nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒04‒09
nineteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Agriculture, Food and Jobs in West Africa By Thomas Allen; Philipp Heinrigs; Inhoi Heo
  2. Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Organic Cotton Adoption in North-East of Benin: Case Study of Kandi District By Fabrice Dossa; Yann Miassi
  3. Impact of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on Crop Diversification in West Bengal Agriculture By Kundu, Amit
  4. Does agricultural subsidies foster Italian southern farms? A Spatial Quantile Regression Approach By Marusca De Castris; Daniele Di Gennaro
  5. How Smart Are `Water Smart Landscapes'? By Christa Brelsford; Joshua K. Abbott
  6. China’s Mobility Barriers and Employment Allocations By L Rachel Ngai; Christopher A Pissarides; Jin Wang
  7. The 19th Centure Net Nutrition Transition from Free to Bound Labor: A Difference-in-Decompositions Approach By Scott A. Carson
  8. The impact of remittances on household food security: A micro perspective from Tigray, Ethiopia By Nigussie Abadi; Ataklti Techane; Girmay Tesfay; Daniel Maxwell; Bapu Vaitla
  9. Global Alcohol Markets: Evolving Consumption Patterns, Regulations and Industrial Organizations By Anderson, Kym; Meloni, Giulia; Swinnen, Johan
  10. Oyster farming value chains in light of sanitary hazards: the case of oyster farmers By Véronique Le Bihan; Marie Catalo; Jeanine Le Bihan
  11. Economic Growth, Income Distribution, and Climate Change By Armon Rezai; Lance Taylor; Duncan Foley
  12. Multidimensional Poverty Mapping for Rural Pakistan By Hameed, Abdul; Padda, Ihtsham ul Haq; Karim, Shahid
  13. Linking the economics of water, energy, and food: A nexus modeling approach: By Al-Riffai, Perrihan; Breisinger, Clemens; Mondal, Md. Hossain Alam; Ringler, Claudia; Wiebelt, Manfred; Zhu, Tingju
  14. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and GDP: What National Accounts Bring to the Table By Thomas Alexander; Claudia H Dziobek; Tadeusz Galeza
  15. Asymmetric price adjustments: A supply side approach By Antoniou, Fabio; Fiocco, Raffaele; Guo, Dongyu
  16. Paternalistic Taxation of Unhealthy Food and the Intensive versus Extensive Margin of Obesity By Zarko Kalamov; Marco Runkel
  17. Inequalities in adolescent learning: Does the timing and persistence of food insecurity at home matter? By Elisabetta Aurino; Jasmine Fledderjohann; Sukumar Vellakkal
  18. A bottom-up approach to environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis By Johannes Friedrich Carolus; Nick Hanley; Søren Bøye Olsen; Søren Marcus Pedersen

  1. By: Thomas Allen; Philipp Heinrigs; Inhoi Heo
    Abstract: The food economy is the biggest employer in West Africa accounting for 66% of total employment. While the majority of food economy jobs are in agriculture, off-farm employment in food-related manufacturing and service activities is increasing as the food economy adapts to rapid population growth, urbanisation and rising incomes. Given the importance of the food economy in generating employment, its current structure and projected changes have major implications for the design of jobs strategies. This paper quantifies and describes the structure of employment in the food economy across four broad segments of activities: agriculture, processing, marketing and food-away-from home. It also examines some of the emerging spatial implications, in particular rural-urban linkages and rural employment diversification, which are related to the transformations that are reshaping this sector. Finally, it looks at policy considerations for designing targeted employment strategies that leverage the links between agricultural productivity, off-farm employment and rural-urban areas and ensure inclusiveness, particularly for youth and women.
