nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒03‒26
sixteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Polish Sugar Sector After Abolishing Sugar Production Quotas By Krzysztof Hryszko; Piotr Szajner
  2. Mapping the Radical Innovations in Food Industry: A Text Mining Study By Ilya Kuzminov; Pavel Bakhtin; Elena Khabirova; Maxim Kotsemir; Alina Lavrynenko
  3. Household Fuel Use in Rural China By Christophe Muller; Huijie Yan
  4. Startup as a partner of cooperation for big company in the agri-food industry: Analysis of forms of cooperation on examples By Klimczuk-Kochańska, Magdalena
  5. An Approach to the Problem of Employment in India By Deepankar Basu
  6. The Impact of Globalization on the Agricultural Sector and Food Security By Hana Polá?ková
  7. The Formation and Malleability of Dietary Habits: A Field Experiment with Low Income Families By Belot, Michèle; Berlin, Noemi; James, Jonathan; Skafida, Valeria
  8. Economic growth determinants in countries with blue carbon: Natural capital as a limiting factor ? By Laura Recuero Virto; Denis Couvet
  9. International Commodity Prices and Civil War Outbreak: New Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa and Beyond By Antonio Ciccone
  10. Will Urban Migrants Formally Insure their Rural Relatives? Family Networks and Rainfall Index Insurance in Burkina Faso By Harounan Kazianga; Zaki Wahhaj
  11. Demand for off-grid solar electricity: Experimental evidence from Rwanda By Grimm, Michael; Lenz, Luciane; Peters, Jörg; Sievert, Maximiliane
  12. Is the allocation of time gender sensitive to food price changes? an investigation of hours of work in Uganda By Daniela Campus; Gianna Claudia Giannelli
  13. Social justice, the food product consumer and non-communicable diseases: Implications of consumer protection legislation for the food industry in South Africa By Karunanidhi Reddy
  14. A Physical Vulnerability to Climate Change Index: Which are the most vulnerable developing countries? By Mathilde CLOSSET; Sosso FEINDOUNO; Patrick GUILLAUMONT; Catherine SIMONET
  15. Sustainable management of fish stock: An assessment of small-scale fishing in Greece By Halkos, George; Roditi, Kyriakoula; Matsiori, Steriani; Vafidis, Dimitrios
  16. The long-term impact of Italian colonial roads in the Horn of Africa, 1935-2000 By Bertazzini, Mattia C.

  1. By: Krzysztof Hryszko (The Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics ? National Research Institute); Piotr Szajner (The Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics ? National Research Institute)
    Abstract: The sugar market was one of the most regulated markets in the agri-food sector in the EU, The basis of said regulation was an administrative restriction of supply (production quotas), protectionist foreign trade policies, a minimum procurement price for sugar beet and the reference price of sugar. The sugar sector in Poland has a long tradition and is of great economic social and environmental significance, as well as an important element of the food security policy. Sugar beets are characterized by the greatest productivity per area unit, and by-products are used as fodder or for energy production purposes. The sugar industry is a strategic part of the food economy. Sugar remains the main sweetener, despite the development of the starch syrup and low-calorific sweetener markets. The social importance of the sector results from the fact that sugar beet production remains the source of income for planters, and the sugar industry and numerous service providers create both national income and jobs. Sugar beet cultivations are a crucial element of the sustainable development of agriculture as they increase biodiversity and maintain agricultural land in good condition.Abolishing production quotas will result in big changes in the sugar sector, which in turn will have multiple economic, social and environmental effects. Accounting for international conditions, including competition from cane sugar and obligations resulting from trade contracts, it is assessed that the sugar balance may undergo significant changes. Under the changing external conditions, the foreign trade policies and international economic relations will have a very significant impact on the situation of the domestic sugar sector. Situational development in the sugar sector should include two basic elements: changes in the EU market after the market regulations reform and changes in the economic situation on the international market, and foreign trade conditions. The significant economic social and environmental importance indicates that future policy with regards to the sector should include solutions which will allow to maintain sugar beet cultivation and sugar production at least in the most effective and competitive regions of the country.
