nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒07‒16
fifteen papers chosen by

  1. Food for fuel: The effect of the US biofuel mandate on poverty in India By Ujjayant Chakravorty; Marie-Helene Hubert; Beyza Ural Marchand
  2. Iowa Farmland Ownership and Tenure Survey 1982–2017: A Thirty-five Year Perspective By Wendong Zhang; Alejandro Plastina; Wendiam Sawadgo
  3. Farm Size, Technology Adoption and Agricultural Trade Reform: Evidence from Canada By Brown, W. Mark; Ferguson, Shon; Viju, Crina
  4. Climate change and agriculture: farmer adaptation to extreme heat By Fernando M. Aragón; Francisco Oteiza; Juan Pablo Rud
  5. The supply chain for seed in Uganda: Where does it all go wrong? By Barriga, Alicia; Fiala, Nathan
  6. The Impact of Strengthening Agricultural Extension Services By Niklas Buehren; Markus Goldstein; Ezequiel Molina; Julia Vaillant
  7. A Reconsideration of the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax in a Household Production Model By Di Xiang; Lue Zhan; Massimo Bordignon
  8. Spillovers as a Driver to Reduce Ex-post Inequality Generated by Randomized Experiments: Evidence from an Agricultural Training Intervention By Kazushi Takahashi; Yukichi Mano; Keijiro Otsuka
  9. Do Walmart Supercenters Improve Food Security? By Charles Courtemanche; Art Carden; Xilin Zhou; Murugi Ndirangu
  10. China’s Agricultural Import Potential By Minghao Li; Wendong Zhang; Dermot J. Hayes
  11. Innovations entrepreneuriales en Afrique : défis agricoles et enjeux alimentaires By Cheriet, F.
  12. The Effect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India By Branko Boškovic; Ujjayant Chakravorty; Martino Pelli; Anna Risch
  13. International Environmental Agreements - The Impact of Heterogeneity among Countries on Stability By Effrosyni Diamantoudi; Eftichios Sartzetakis; Stefania Strantza
  14. International Environmental Agreements and Trading Blocks - Can Issue Linkage Enhance Cooperation? By Effrosyni Diamantoudi; Eftichios Sartzetakis; Stefania Strantza
  15. The Role of Agricultural Sector Productivity in Economic Growth: The Case of Iran's Economic Development Plan By Morteza Tahamipour; Mina Mahmoudi

  1. By: Ujjayant Chakravorty; Marie-Helene Hubert; Beyza Ural Marchand
    Abstract: More than 40% of US grain is used for energy due to the Renewable Fuels Mandate (RFS). There are no studies of the global distributional consequences of this purely domestic policy. Using micro-level survey data, we trace the e ect of the RFS on world food prices and their impact on household level consumption and wage incomes in In- dia. We rst develop a partial equilibrium model to estimate the e ect of the RFS on the price of selected food commodities - rice, wheat, corn, sugar and meat and dairy, which together provide almost 70% of Indian food calories. Our model predicts that world prices for these commodities rise by 8-16% due to the RFS. We estimate the price pass-through to domestic Indian prices and the e ect of the price shock on household welfare through consumption and wage incomes. Poor rural households suffer signif- icant welfare losses due to higher prices of consumption goods, which are regressive. However they bene t from a rise in wage incomes, mainly because most of them are employed in agriculture. Urban households also bear the higher cost of food, but do not see a concomitant rise in wages because only a small fraction of them work in food- related industries. Welfare losses are greater among urban households. However, more poor people in India live in villages, so rural poverty impacts are larger in magnitude. We estimate that the mandate leads to about 26 million new poor: 21 million in rural and five million in the urban population.