    Keywords: employment, food system, value chains, women, youth
    JEL: J21 J43 O11 Q13 Q18
    Date: 2018–04–05
  2. By: Fabrice Dossa (Département d’Economie et Sociologie Rurales - Université de Parakou); Yann Miassi (Département d’Economie et Sociologie Rurales - Université de Parakou)
    Abstract: Organic production is one of the serious options for ensuring food safety and significantly reducing the risks of intoxication caused by chemicals. It is even more important for developing countries like Benin, where agriculture, one of the pillars of the economy, remains highly dependent of chemical pesticides. The aim of this study is to analyze the adoption of organic cotton in Kandi district (North- Eastern Benin). A total of 143 cotton producers were surveyed of which 70 organic cotton producers and 73 conventional cotton producers. The data was collected through individual interviews based on questionnaires. The analysis of adoption of organic cotton using a logistic regression model showed that the socio-economic characteristics of farmers and the physical distance between farm and house are the main factors influencing the choice of farmers to produce or not the organic cotton. Organic farming is more attractive women compared to conventional farming. This type of cotton allows them not only to no longer depend on their husband for inputs but also to hold a separate cotton farm. Farmers whose main activity is agriculture, have a high number of agricultural workers, and access to credit are more likely to adopt organic cotton. Similarly farmers who have their farm near home are more favorable to the organic farming than those who have the farm far from their house.
    Abstract: La production biologique est l'une des sérieuses options à considérer pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire et limiter significativement les risques d'intoxication provoqués par les produits chimiques. Elle est d'autant plus importante pour les pays en voie de développement à l'instar du Benin où l'agriculture, un des piliers de l'économie reste fortement dépendante des pesticides chimiques. L'objectif visé par cette étude est d'analyser l'adoption de la production du coton biologique dans la commune de Kandi (Nord-Est du Benin). Au total 143 producteurs de coton ont été enquêtés dont 70 producteurs de coton biologique et 73 producteurs de coton conventionnel. Les données ont été collectées à l'aide d'entretiens individuels basés sur des questionnaires. L'analyse de l'adoption du coton biologique réalisée à l'aide d'un modèle de régression logistique a montré que les caractéristiques socio-économiques des producteurs ainsi que la distance entre les champs et les ménages des producteurs sont les principaux facteurs qui influencent leur choix de produire ou non le coton biologique. Les femmes préfèrent plus la production biologique que celle conventionnelle. Cela leur permet non seulement de ne plus dépendre de leur mari pour les intrants mais aussi d'avoir leurs propres champs. Les producteurs ayant pour activité principale l'agriculture, possédant un nombre d'actifs agricoles élevé, et accédant au crédit sont plus susceptibles d'adopter le coton biologique. De même, les producteurs ayant leurs champs proches de leur maison sont plus favorables à cette production que ceux dont les champs sont trop éloignés.
    Keywords: Adoption,socio-economic factors,organic cotton,North-East,Benin, Adoption,Facteurs socioéconomiques,Coton biologique,Nord-Est
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Kundu, Amit
    Abstract: The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) is acclaimed as the largest public works programme in the World. Based on its vast potential for creation of productive works, high expectations have raised in terms of augmentation of rural connectivity and rural water and land resources that would improve agricultural productivity. This paper investigates whether different kinds of expansion of infrastructure related to agricultural under NREGS have any impact on the crop diversification of West Bengal over the years .We have taken 18 districts of West Bengal. District level trends and patterns in crop diversification in West Bengal between the periods 2006-07 to 2013-14 are calculated using Simpson Index of Diversification (SID). The study revealed that cropping pattern at district level is transforming from food grains to high-value crops but the transformation is not uniform across the districts. The results of Fixed Effect Model revealed that ‘micro irrigation’ and ‘rural connectivity’ work under NREGS have created a positive but small impact on crop diversification. It is further observed that average rain fall and average harvest price of principal crops in the previous period also play a significant role to enhance the crop diversification of West Bengal.
    Keywords: Crop diversification, Simpson index of diversification, panel data estimation, fixed effect model.
