nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2019‒01‒07
twenty papers chosen by

  1. Measuring the Effect of Agricultural Extension on Technical Efficiency in Crop Farming: Meta-Regression Analysis By Nicolas Lampach; Phu Nguyen-Van; Nguyen To-The
  2. Understanding Norwegian Commons By Berge, Erling
  3. The Effects of Risk and Ambiguity Aversion on Technology Adoption: Evidence from Aquaculture in Ghana By Christian Crentsil; Adelina Gschwandtner; Zaki Wahhaj
  4. Crop Insurance and Food Security: Evidence from Rice Farmers in Eastern India By Ranganathan, Thiagu; Mishra, Ashok K.; Kumar, Anjani
  5. Feeding the people: grain yields and agricultural expansion in Qing China By Brunt, Liam; Fidalgo, Antonio
  6. Land tenure security and internal migration in Tanzania By Tseday Jemaneh Mekasha; Wilhelm Ngasamiaku; Remidius D. Ruhinduka; Finn Tarp
  7. On the impact of non-tariff measures on trade performances of African agri-food sector By Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano; Lamonaca, Emilia
  8. Rural food markets and child nutrition By Headey, Derek; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John; Stifel, David
  9. What drives the withdrawal of protected areas? Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon By Derya Keles; Philippe Delacote; Alexander Pfaff
  10. The Price of Biodiesel RINs and Economic Fundamentals By Scott H. Irwin; Kristen McCormack; James H. Stock
  11. The changing landscape of agricultural markets and trade: prospects for future reforms By OECD
  12. The Economics of Fertilizer Subsidies By Holden, Stein T.
  13. The effects of non-tariff measures on agri-food trade: a review and meta-analysis of empirical evidence By Fabio Santeramo; Emilia Lamonaca
  14. Punjab’s Agricultural Innovation Challenge By Singh, Nirvikar
  15. Welfare dynamics in rural Viet Nam: Learning from regular, high-quality panel data By Andy McKay; Saurabh Singhal; Finn Tarp
  16. Economics of the supply functions for pollination and honey: Marginal costs and supply elasticity By Sumner, Daniel; Champetier, Antoine
  17. Liquidity constraints, risk preferences and farmers’ willingness to participate in crop insurance programs in Ghana By Abdulai, Awudu; Goetz, Renan; Ali, Williams; Owusu, Victor
  18. I shouldn't eat this donut: Self-control, body weight, and health in a life cycle model By Strulik, Holger
  19. The Right to Food in the U.S.: The Role of SNAP By Gunderson, Craig
  20. Dairy markets and child nutrition in the developing world By Headey, Derek; Martin, William J.; Laborde, David

  1. By: Nicolas Lampach; Phu Nguyen-Van; Nguyen To-The
    Abstract: Agricultural extension services have been dominated by development programs to improve the productivity of crops and to increase farmers’ income. The virtues and limitations of these programs ignite a debate among scholars from distinct strands of research. How effective are agricultural extension services in improving the productivity level of the agricultural output? We examine the key determinants driving systematic variations in the obtained technical efficiency estimates from all relevant crop farming studies. A weighted least square meta-regression analysis is conducted by using 193 observations from 96 farm level studies to evaluate the estimates of technical efficiency in crop farming and to review the relationship between agricultural extension services and farm performance. Evidence for the absence of a publication bias in the farm studies used in the meta-analysis is identified. The empirical results manifest that there is a positive and significant effect of extension services on technical efficiency estimates. Farm productivity is significantly influenced by country level characteristics, sample size of farm studies and type of crops. Our empirical findings are robust when replacing missing observations with imputed values applying the multiple imputation method.
    Keywords: Agricultural extension; Crop farming; Meta-analysis; Multiple Imputation; Publication bias; Technical efficiency; Weighted Least Square Estimation.
