practitioners regarding the current status of extension in Cambodia.
    Keywords: agricultural extension, extension programmes, extension programs, agricultural research, advisory services, agricultural sector, rural development, agricultural development, evaluation, smallholders,
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Bizimungu, Emmanuel; Kabunga, Nassul Ssentamu
    Abstract: This study uses a large dataset that covers a wide geographical and agricultural scope to describe the use patterns of improved agro-technology in Uganda. Using latent class analysis with data on more than 12,500 households across the four regions of Uganda, we classify farmers based on the package of improved agro-technologies they use. We find that the majority of farmers (61 percent) do not use any improved agricultural practices (the “nonusers†), whereas only 5 percent of farmers belong to the class of “intensified diversifiers,†those using most of the commonly available agro-technologies across crop and livestock enterprises. Using multinomial regression analysis, we show that education of the household head, access to extension messages, and affiliation with social groups are the key factors that drive switching from the nonuser (reference) class to the other three (preferred) classes that use improved agrotechnologies to varying degrees. Results reveal the existence of heterogeneous farmer categories, certainly with different agrotechnology needs, that may have implications for optimal targeting.
    Keywords: innovation adoption, technology, agriculture, agricultural productivity,
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Fares, M’hand; Raza, Saqlain; Thomas, Alban
    Abstract: Many quality signals—both private and public—have been used to foster the development of food quality in the agro-food markets: mainly brands and common certified labels. Previous research has typically focused on either brand or certified label efficiency independently, while in many instances both signals coexist. Agricultural products that pair brand names and certified labels—such as indications of origin—are indeed common: e.g., Roquefort cheese, Scotch whiskeys, and most of the French wines. The objective of our paper is to take into account this coexistence by empirically analyzing the complementarity and/or substitutability that may exist between labels and brands. To do so, we estimate different models of adoption and an original multinomial probit model of complementarity that we test on a database of the quality-signaling strategies from 993 small French cooperatives. Our main result shows that there is a clear interaction effect between brand and certified label signal strategies, but it is a substitution effect rather than a complementary one.
    Keywords: Complementarity; Quality signals; Multinomial probit
    Date: 2018–02
  10. By: Andam, Kwaw S.; Arndt, Channing; Hartley, Faaiqa
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impacts of adopting restrictive import policies for chicken meat in Ghana, which would be like the policies adopted in Nigeria. A prohibitive tariff stimulates domestic chicken meat production but also imposes significant costs on consumers and encourages illicit trade. However, a substantial poultry industry, producing mostly eggs, will exist independent of the border policy applied to chicken meat, due to the natural protection offered to local producers in the egg subsector. A subsector analysis of an egg production cluster in Ghana highlights the importance of trade links with other West African countries in developing the egg subsector. A focus on feed efficiency, through a mix of domestic production and imports, would benefit the layer industry, provide reasonable indications of prospects for globally competitive chicken meat production, and benefit other industries dependent on competitive feed, notably aquaculture.
    Keywords: tariffs; poultry; livestock; agricultural development; trade policies; international trade; agricultural policies; food policies,
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Thomas Ferreira (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Malawi is a low-income country where the majority of the poor live and work in smallholder agriculture. In settings like these, schooling is believed to be a valuable tool in lifting people out of poverty. Yet, little is known about how schooling affects agricultural productivity. The effect of education on smallholder agricultural production has been estimated before but this paper contributes to the literature by estimating, for the first time, the causal effects of education on agricultural productivity using an instrumental variable approach (IV). The introduction of free primary education (FPE) and the age of paternal orphanhood are used as IV's for education. The instruments are shown to calculate local average treatment effects for individuals who only entered school due to FPE and only left school due to paternal orphanhood. It is found that there are large differences in returns to education between the subgroups. Returns are low and insignificant when FPE is used as an IV but they are larger and there is a significant effect when age of paternal orphanhood is used. Thus, while education can have large effects on agricultural productivity, this is not so for individuals specifically targeted by large scale expansions in educational access.