    JEL: H5 H53 Q1 Q12
    Date: 2017–04–07
  4. By: Marusca De Castris; Daniele Di Gennaro
    Abstract: During the last decades, public policies become a central pillar in supporting and stabilising agricultural sector. In 1962, EU policy-makers developed the so-called Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to ensure competitiveness and a common market organisation for agricultural products, while 2003 reform decouple the CAP from the production to focus only on income stabilization and the sustainability of agricultural sector. Notwithstanding farmers are highly dependent to public support, literature on the role played by the CAP in fostering agricultural performances is still scarce and fragmented. Actual CAP policies increases performance differentials between Northern Central EU countries and peripheral regions. This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of CAP in stimulate performances by focusing on Italian lagged Regions. Moreover, agricultural sector is deeply rooted in place-based production processes. In this sense, economic analysis which omit the presence of spatial dependence produce biased estimates of the performances. Therefore, this paper, using data on subsidies and economic results of farms from the RICA dataset which is part of the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN), proposes a spatial Augmented Cobb-Douglas Production Function to evaluate the effects of subsidies on farm's performances. The major innovation in this paper is the implementation of a micro-founded quantile version of a spatial lag model to examine how the impact of the subsidies may vary across the conditional distribution of agricultural performances. Results show an increasing shape which switch from negative to positive at the median and becomes statistical significant for higher quantiles. Additionally, spatial autocorrelation parameter is positive and significant across all the conditional distribution, suggesting the presence of significant spatial spillovers in agricultural performances.
    Date: 2018–03
  5. By: Christa Brelsford; Joshua K. Abbott
    Abstract: Understanding the effectiveness of alternative approaches to water conservation is crucially important for ensuring the security and reliability of water services for urban residents. We analyze data from one of the longest-running "cash for grass" policies - the Southern Nevada Water Authority's Water Smart Landscapes program, where homeowners are paid to replace grass with xeric landscaping. We use a twelve year long panel dataset of monthly water consumption records for 300,000 households in Las Vegas, Nevada. Utilizing a panel difference-in-differences approach, we estimate the average water savings per square meter of turf removed. We find that participation in this program reduced the average treated household's consumption by 18 percent. We find no evidence that water savings degrade as the landscape ages, or that water savings per unit area are influenced by the value of the rebate. Depending on the assumed time horizon of benefits from turf removal, we find that the WSL program cost the water authority about $1.62 per thousand gallons of water saved, which compares favorably to alternative means of water conservation or supply augmentation.
    Date: 2018–03
  6. By: L Rachel Ngai (Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM); London School of Economics (LSE)); Christopher A Pissarides (Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM); London School of Economics (LSE); Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Jin Wang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: China's hukou system imposes two main barriers to population movements. Agricultural workers get land to cultivate but are unable to trade it in a frictionless market. Social transfers (education, health, etc.) are conditional on holding a local hukou. We show that the land policy leads to over-employment in agriculture and it is the more important barrier to industrialization. Effective land tenure guarantees and a perfect competitive rental market would correct this inefficiency. The local restrictions on social transfers favour rural enterprises over urban employment with a relatively smaller impact on industrialization.
    Keywords: Chinese immigration, Chinese land policy, Imperfect rent, Hukou registration, Social transfers
    JEL: J61 O18 R23
    Date: 2018–03
  7. By: Scott A. Carson
    Abstract: The body mass index (BMI) reflects current net nutrition and health during economic development. This study introduces a difference-in-decompositions approach to show that although 19th century African-American current net nutrition was comparable to working class whites, it was made worse-off with the transition to free-labor. BMI reflects net nutrition over the life-course, and like stature, slave children’s BMIs increased more than whites as they approached entry into the adult slave labor force. Agricultural worker’s net nutrition was better than workers in other occupations but was worse-off under free-labor and industrialization. Within-group BMI variation was greater than across-group variation, and white within-group variation associated with socioeconomic status was greater than African-Americans.