    Keywords: Biofuels, Distributional effects, Household welfare, Renewable Fuel Stan- dards, Poverty
    JEL: D31 O12 Q24 Q42
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Wendong Zhang (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); Alejandro Plastina; Wendiam Sawadgo
    Abstract: Farmland is arguably often a farmer’s single largest investment item, a major source of collateral, and a key component of the farmer’s debt portfolio. At the macro level, the value of land and buildings represent over 80 percent of all U.S. farm assets. As a result, changes in the farmland market and the implications for farmland owners, tenants, and beginning farmers are of perennial interest to policymakers, landowners, producers, and researchers. Using a statistically representative sample of Iowa landowners in July 2017, this study provides a critical update to the Iowa Farmland Ownership and Tenure survey series and a thirty-five year perspective (1982 to present) on many aspects of land ownership, land tenure, land transitions, and characteristics of landowners, including non-operator landowners, farmland rental agreements, the financing of farmland, the acquisition and transfer of land, and demographics of landowners. The 2017 survey also added the use of conservation practices and cooperative services on Iowa farmland. This survey carries out an Iowa legislative mandate, and represents a nationally unique study that has been conducted every five years since the 1980s to better understand agricultural land ownership, tenure, and transfer.
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: Brown, W. Mark (Statistics Canada); Ferguson, Shon (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Viju, Crina (Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies)
    Abstract: Using detailed census data covering over 40,000 farms in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada, we document the vast and increasing farm size heterogeneity, and analyze the role of farm size in adapting to the removal of an export subsidy in 1995. We find that larger farms were more likely to switch to new labor-saving tillage technologies in response to the large negative shock to grain prices caused by the reform. Small- and medium-sized farms responded to the reform by adopting the more affordable minimum tillage technology. We develop a simple model of heterogeneous farms and technology adoption that can explain our findings. The results suggest that farm size plays a crucial role in determining farm-level adaptation to agricultural trade reform. Consistent with the Alchian-Allen hypothesis, the increase in per-unit trade costs due to the reform was associated with farms shifting their production of crops from low-value wheat to higher value canola.
    Keywords: Agricultural Trade Liberalization; Export Subsidy; Technical Change; Farm Size; Firm Heterogeneity
    JEL: F14 O13 Q16 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2018–06–20
  4. By: Fernando M. Aragón (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Francisco Oteiza (Institute for Fiscal Studies and EDePo @ Institute for Fiscal Studies); Juan Pablo Rud (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Royal Holloway)
    Abstract: This paper examines how farmers adapt, in the short-run, to extreme heat. Using a production function approach and micro-data from Peruvian households, we find that high temperatures induce farmers to increase the use of inputs, such as land and domestic labor. This reaction partially attenuates the negative effects of high temperatures on output. We interpret this change in inputs as an adaptive response in a context of subsistence farming, incomplete markets, and lack of other coping mechanisms. We use our estimates to simulate alternative climate change scenarios and show that accounting for adaptive responses is quantitatively important.
    JEL: O13 O12 Q12 Q15 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2018–02–23
  5. By: Barriga, Alicia; Fiala, Nathan
    Abstract: Improving agricultural output and food security is a major concern in sub-Saharan Africa, but many efforts to help farmers improve yields have failed. Recent research has shown that agriculture inputs are often of very low quality, which may explain suboptimal yields and low adoption of inputs. Researchers and policy makers have focused on two main explanations for this low quality: sellers purposefully faking or adulterating inputs, and poor storage processes along the supply chain. We present the results of testing seeds along the maize supply chain in Uganda for purity, germination and genetic similarity. We obtain two main results. First, we find no evidence that quality of seeds deteriorates along the supply chain. As soon as the seeds leave the breeders, the quality drops significantly and is the same across all geographic areas and types of suppliers, including wholesalers, retailers and major company outlets. Second, we do not find evidence of serious seed faking or adulteration. In fact, we find high levels of seed purity across all levels of the supply chain. Quality appears to be the main issue, not whether the seeds are pure. The results are consistent with mishandling and poor storage of seeds, possibly related to temperature control once the seeds leave the breeders. These results have potentially significant implications on agriculture policy and programming in sub-Saharan Africa, which has tended to focus on certification to reduce the possibility of adulteration rather than improve handling of inputs.