    Keywords: Returns to education; agricultural productivity; Instrumental variables; Malawi
    JEL: J24 J43
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Headey, Derek D.; Stifel, David; You, Liangzhi; Guo, Zhe
    Abstract: Reducing undernutrition requires improving access to goods and services from a wide range of economic and social sectors, including agriculture, education and health. Yet despite broad agreement on the multisectoral nature of the global burden of undernutrition, relatively little research has analyzed how different dimensions of accessibility, such as urbanization and travel times to urban centers, affect child nutrition and dietary outcomes. In this paper we study these relationships in sub-Saharan Africa, a highly rural continent still severely hindered by remoteness problems. We link spatial data on travel times to 20,000 person cities to survey data from 10,900 communities in 23 countries. We document strong negative associations between nutrition indicators and rural livelihoods, but only moderately strong associations with remoteness to cities. Moreover, the harmful effects of remoteness and rural living largely disappear once education, wealth, and social/infrastructural services indicators are added to the model. This implies that the key nutritional disadvantage of rural populations stems chiefly from social and economic poverty. Combating these problems requires either an acceleration of urbanization processes, or finding innovative cost-effective mechanisms for extending basic services to isolated rural communities.
    Keywords: malnutrition; nutritional disorders; roads; transport infrastructure; urbanization; rural areas; diets; child nutrition; rural population; poverty; nutrition,
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Janssens, Charlotte; Van den Broeck, Goedele; Maertens, Miet; Lambrecht, Isabel
    Abstract: In this paper we empirically analyse the impact of mothers’ non-farm entrepreneurship on child secondary school enrollment in rural Ghana. We use nationally representative quantitative data from the sixth round of the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS) and qualitative data from focus group discussions throughout rural Ghana. We apply instrumental variable estimation techniques with instruments that pass weak and overidentification tests. We test interaction effects between mothers’ non-farm entrepreneurship and other important determinants of child schooling. We use qualitative data to support our quantitative findings.
    Keywords: nonfarm income, employment, gender, education, rural development, secondary education, children, mothers, developing countries, rural population, econometrics,
    Date: 2018
  14. By: Chaaban, Jad M.; Ghattas, Hala; Irani, Alexandra; Thomas, Alban
    Abstract: We propose an empirical method for improving food assistance scoring and targeting, which minimizes under-coverage and leakage of food and cash assistance programs. The empirical strategy relies on a joint econometric estimation of food insecurity and economic vulnerability indicators at the household level, using data-driven instead of predetermined quantiles.We apply the method to recent micro data on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, to explore how regional and community-based aggregates can improve the targeting effectiveness of aid programs, notably food aid by the World Food Program in Lebanon. Our results confirm that using regional aggregates are useful for augmenting the Balanced Poverty Accuracy Criterion, and our method performs much better than the current policy in terms of targeting effectiveness and accuracy for economically vulnerable households.
    Keywords: Targeting ; Food security;;Economic vulnerability; Food aid; Refugees
    JEL: I38 Q18
    Date: 2018–02
  15. By: Harounan Kazianga (Oklahoma State University); Zaki Wahhaj (University of Kent)
    Abstract: We present findings from a pilot study exploring whether and how existing ties between urban migrants and rural farmers may be used to provide the latter improved access to formal insurance. Urban migrants in Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina Faso) originating from nearby villages were offered, at the prevailing market price, a rainfall index insurance product that can potentially protect their rural relatives from adverse weather shocks. The product had an uptake of 22% during the two-week subscription window. Uptake rates were higher by 17-22 ppts among urban migrants who were randomly offered an insurance policy that would make pay-outs directly to the intended beneficiary rather than the subscriber. We argue that rainfall index insurance can complement informal risk-sharing networks by mitigating problems of informational asymmetry and self-control issues.
    Keywords: Microinsurance markets, Indexed insurance, Rainfall, Migration, Informal insurance networks
    JEL: O15 O16 G21
    Date: 2018–03–15
  16. By: Gabriel E. Lade (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); Sebastien Pouliot (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); Bruce A. Babcock
    Abstract: An understanding of several technical and economic factors is needed to understand the current discussions about the RFS and E15. Here we briefly discuss how the EPA could implement a RIN price cap. We then summarize how fuel content restrictions currently limit year-round sales of mid-ethanol blend fuels. Last, we summarize the role of RINs in incentivizing consumption of high ethanol-blend fuels.
    Date: 2018–03
  17. By: Lant Pritchett (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Masoomeh Khandan (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: A long-standing literature in the sociology of organizations (e.g., DiMaggio and Powell 1983) suggests that, as change agents face uncertainty about actions and outcomes, they often seek legitimacy through isomorphism: adopting structures, policies and reforms similar (at least in appearance) to those deemed successful elsewhere. We examine history’s most rapid reduction of fertility—from 8.4 in 1985 to 2.4 in 2002, in rural Iran—as an example of successful autonomous reform. The Iranian state, which was self-consciously cut off from nearly all of the traditional vectors of global isomorphism, initiated a successful behavioral change in a domain (family planning) perhaps unexpected for an Islamic state. We describe and explain the Iranian approach, in particular the rural program, contrasting it with the global strategy of adopting universal "best practices."