    Keywords: BMI variation, current net nutrition, Oaxaca decomposition
    JEL: C10 C40 D10 I10 N30
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Nigussie Abadi; Ataklti Techane; Girmay Tesfay; Daniel Maxwell; Bapu Vaitla
    Abstract: While the volume of remittances to developing countries has been growing significantly over the years, the impact of remittances on food security has not received much attention. To bridge the gap this paper has examined the impact of remittances on farm household’s food security status, using a sample of 301 farm households from two livelihood zones of the Tigray Regional State of Ethiopia. The average treatment effect (ATT) results show that households with access to remittance have significantly lower Coping Strategy index (CSI), Reduced Coping Strategy index (rCSI) and Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) on average as compared to households without remittance income. However, there is no significant difference in the ATT effect of remittances on Food Consumption Score (FCS) between treated and control households. These findings suggest that remittances lower the frequency and the severity of coping strategies, and households with remittances have i) lower anxiety about not being able to procure sufficient food; ii) higher ability to secure adequate quality food; and iii) lower experience of insufficient quantity of food intake than those without remittance. Thus, it is imperative to include migration and remittances as important components of food security programs and food security policies in Ethiopia and should go beyond just food production measures, and include measures that help in generating adequate levels of effective demand via income growth or transfers policies.
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Anderson, Kym; Meloni, Giulia; Swinnen, Johan
    Abstract: For millennia alcoholic drinks have played an important role in food security and health (both positive and negative), but consumption patterns of beer, wine and spirits have altered substantially over the past two centuries. So too have their production technologies and industrial organization. Globalization and economic growth have contributed to considerable convergence in national alcohol consumption patterns. The industrial revolution contributed to excess consumption by stimulating demand and lowering the cost of alcohol. It also led to concentration in some alcohol industries, expecially brewing. In recent years the emergence of craft producers has countered firm concentration and the homogenization of alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile, governments have intervened extensively in alcohol markets to reduce excessive consumption, raise taxes, protect domestic industries and/or ensure competition. These regulations have contributed to, and been affected by, evolving patterns of consumption and changing structures of alcohol industries.
    Keywords: Alcohol and health; Beverage firm concentration; Convergence of national beverage consumption mix; Globalization of preferences; Restrictions on alcohol consumption and production
    Date: 2018–02
  10. By: Véronique Le Bihan (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes); Marie Catalo (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes); Jeanine Le Bihan (CERHIO - CEntre de Recherches HIstoriques de l'Ouest - UM - Le Mans Université - UA - Université d'Angers - UBS - Université de Bretagne Sud - UR2 - Université de Rennes 2 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Since the mid-2000s, the French oyster industry has faced hazards of various origins. The results of a field survey conducted under the " GIGASSAT " 1 ANR Agrobiosphere programme have highlighted productive changes in the oyster farming industry in the Bay of Bourgneuf and the Mor Braz area (Southern Brittany). Beyond this observation, one may wonder to what extent technological and biotechnological developments as well as environmental risks participate in the reorganization of production. In order to study this dynamics, we have relied on the theoretical concept of Porter's value chain (1986) in the context of a value chain analysis. The survey covered different topics such as the perception of oyster mortality causes, adaptation strategies in terms of supply, abandonment of offshore farming areas in favour of foreshore areas and economic performance in oyster farming. The analysis of oyster farmers' operational activities raises questions about the existence of various types of value chains at the beginning of the period of study, which should be seen in the context of technological innovation, natural advantages and interactions with other actors. The survey also shows that in a sanitary crisis context, some oyster farmers question the configuration of their value chain from a survival perspective, whereas others maintain it. This work contributes to the identification and characterization of the various trajectories adopted by farms within the same sector in the face of environmental changes.
    Keywords: environmental risks,Porter’s value chain,adaptation strategies,shellfish farmers
    Date: 2018–01–11
  11. By: Armon Rezai; Lance Taylor; Duncan Foley (Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA))
    Abstract: This paper explores how climate damage affects the long-run evolution of the economy. Climate change induced by greenhouse gas lowers profitability, reducing investment and cutting output in the short and long runs. Short-run employment falls due to deficient demand. In the long run, productivity growth is slower, lowering potential income levels. Climate policy can increase incomes and employment in the short and long runs, while a continuation of business-as-usual leads to a dystopian income distribution with affluence for few and high levels of unemployment for the rest.