    Keywords: sugar beets, sugar, sugar sector, market, market regulations, competition
    JEL: D20 D40 C10
    Date: 2017–10
  2. By: Ilya Kuzminov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel Bakhtin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Elena Khabirova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maxim Kotsemir (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alina Lavrynenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The article presents the results of the study of radical innovations in the global food industry which were obtained through semantic analysis of heterogeneous unstructured text data sources by applying innovative big data text mining system. The approach used allows performing rapid, yet comprehensive aggregation of the whole polyphony of existing knowledge of the technology development in any sector for traditional foresight, future oriented technology analysis, and horizon scanning studies. The sources for the analysis include research papers, patent applications with both full-text data and additional structured metadata, analytical reports by main international organizations and national key players, various media and news resources, including all the major technology innovation, disruption and venture capital news websites. Their processing with an introduced approach for trend- and technology-mapping helps to identify ongoing and emerging technology-related trends, weak signals on possible scientific breakthroughs in the global food industry, including most promising startup strategies and food innovation controversies. This kind of analysis can be performed on a regular basis owing to constant accumulation of textual data and serve as a framework for constant science and technology (S&T) monitoring for early warning on changing technology landscape and its implications on agriculture and food markets
    Keywords: radical innovations, trends, weak signals, big data, text mining, food industry
    JEL: O1 O3
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Christophe Muller (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSE); Huijie Yan (CEARC, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines et Université Paris-Saclay)
    Abstract: The household transition from dirty to clean fuels is important because of its economic, health and environment consequences, locally, nationally and globally. In order to study fuel choices, a non-separated farm household model for fuel demands is developed. Then, discrete choice equations of fuel uses, consistent with this theoretical model, are estimated using microeconomic household panel data from rural China.The estimation results support the theoretical approach that implies that the fuel demands depend not only on income, fuel prices, and demand-side socioeconomic factors, as would occur in the standard fuel demand models in the literature, but also on food prices, agricultural assets, and original household and community characteristics that shape the household responses to market failures. Finally, we present a few policy simulations that reveal the complex substitution impact of energy price policies in China.We provide the first evidence on: price sensitivity of fuel stacking, that food prices exert some pressure on the fuel transition, the role of farm work and activity specialization in fuel choices. Policies should incorporate some of the complexity of the non-separated decisions of rural households in this context of market failures. The complex cross-price effects imply that the policy pricing mechanisms should account for all energy types and food prices. Finally, market-based policies should be coupled with policy interventions aimed at increasing the opportunity cost of dirty fuels.
    Keywords: fuel use, China, consumption demand, energy
    JEL: D11 D12 Q41
    Date: 2018–03
  4. By: Klimczuk-Kochańska, Magdalena
    Abstract: Currently obtaining and maintaining a competitive advantage require implementation of innovation in companies. This trend is mainly caused by the rapid development cycle of technologies. Thus, there is a question of adaptability especially regarding introducing innovation. It can be assumed that cooperation between entities at various stages of the business development is increasingly important and large enterprises from the agri-food industry are willing to interact with startups. This interaction may allow startups to overcome the difficulties that are emerging at the early stage of the development such as the problem of delivering the reliable proof of concept. The goal of this paper is an analysis of cooperation and use of the synergies between large enterprises and startups especially in order to address needs of innovation in the economy. The cooperation can take various forms, and this paper will discuss selected types of collaboration between large enterprises and startups, which are related to business acceleration activities, co-development, co-branding, acquisitions, and acqui-hire.
    Keywords: acqui-hire, acquisition, agri-food industry, co-branding, co-development, forms of cooperation, startups
    JEL: C71 L66 O16 P12 Q13 Q18
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Deepankar Basu (Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts - Amherst)
    Abstract: The challenge of employment in the Indian economy, especially after it growth acceleration since the mid-1980s, relates to its quality rather than its quantity. While employment growth has kept pace with the labour force over the long run, what has grown is informal employment. The coexistence of rapid capital accumulation, robust output growth and lack of growth of formal employment can be understood using the well-known Harris-Todaro model of a dual economy. This framework highlights the key role of the wage gap between the modern and traditional sectors as a determinant of urban informal employment. Hence, one of the most effective and egalitarian ways to address the employment problem is to adopt policies to increase agricultural productivity and income, which can reduce the wage gap. Since crop yields in India are far lower than many other countries in the world, including China, Brazil, and Bangladesh, there is ample scope for land-augmenting and labour-absorbing technological change in Indian agriculture. Efforts to ramp up industrialization should be taken up in earnest only after the wage gap has been narrowed significantly.
    Keywords: employment, India, Harris-Todaro, agriculture
    JEL: J21 O10 O13
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Hana Polá?ková (University of Economics in Bratislava)
    Abstract: We can look at the impacts of globalization on agriculture and food security from different angles. However, not all findings can be positive. Looking at the growth of international trade and the amount of pollutants released into the air when transporting goods or protecting crops against pests, globalization contributes to disruption of global ecosystem and climate change. As a result, climatic fluctuations and extreme weather events - droughts, floods or torrential rainfalls that cause arable soil leakage - are becoming more and more frequent. Subsequent non-crops can negatively affect GDP (especially in the case of agricultural economies) and endanger the food security of the country. Secondly the changes in structure of economies in favor of production with higher labor productivity and smaller proportion of agriculture can force some countries to import even basic food. These facts are also indirectly reflected in the social environment. The paper draws attention to the fact that such structure of economy is cyclically very sensitive and may adversely affect the development of the underlying macroeconomic indicators. It focuses on certain weaknesses in this trend. The sources come from databases of statistical offices and a genetic-historical analysis was used in the paper.