    Keywords: Iran, Fertility
    Date: 2017–11
  18. By: Harris Selod (The World Bank - The World Bank - The World Bank); Lara Tobin (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We propose a theory of urban land use with endogenous property rights that applies to cities in developing countries. Households compete for where to live in the city and choose the property rights they purchase from a land administration which collects fees in inequitable ways. The model generates predictions regarding the levels and spatial patterns of residential informality in the city. Simulations show that land policies that reduce the size of the informal sector may adversely impact households in the formal sector through induced land price increases. Empirical evidence from a sub-Saharan African city supports the model's assumptions and outcomes.
    Keywords: Land markets,Property rights,Tenure security,Multiple sales
    Date: 2018–01
  19. By: Fukase, Emiko; Martin, Will
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the principal features of agro-processing and horticultural exports from SSA and explores policy alternatives based on simulation analyses. We first provide a conceptual section focusing on changing patterns of processing and exports (section 2). We then examine how the pattern of exports from Africa compares with the pattern in other regions (section 3). Following that, we examine the directions of trade in African agricultural exports and the patterns of protection facing, and imposed by, African countries (section 4). Next, we turn to simulation exercises to examine the impacts of potential reforms on exports of processed and horticultural exports from Africa (section 5). With this as background, we turn to consider the options for policy makers in Africa (section 6).
    Keywords: trade; horticulture; agricultural trade; exports; trade policies; trade barriers; economic policies,
    Date: 2017
  20. By: Ragasa, Catherine; Mzungu, Diston; Kaima, Eric; Kazembe, Cynthia; Kalagho, Kenan
    Abstract: This report summarizes the data collected from a survey of government and nongovernment extension service providers (GSPs and non-GSPs, respectively) in 15 sample districts in Malawi. Together with the recently published report that looks at farmers’ perspective (Ragasa and Niu 2017), this report is aimed for use by various stakeholders in Malawi, especially in the review of the national extension policy and development of an extension strategy, and in the implementation and monitoring of extension activities under the National Agriculture Policy.
    Keywords: agricultural extension; management,
    Date: 2017
  21. By: Hoel, Jessica B.; Hidrobo, Melissa; Bernard, Tanguy; Ashour, Maha
    Abstract: We examine productive inefficiencies in dairy farming in pastoralist house-holds in Northern Senegal, and using laboratory games, measure the relation-ship between spousal cooperation and productive inefficiency directly. In house-holds that behave less cooperatively in the games, cows owned by men produce10.6% more milk per day than cows owned by women, a gap that remainslarge and statistically significant after controlling for household, owner, andcow characteristics. Our results suggest that frictions between spouses mayindeed explain gender gaps in productivity, and support the use of lab-basedmeasures of household cooperation to complement survey data in explainingcollective behaviors.
    Keywords: efficiency; cooperation; dairy,
    Date: 2017
  22. By: Yoko Kijima
    Abstract: Using panel data from 2009, 2011, and 2015, this study estimates the impact of rice production training conducted in Uganda on the adoption of improved cultivation practices and productivities. Since participants were encouraged to share information with fellow farmers, the average effects on training participants and non-participants in training villages (spillover effects) are separately estimated by selecting comparable households from villages without training projects. Because of the non-random assignment of project villages and training participation, a difference-in-differences model with household fixed effects is combined with propensity score weighting for mitigating biases. We find that training increases adoption rates for improved cultivation practices among training participants, both in the short and long term, and the long-term impact of training on rice yield is 0.47 tons per hectare. Although non-participants in training villages increased the adoption of transplanting in the long term, no improvements in non-participants’ knowledge on rice cultivation nor in rice productivity were detected. The results of the heterogeneous impacts on non-participants’ adoption show non-participants who visited the demonstration plot increased the adoption of transplanting, but those who talked with training participants about rice cultivation did not increase the adoption rate more than those who did not.