    Keywords: climate change, economic growth, integrated assessment, demand and distribution, energy productivity, unemployment
    JEL: H21 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2017–10
  12. By: Hameed, Abdul; Padda, Ihtsham ul Haq; Karim, Shahid
    Abstract: This paper estimates and maps the multidimensional poverty for rural Pakistan. It uses micro data from household surveys to construct the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) with human development indicators like education, health, standard of living and wealth. Furthermore, it identifies multiple deprivations at individual level contributions in education, health, standard of living and wealth in the rural multidimensional poverty as overall and district levels. The results show that the 59 percent rural population of Pakistan is poor. The district Thatta, in Sindh, district Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab and the district Nowshera in the KPK record highest multidimensional poverty index. No district is included from Baluchistan due to unavailability of data. It is expounded that the policy makers can develop the strategies to reduce the rural poverty by enhancing rural education, improving living standards and creating opportunities for income.
    Keywords: Multidimensional poverty, Education, Living standard, Wealth, Rural Pakistan
    JEL: D10 I10 I20 I32 R20
    Date: 2016–12–15
  13. By: Al-Riffai, Perrihan; Breisinger, Clemens; Mondal, Md. Hossain Alam; Ringler, Claudia; Wiebelt, Manfred; Zhu, Tingju
    Abstract: We use an innovative methodology to model the socioeconomic linkages between water, energy, and food in the East Nile Basin. Based upon a theoretical nexus framework, the methodology is expanded into a quantifiable modeling suite that under-lies the analysis of each of three country case studies. The advantages are that, despite resource shortages being a challenge, the modeling suite aids in devising policies and strategies that formulate these sectoral interdependencies and provide the evidence-based research results necessary for their design in a way that exploits synergies existing across sectors, countries, and regions (Al-Zubari n.d.). This paper lays out the methodology and gives an example of an application and scenarios by focusing on three countries in the East Nile Basin. This methodology paper will be followed by three individual country case studies that highlight the water, energy, and food nexus for each.
    Keywords: EGYPT; ARAB COUNTRIES; MIDDLE EAST; NORTH AFRICA; AFRICA; ETHIOPIA; SUDAN; sustainable development; socioeconomic development; food security; models; water; energy; computable general equilibrium (CGE) models; MARKAL/TIMES model; dynamic computable general equilibrium (DCGE)
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Thomas Alexander; Claudia H Dziobek; Tadeusz Galeza
    Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 represent a new global consensus to end poverty, promote prosperity, and protect the environment. Goal 8 seeks to improve global resource efficiency in consumption and production and to decouple economic growth (GDP) from environmental degradation while Goal 12 focuses on sustainable consumption and production. While GDP does not capture these broader goals, we suggest that the System of National Accounts which incorporates but goes well beyond GDP, can be used for the measurement of these SDGs and to support policy. We construct a conceptual “super balance sheet” with an expanded asset boundary to include durable consumer goods used to produce services, human capital, and access to resources such as clean water and air, education, health, and infrastructure, to produce an expanded household net worth.
    Date: 2018–03–07
  15. By: Antoniou, Fabio; Fiocco, Raffaele; Guo, Dongyu
    Abstract: Using a model of dynamic price competition, we provide an explanation from the supply side for the well-established observation that output prices react faster in response to input cost increases than to decreases. When costs decline, the opportunity of pro table storing in anticipation of higher future costs allows competitive fi rms to coordinate on prices above current marginal costs. The initial price response is only partial and pro table storing relaxes competition. Conversely, when costs rise, storing is not benefi cial in anticipation of lower future costs and fi rms immediately adjust their prices to current marginal costs, which entails the standard Bertrand outcome. Our results shed new light on the empirical evidence about asymmetric pricing and can stimulate further empirical investigation on this puzzle. Keywords: Asymmetric price adjustments, Bertrand-Edgeworth competition, Storage, Gasoline market. JEL Classifi cation: D4, L1.