    Keywords: Food security, gross domestic product, structure of the economy, food imports
    JEL: Q18 E24 F18
    Date: 2017–10
  7. By: Belot, Michèle (European University Institute); Berlin, Noemi (University Paris Ouest-Nanterre); James, Jonathan (University of Bath); Skafida, Valeria (University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment to evaluate the extent to which dietary habits are malleable early on in childhood and later in life. We implement two treatments one that targets what people eat, the other that targets the timing and frequency of food intake. 285 low income families with young children were recruited and assigned either to a control group or one of the two treatments, each of them lasting for 12 consecutive weeks. In one treatment, families received food groceries at home for free for 12 weeks and were asked to prepare five specific healthy meals per week. In the other treatment, families were simply asked to reduce snacking and eat at regular times. We collected a range of measures of food preferences, dietary intake, as well as BMI and biomarkers based on blood samples. We find evidence that children's BMI distribution shifted significantly relative to the control group, i.e. they became relatively "thinner". We also find some evidence that their preferences have been affected by both treatments. On the other hand, we find little evidence of effects on parents. We conclude that exposure to a healthy diet and regularity of food intake possibly play a role in shaping dietary habits, but influencing dietary choices later on in life remains a major challenge.
    Keywords: diet, field experiments, habit formation, biomarkers
    JEL: I12 I14 I18
    Date: 2018–02
  8. By: Laura Recuero Virto (CESCO (MHNH) et ARAFER); Denis Couvet (CESCO (MNHN))
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the determinants of economic growth in countries with blue carbon, i.e. countries with open access to the sea and high mangrove mitigation potential, to explore the effects of potential antropogenic pressures on these coastal ecosystems. For this purpose, we use a sample of 23 countries across different regions in the world for the period 1960-2009. We find evidence that whereas neoclassical (initial income and investment in physical capital), demography, macroeconomic policy and natural capital are the robust growth theories in countries with blue carbon, investment in physical capital, macroeconomic policy and natural capital are not relevant anymore when using a worldwide sample of countries. The findings on the role of natural capital on economic growth are largely consistent with those of “less developed” countries that our sample represents. Indeed, there is a share over two times lower of national natural capital per capita compared to an average country, and such lower share can be a limiting factor for economic growth. In addition, a too large economic dependence on national natural capital, almost two times higher than in an average country, may also have a negative impact on economic growth. These features, together with the high fertility rates in these countries, highlight the potential antropogenic pressures that coastal areas with blue carbon can be subject to such as land conversion for agriculture or aquaculture, farming run-offs, over-exploitation of blue carbon resources, urbanisation, uncontrolled sewage and public works which, in turn, can degrade blue carbon ecosystems. Given these findings, we empathize the role of central governments to provide incentives for the protection of these nature-based solutions at the level of local policy makers and communities, and of international financial institutions to provide financial support for such initiatives in these “less developed” countries.
    Keywords: Economic growth, blue carbon conservation
    JEL: O10 O13 Q20 Q22
    Date: 2018–03
  9. 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 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 downturn
    JEL: E30
    Date: 2018
  10. 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
  11. By: Grimm, Michael; Lenz, Luciane; Peters, Jörg; Sievert, Maximiliane
    Abstract: The cost of providing electricity to the unconnected 1.1 billion people in developing countries is significant. High hopes are pinned on market-based dissemination of offgrid technologies to complement the expensive extension of public grid infrastructure. In this paper, we elicit the revealed willingness-to-pay for different off-grid solar technologies in a field experiment in rural Rwanda. Our findings show that households are willing to dedicate substantial parts of their budget to electricity, but not enough to reach cost-covering prices. Randomly assigned payment periods do not alter this finding. We interpret the results from two perspectives. First, we examine whether the United Nations' universal energy access goal can be reached via unsubsidized markets. Second, in a stylized welfare cost-benefit analysis, we compare a subsidization policy for off-grid solar electrification to a grid extension policy. Our findings suggest that, for most of rural Africa, off-grid solar is the preferable technology to reach mass electrification, and that grid infrastructure should concentrate on selected prosperous regions.
    Keywords: public infrastructure,technology adoption,electrification,willingness-to-pay,energy access
    JEL: D12 H54 O13 Q28 Q41
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Daniela Campus; Gianna Claudia Giannelli
    Abstract: Dramatic spikes in food prices, like those observed over the last years, represent a real threat to food security in developing countries with severe consequences for many aspects of human life. Price instability can also affect the intra-household allocation of time, thus changing the labour supply of women, who traditionally play the role of `shock absorbers'. This paper explores the nature of time poverty by examining how changes in the prices of the two major staples consumed, matooke and cassava, have affected the paid and unpaid labour time allocation in Ugandan households. We exploit the panel nature of the Uganda National Household Survey by adopting a Tobit-hybrid model. Our results show that gender differentials in the intra-household allocation of labour actually occur in correspondence with changes in food prices. We find that, overall, women work significantly more, since the additional hours women work in the labour market are not counterbalanced by a relevant reduction in their other labour activities. For men, we do not find any significant effect of price changes on hours of work.