    Keywords: Agricultural training project, Impact evaluation, Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2018–02
  23. By: Cecilia Navarra
    Abstract: This paper analyses the implication of contract farming on gender inequalities in rural Mozambique. Contract farming is often considered one of the major tools of agribusiness development: it broadly includes those arrangements under which producers commit to provide a pre-defined quantity of crop to a buyer firm. This paper exploits a panel dataset (2002–05) collected by the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture among a nationally representative sample of rural households to explore contracts’ implications for gender equality, both across and within households. We look both at the participation of female-headed households in contracts, and at the impact of establishing a contract on a set of intra-household women empowerment indicators. Concerning the first, our results confirm a selection out of contracts in rural households where a woman is the household’s head. With regard to the second, we may expect contrasting effects to be at work: on the one hand, the consequences of increased income relaxing the budget constraint, while, on the other, the effects of an intra-household shift towards men’s control over assets. We find different results according to the indicator used: after controlling for selection bias, we find no effect on control over land, but a negative effect on women’s access to extension services.
    Date: 2018
  24. By: Nigus, Halefom (UNU-MERIT); Nillesen, Eleonora (UNU-MERIT); Mohnen, Pierre (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: In this study, using data from lab-in-the-field experiment, we explore whether the introduction of weather index insurance crowds in or crowds out social capital in northern Ethiopia. We use contributions in the public good game as a measure of social capital. We find that weather index insurance crowds out social capital. The free-riding problem created by the positive externality of weather index insurance and development of self-sufficiency behaviour are found to be the causal mechanisms behind the crowding out phenomenon. Our results indicate that formal insurance mechanisms do not occur in a vacuum and may have unintended effects. Hence, this study suggests that novel insurance product design and marketing strategies should be used to ameliorate such unintended effects.
    Keywords: Weather index insurance, social capital, public goods game, Ethiopia
    JEL: C93 G22 H41 O17
    Date: 2018–02–19
  25. By: Nilar Aung; Hoa-Thi-Minh Nguyen; Robert Sparrow
    Abstract: Rural finance has long been an important tool for poverty reduction and rural development by donors and governments, but the impacts have been controversial. Measuring impact is challenging due to identification problems caused by selection bias and governments' targeted interventions, while randomised trial data is scarce and limited to contexts where little to no rural fiance exists. Using an author-collected data set, we provide insights on a large-scale long-lasting subsidized rice credit programme in Myanmar, one of the poorest and, until recently, most economically isolated countries in Asia. Identification relies on a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, exploiting an arbitrary element to the credit provision rule which is based on rice land holding size. Although we find little evidence that rice yield or output is increased, we do see that the program has some positive effects on total household income, suggesting a positive spillover effect on other farm income activities.
    Keywords: Rural finance, regression discontinuity, credit, rice production, Myanmar
    Date: 2018–01
  26. By: Emily Breza; Cynthia Kinnan
    Abstract: In October 2010, the state government of Andhra Pradesh, India issued an emergency ordinance, bringing microfinance activities in the state to a complete halt and causing a nation-wide shock to the liquidity of lenders, especially those with loans in the affected state. We use this massive dislocation in the microfinance market to identify the causal impacts of a reduction in credit supply on consumption, earnings, and employment in general equilibrium. Using a proprietary, hand-collected district-level data set from 25 separate, for-profit microlenders matched with household data from the National Sample Survey, we find that district-level reductions in credit supply are associated with significant decreases in casual daily wages, household wage earnings and consumption. We also find that wages in the non-tradable sector fall more than in the tradable sector (agriculture), suggesting that one important impact of the microfinance contraction was transmitted through its effect on aggregate demand. We present a simple two period, two-sector model of the rural economy illustrating this channel and show that our wage results are consistent with a simple calibration of the model.
    JEL: D50 G21 O16
    Date: 2018–02
  27. By: Isabel Mendes
    Abstract: The risk of forest fire in Portugal ranks among the highest in Europe. In recent times, fears have risen over the incidence of major forest fires with a scale and dimension that generate extremely high economic, environmental and social costs. Combatting this type of fire represents a particularly difficult and expensive objective and, in some cases, with a far from desirable level of efficiency. Particularly due to the national context characterised by severe budgetary restrictions, guaranteeing greater effectiveness and efficiency in forest fire prevention and fighting represents core objectives. One of the ways of improving the decision making process involves the monetary estimation of the total costs caused by fires and their respective risk levels, thus the cost of the risk of fire (in the sense of the economic cost calculated from the perspective of society in contrast to the concept of economic cost calculated according to the private ownership perspective) and that includes the probability of the incidence of fire and its propagation and the total cost of the damage that incorporates both the specific social costs, the economic cost and the environmental cost. This working paper holds the objective of contributing towards the conceptual and methodological discussion around this theme.