    Keywords: seed purity,fake inputs,maize,agricultural supply chains
    JEL: O13 Q18
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Niklas Buehren; Markus Goldstein; Ezequiel Molina; Julia Vaillant
    Keywords: Agriculture - Agricultural Extension Agriculture - Climate Change and Agriculture Agriculture - Crops & Crop Management Systems Gender - Gender and Poverty Gender - Gender and Rural Development
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Di Xiang; Lue Zhan; Massimo Bordignon
    Abstract: We study the impact of a hypothetical tax on sugar - sweetened beverages (SSBs) on the US households’ nutrients purchase, welfare change, and health benefit. Differently from the traditional approach, Food at Home(FAH) is here defined as a “home” good instead than a market good and consumers’ demands derived under the assumption that households maximize utility subject to both a money and a time constraint. The model is estimated by using an incomplete approximate Exact Affine Stone Index (EASI) demand system on a data set built by merging the most recent waves of the US consumer expenditure and time use surveys. Results show that a SSB tax would be much more effective in decreasing household nutrients purchase than it would appear by estimating a model neglecting time costs in home food production. A tax induced increased in SSB price by 20% is predicted to decrease the per capita energy purchase by 29.17 kcal/day. The annual health benefits of the tax, measured only in terms of reduced household medical expenditure, would overcome estimated welfare losses by more than $400 million.
    Keywords: sugar-sweetened beverage tax, obesity, household production
    JEL: D12 D13 I18
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Kazushi Takahashi; Yukichi Mano; Keijiro Otsuka
    Abstract: Randomized experiments ensure equal opportunities but could generate unequal outcomes by treatment status, which can be socially costly. This study demonstrates a sequential intervention to conduct rigorous impact evaluation and subsequently to mitigate ‘“experiment-driven’ driven” inequality, using Cote d’Ivoire as a case. Specifically, control farmers were initially restricted from exchanging information with treated farmers, who received rice management training, to satisfy the stable unit treatment value assumption. We then encouraged information exchange between the two groups of farmers one year after the training. We found positive training effects, but initial performance gaps created by our randomized assignment disappeared over time because of information spillovers and, hence, eventually control farmers also benefitted from our experiment.
    Keywords: Inequality, Program evaluation, Randomised experiment, Spillover
    Date: 2018–06–14
  9. By: Charles Courtemanche; Art Carden; Xilin Zhou; Murugi Ndirangu
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of Walmart Supercenters, which lower food prices and expand food availability, on household and child food insecurity. Our food insecurity-related outcomes come from the 2001-2012 waves of the December Current Population Study Food Security Supplement. Using narrow geographic identifiers available in the restricted version of these data, we compute the distance between each household’s census tract of residence and the nearest Walmart Supercenter. We estimate instrumental variables models that leverage the predictable geographic expansion patterns of Walmart Supercenters outward from Walmart’s corporate headquarters. Results suggest that closer proximity to a Walmart Supercenter improves the food security of households and children, as measured by number of affirmative responses to a food insecurity questionnaire and an indicator for food insecurity. The effects are largest among low-income households and children, but are also sizeable for middle-income children.
    Keywords: Walmart, Wal-Mart, supercenters, big box, food insecurity, hunger
    JEL: I12 I14 Q18
    Date: 2018–06
  10. By: Minghao Li (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); Wendong Zhang (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); Dermot J. Hayes (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD))
    Abstract: As part of the current trade negotiations between the United States and China, China has suggested that it may lower trade barriers and increase agricultural imports from the United States. In this policy brief, we provide an overview of China’s tariff and non-tariff trade barriers and estimate China’s import potential if these barriers are removed. We find that China’s importation of major U.S. commodities has the potential to increase significantly. For example, in our medium-growth scenario, China will potentially increase U.S. pork import value by $8.9 billion if all trade barriers are removed.
    Date: 2018–06
  11. By: Cheriet, F.
    Abstract: Current academic research strongly suggests adapting models of analysis of entrepreneurial innovations to the specificity of African contexts. The purpose of this short note is to explore through an up-dated literature review of academic research and empirical applications, the question of entrepreneurial innovations in African. By extension, we will examine some possible links with agricultural challenges and future food issues. ....French Abstract: Les recherches actuelles plaident pour une adaptation des modèles d’analyse des innovations entrepreneuriales à la spécificité des contextes africains. L’objet de cette note courte est d’explorer à travers une revue de littérature actualisée des recherches académiques et des applications empiriques, la question des innovations entrepreneuriales dans le contexte africain. Nous examinerons par extension certains liens possibles avec les défis agricoles et les enjeux alimentaires futurs du continent.