    Keywords: food prices, labour supply, gender, Uganda.
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Karunanidhi Reddy (Durban University of Technology, South Africa)
    Abstract: Many health problems are related to food and diet patterns. Socio-economic development in South Africa has meant a change in diet patterns, with poorer communities moving away from traditional foods to convenience and processed foods. These foods have been associated with obesity and could greatly increase the risk of developing food-related non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, apartheid resulted in inequality among consumers in terms of education levels, literacy and understanding of the language used in labelling and product information, as well as in terms of access to good quality commodities that are arguably healthier. It also resulted in inequality in terms of knowledge of consumer rights and the ability to enforce them, and a lack of information and knowledge as to food related health challenges. Particular sectors in the food industry have been less concerned about the consumer health risks associated with their products or communicating such information to their consumers. Hence, recently there have been initiatives by government to protect consumers against food related non communicable diseases by proposing legislation to curb consumption of specific food products. The proposed ?sugar tax? on sugar sweetened beverages is one example. The Consumer Protection Act (CPA), passed in 2008, aims at protection of consumers by prohibiting or regulating a range of marketing and business practices and affording the consumer a range of legal rights and remedies. This paper investigates the implications of the CPA and related legislation, for the food industry and consumers of food products. The approach adopted for this paper is a descriptive critique engaging in a review of related literature, and pertinent legislation, particularly the CPA. It is envisaged that this paper will highlight the implications of the CPA in terms of the rights of consumers and the concomitant obligations of suppliers of food products, to re-examine the health risks related to their products, food labelling, disclosure of information particularly about associated health risks, and consumer education about products, in plain and understandable language. It will also identify possible gaps in the law requiring specific regulation.
    Keywords: Consumer; consumer protection; non-communicable diseases; food products; food industry ; social justice; South Africa
    JEL: K29 L66
    Date: 2017–10
  14. By: Mathilde CLOSSET (UNECLAC); Sosso FEINDOUNO (Ferdi); Patrick GUILLAUMONT (Ferdi); Catherine SIMONET (ODI)
    Abstract: The recognition of climate change as a dominant issue for the global economy and policy has led to a search for resources for financing mitigation and adaptation. While raising funds for mitigation and for adaptation meet similar problems, their allocation between countries cannot be ruled by the same criteria. For the concessional funds devoted to adaptation allocation criteria should specifically reflect the adaptation needs of the recipient countries (beside their level of income and their capacity to effectively use the funds). An appropriate indicator of vulnerability to climate change is then required for guiding the allocation of adaptation resources. Not any indicator of vulnerability to climate change can fit this purpose..../...
    Date: 2017–12
  15. By: Halkos, George; Roditi, Kyriakoula; Matsiori, Steriani; Vafidis, Dimitrios
    Abstract: The aim of this study was to identify the main métiers practiced by gillnet, trammel net and combined net fishery in the Kalymnos Island. The catch was obtained every 15 days of the small-scale fleet for the period from February 2013 to May 2014 by interviews during unloading. A total 315 fishing operations were recorded. Multivariate analysis applied to either species landings composition or economic revenue. The most important métiers identified were those B. boops with gillnet, intense fishing activity during December-February and mesh size 26 mm, métier which targeting S. porcus and S. officinalis with fishing gear trammel net, intense fishing activity during April-May and mesh size 26 mm. Both of these métiers appeared high produce and income. The results of this study confirm the multi-species natural of small-scale fishing and fishing activity in the area of Kalymnos specific difference from the other area in Greece.
    Keywords: Small-scale fisheries; sustainable management; multivariate analysis; fish stock; Kalymnos Island; Mediterranean Sea.
    JEL: Q20 Q22 Q29 Q57 Q59
    Date: 2018–02
  16. By: Bertazzini, Mattia C.
    Abstract: Between 1935 and 1940 the Italians built an extensive road network to facilitate the occupation of Ethiopia and secure control over the Horn of Africa, but were expelled in 1941. This provides a unique case study to examine the long-run effect of cheap transport networks on the concentration of economic activity in developing countries. The results show that cells located next to Italian paved roads are significantly richer today and that the relationship is causal. Persistence is explained by a combination of direct and indirect mechanisms: colonial roads attracted economic activity through lower transport costs until 1960. After that date, the advantage of treated locations persisted only indirectly through increasing returns to scale.
    Keywords: colonial transport infrastructure; roads; increasing returns to scale
    JEL: N70 N77 O18 R12
    Date: 2018–01

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