    Keywords: forest fires; social cost; monetary evaluation; methodology.
    JEL: Q23 Q51
    Date: 2018–02
  28. By: Headey, Derek D.; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John F.
    Abstract: Stunting affects 160 million pre-school children around the world, and imposes significant costs on a child’s health, cognitive development, schooling and economic performance. Stunting in early childhood has been linked to poor dietary diversity, notably low intake of animal-sourced foods (ASFs) rich in high quality protein and other growth-stimulating nutrients. Surprisingly, however, very little economic research has focused on ASFs and child growth. In this paper we redress this omission through an analysis of 112,553 children aged 6-23 months from 46 countries. We first document distinctive patterns of ASF consumption among children in different regions, particularly highly variable patterns of dairy consumption, low consumption of eggs and meat, and surprisingly frequent consumption of fish in several poor regions of Africa and Asia. We then examine how ASF consumption is associated with child stunting in multivariate models saturated with control variables.
    Keywords: animal products; nutrition; child nutrition; malnutrition; nutritional disorders; livestock; fisheries; agricultural policies; food policies; food consumption; developing countries; protein intake,
    Date: 2017
  29. By: OECD
    Abstract: This paper sets out essential facts about the economic case for water-related investment and the financing gap. It charts a series of actions to better value water and ultimately facilitate investment at a scale commensurate with the commitments of the global community.
    Date: 2018–03–16
  30. By: Daryanto Hesti Wibowo (Padjadjaran University/Institut STIAMI, Jl. Dipati Ukur No. 35, 40132, Bandung, Indonesia)
    Abstract: "Objective – This study aims to examine the implementation of ecotourism management control systems in Belitung. The purpose of this is to make the management system more effective and efficient in achieving its targets. Methodology/Technique – Questionnaires were delivered to tourism department officers in Belitung and a direct interview was also conducted with the Regent. The established goals for the development of ecotourism management are defined using the Management Control System ('MCS') framework to effectively and efficiently obtain and utilize resources to achieve those objectives. These goals require targeted congruence, supported by motivated employees, running on formal and informal control mechanisms with the application of risk allocation. Findings – This research shows that management control systems have been applied in the development of inclusive and sustainable ecotourism. However, personal and organizational target congruence shows areas for improvement, particularly with respect to shifting from mining to ecotourism as the the source of economic profitability. Novelty – The Belitung local government has recently amended its policies to focus more heavily on the development of inclusive and sustainable ecotourism. "
    Keywords: Ecotourism; Effective; Efficient; Management Control System; Sustainability.
    Date: 2017–12–19
  31. By: Jonna P. Estudillo; Keijiro Otsuka; Saygnasak Seng-Arloun
    Abstract: Using a rare individual-level data set, this paper explores the role of education and farmland on the choice of job of three generations of household members in rural Laos. While the first (G1) and the second (G2) generations are mainly engaged in farming, the youngest generation (G3) is engaged in nonfarm wage and overseas work. Education matters in nonfarm wage work, but not necessarily in overseas work. The female members of G3 are more likely to migrate. Our findings imply a shortage of jobs in rural Laos, pushing the less educated and the females to cross the border to Thailand.
  32. By: Yann Briand (IDDRI - Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales - Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Paris); Julien Lefevre (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - AgroParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement); Jean-Michel Cayla (EDF R&D - EDF R&D - EDF - EDF)
    Date: 2017
  33. By: Davillas, Apostolos; Jones, Andrew M.
    Abstract: Recent advances in social science surveys include collection of biological samples. Although biomarkers offer a large potential for social science and economic research, they impose a number of statistical challenges, often being distributed asymmetrically with heavy tails. Using data from the UK Household Panel Survey (UKHLS), we illustrate the comparative performance of a set of flexible parametric distributions, which allow for a wide range of skewness and kurtosis: the four-parameter generalized beta of the second kind (GB2), the three-parameter generalized gamma (GG) and their three-, two- or one-parameter nested and limiting cases. Commonly used blood-based biomarkers for inflammation, diabetes, cholesterol and stress-related hormones are modelled. Although some of the three-parameter distributions nested within the GB2 outperform the latter for most of the biomarkers considered, the GB2 can be used as a guide for choosing among competing parametric distributions for biomarkers. Going “beyond the mean†to estimate tail probabilities, we find that GB2 performs fairly well with some disparities at the very high levels of HbA1c and fibrinogen. Commonly used OLS models are shown to perform worse than almost all the flexible distributions.
    Date: 2018–03–08

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