    Keywords: Preus -- Fixació, 338 - Situació econòmica. Política econòmica. Gestió, control i planificació de l'economia. Producció. Serveis. Turisme. Preus,
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Zarko Kalamov; Marco Runkel
    Abstract: This paper shows that if an individual’s health costs are U-shaped in weight with a minimum at some healthy weight level and if the individual has both self control problems and rational motives for over- or underweight, the optimal paternalistic tax on unhealthy food mitigates the individual’s weight problem (intensive margin), but does not induce the individual to choose healthy weight (extensive margin). Implementing healthy weight requires a further distortion (e.g. subsidy on other goods), which may render the tax on unhealthy food inferior to the option of not taxing the individual at all. In addition, with heterogeneous individuals the optimal uniform paternalistic tax may have the negative side effect of rendering otherwise healthy individuals underweight.
    Keywords: sin tax, paternalism, obesity, extensive versus intensive margin
    JEL: D03 D11 H21 I18
    Date: 2018
  17. By: Elisabetta Aurino (Imperial College London, UK); Jasmine Fledderjohann (Lancaster University, UK); Sukumar Vellakkal (BITS Pilano, India)
    Abstract: We investigated inequalities in learning achievements at 12 years by household food insecurity trajectories at ages 5, 8 and 12 years in a longitudinal sample of 1,911 Indian children. Estimates included extensive child and household controls, and lagged cognitive scores to address unobserved individual heterogeneity in ability and early investments. Overall, household food insecurity at any age predicted lower vocabulary, reading, maths and English scores in early adolescence. Adolescents from households that transitioned out from food insecurity at age 5 to later food security, and adolescents from chronically food insecure households had the lowest scores across all outcomes. There was heterogeneity in the relationship between temporal occurrence of food insecurity and cognitive skills, based on developmental and curriculum-specific timing of skill formation. Results were robust to additional explanations of the “household food insecurity gap”, i.e. education and health investments, parental and child education aspirations, and child psychosocial skills.
    Keywords: Cognitive skills, Learning, Adolescent, Food insecurity, India, Education inequality, Human capital, Longitudinal, Education, Lifecourse
    JEL: I24 I29 I39 H52
    Date: 2018
  18. By: Johannes Friedrich Carolus (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Nick Hanley (University of Glasgow, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine); Søren Bøye Olsen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Søren Marcus Pedersen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Cost-Benefit Analysis is a method to assess the effects of policies and projects on social welfare. CBAs are usually applied in a top-down approach, in the sense that a decision-making body first decides on which policies or projects are to be considered, and then applies a set of uniform criteria to identifying and valuing relevant cost and benefit flows. This paper investigates the possible advantages, prerequisites and limitations of applying CBA in what may be considered an alternative, “bottom-up”. Instead of starting out with a pre-defined policy option, the suggested approach begins with the underlying environmental problem, and then assesses costs and benefits of various strategies and solutions suggested by local and directly affected stakeholders. For empirical case studies concerning two river catchments in Sweden and Latvia, the bottom-up CBA approach utilises local knowledge, assesses plans which are not only developed for local conditions but are also likely to be more acceptable to local society, and sheds additional light on possible distributional effects. By not only benefitting from, but also supporting participative environmental planning, bottom-up CBA is in line with the growing trend of embedding stakeholder participation into environmental policy and decision-making.
    Keywords: Environmental Planning, Stakeholder Approach, Participatory Approaches, Ecosystem Services, Water Framework Directive, Catchment Management
    JEL: B41 D61
    Date: 2018–02
    Date: 2018

This nep-agr issue is ©2018 by Angelo Zago. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.