    JEL: O33 O55 Q16
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Branko Boškovic (School of Business, University of Alberta); Ujjayant Chakravorty (Tufts University and Toulouse School of Economics); Martino Pelli (Department of Economics, University of Sherbrooke); Anna Risch (GAEL, University Grenoble Alpes)
    Abstract: Fuelwood collection is often cited as the most important cause of deforestation in developing countries. Use of fuelwood in cooking is a leading cause of indoor air pollution. Using household data from India, we show that households located farther away from the forest spend more time collecting. Distant households are likely to sell more fuelwood and buy less. That is, lower access to forests increases fuelwood collection and sale. This counter-intuitive behavior is triggered by two factors: lower access to forests (a) increases the fixed costs of collecting, which in turn leads to more collection; and (b) drives up local fuelwood prices, which makes collection and sale more profitable. We quantify both these effects. Using our estimates we show that a fifth of the fuelwood collected is consumed outside of rural areas, in nearby towns and cities. Our results imply that at the margin, fuelwood scarcity may lead to increased collection and sale, and exacerbate forest degradation.
    Keywords: Energy Access, Cooking Fuels, Deforestation, Forest Cover, Fuelwood Collection
    JEL: D10 O13 Q42
    Date: 2018–07
  13. By: Effrosyni Diamantoudi (Department of Economics, Concordia University); Eftichios Sartzetakis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia); Stefania Strantza (Department of Economics, Concordia University)
    Abstract: The present paper examines the stability of self-enforcing International Environmental Agreements (IEAs) among heterogeneous countries in a twostage emission game. In the first stage each country decides whether or not to join the agreement, while in the second stage the quantity of emissions is chosen simultaneously by all countries. We use quadratic benefit and environmental damage functions and assume k types of countries that differ in their sensitivity to the global pollutant. We find that the introduction of heterogeneity does not yield larger stable coalitions. In particular, we show that, in the case of two types, when stable coalitions exist their size is very small, and, if the asymmetry is strong enough, they include only one type of countries. Moreover, heterogeneity can reduce the scope of cooperation relative to the homogeneous case. We demonstrated that introducing asymmetry into a stable, under symmetry, agreement can disturb stability.
    Keywords: Environmental Agreements
    JEL: D6 Q5 C7
    Date: 2018–07
  14. By: Effrosyni Diamantoudi (Concordia University); Eftichios Sartzetakis (University of Macedonia); Stefania Strantza (Concordia University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the stability of International Environmental Agreements (IEAs) in an economy with trade. We extent the basic model of the IEAs by letting countries choose emission taxes and import tariffs as their policy instruments in order to manage climate change and control trade. We define the equilibrium of a three-stage emission game. In the first stage, each country decides whether or not to join the agreement. In the second stage, countries choose simultaneously - cooperatively or non-cooperatively - tariff and tax levels. In the third stage, taking countries’ decisions as given, firms compete a la Cournot in the product markets. Numerical analysis illustrates that the interaction between trade and environment policies is essential in enhancing cooperation. Contrary to the IEA model, stable agreements are larger and more efficient in reducing aggregate emissions and improving welfare. Moreover, the analysis shows that the size of a stable agreement increases in the number of countries affected by the externalities.
    Keywords: Environmental Agreements
    JEL: D6 Q5 C7
    Date: 2018–07
  15. By: Morteza Tahamipour; Mina Mahmoudi
    Abstract: This study provides the theoretical framework and empirical model for productivity growth evaluations in agricultural sector as one of the most important sectors in Iran's economic development plan. We use the Solow residual model to measure the productivity growth share in the value-added growth of the agricultural sector. Our time series data includes value-added per worker, employment, and capital in this sector. The results show that the average total factor productivity growth rate in the agricultural sector is -0.72% during 1991-2010. Also, during this period, the share of total factor productivity growth in the value-added growth is -19.6%, while it has been forecasted to be 33.8% in the fourth development plan. Considering the effective role of capital in the agricultural low productivity, we suggest applying productivity management plans (especially in regards of capital productivity) to achieve future growth goals.
    Date: 2018–06

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