    JEL: Q16 O18 C14 C29
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Berge, Erling (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: he paper reviews the development of the legal status of Norwegian commons from the first known legislation on commons. The development can be divided into 5 periods. The first period lasted until about 1300. In this period, the commons changed from being a local matter for the chiefs and the local thing to become a national resource where also the King had rights to resources for defence of the realm. The second period is the big population decline 1350-1550 where Norway lost 60% of its population and the King and his bureaucracy moved to Copenhagen. The commons reverted to a local issue. The third period lasted from about 1550 to 1814. The powers of ownership were now seen to reside in the Crown. It had moved from the local community to the state. The rights of common were respected and should remain as they had been from old on. Limitations on the commoner's exploitation were introduced. Rights of common were held by active farms and stinted to the needs of the farm. At the same time, the Crown started large-scale exploitation of the forest resources and selling off forestland to sawmill owners and timber merchants. In the period 1814 to 1857/ 1863 the state’s ideas about the commons were recast into 3 types of commons and one type not mentioned in the legal texts that here is called hamlet commons. In the period after 1863 the limitations and regulations of the exploitation of the commons continued. By the end of the 20th century, the rights of common were reduced to rights of forests and pasture tailored to the needs of the farm. However, the development in farming and recreation activities of the population changed the usage of the commons. The rights of fishing and hunting in state commons came close to an all men’s right. The national community expanded its use of the commons by defining much of their areas to be protected lands providing landscapes for recreational activities and production of ecosystem services.
    Keywords: Norway; commons; history; rights of common; ownership; landscape protection
    JEL: H70 P48 Q15 Q20
    Date: 2018–12–17
  3. By: Christian Crentsil; Adelina Gschwandtner; Zaki Wahhaj
    Abstract: We study how aversion to risk and ambiguity affects the adoption of new technologies by Ghanaian smallholder aquafarmers. We conduct a set of field experiments designed to elicit farmers's risk and ambiguity preferences and combine it with surveybased information on their technology adoption decisions. We find that aquafarmers who are more risk-averse were quicker to adopt the new technologies: a fast-growing breed of tilapia fish, extruded feed and floating cages. By contrast, ambiguity aversion has no effect on the adoption of the new tilapia breed and extruded feed. Furthermore, it slows down the adoption of floating cages - a technology which entails higher fixed costs than the others - and the effect is diminishing in the number of other adopters in the village. We argue that these differential effects are due to the fact that the technologies are risk-reducing, with potential ambiguity about their payoff distributions at the early stages of adoption. The findings highlight the importance of distinguishing between risk and ambiguity in investigating technology adoption decisions of small-holder farmers in developing countries.
    Keywords: Uncertainty Aversion, Aquafarming, Technology Adoption, Extruded Feed, Floating Cages, Akosombo strain of Tilapia (AST)
    JEL: C93 D81 O33 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2018–12
  4. By: Ranganathan, Thiagu; Mishra, Ashok K.; Kumar, Anjani
    Abstract: The paper explores the spread of crop insurance (CI) in India and analyzes the association of factors affecting the demand for crop insurance. Additionally, using large farm-level survey data from Eastern India, the study assesses CI’s impact on rice yields of smallholder rice producers. The study tests for robustness of the findings after controlling for other covariates and endogeneity. Results indicate CI has a positive and significant impact on rice yields. In particular, the ATET and ATEUT effect of CI on rice yields is about 47%. However, CI’s impact on rice yields is heterogeneous among farm sizes of smallholders. Participation in CI increased rice yields of large farms by 49% but increased rice yields of small farms by only 16%.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2018–12–20
  5. By: Brunt, Liam (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Fidalgo, Antonio (Fresenius University of Applied Sciences)
    Abstract: We use modern econometric methods to analyze a recently-released sample of 3 000 Chinese grain yields. We find significant variation across provinces and persistent increases in yields over time – albeit slow compared to Europe and the New World. Growth rates for rice (the primary southern crop) and dry land crops (the primary northern crops) were similar. We show that provinces were more extensively farmed when yields and population pressure were high, and that extending production put downward pressure on yields. Overall, Chinese farmers avoided the problem of agricultural involution by efficiently boosting output at the extensive margin, not the intensive margin.
    Keywords: Agricultural involution; productivity; growth
    JEL: N55 O13 O47
    Date: 2018–12–13
  6. By: Tseday Jemaneh Mekasha; Wilhelm Ngasamiaku; Remidius D. Ruhinduka; Finn Tarp
    Abstract: In this paper we study the impact of tenure security on rural to urban migration of household members over the age of 15. Using three waves of the Tanzanian National Panel Survey (NPS) data, we show that tenure security is associated with lower probability of migration in rural Tanzania. This result is consistent with the idea that better property rights over agricultural land in rural Tanzania, by easing the fear of expropriation of land holdings, can induce households to retain more of their members. The result is found to be robust to different specifications and estimation techniques. Promoting land tenure security is a key policy concern in curbing rural– urban migration at early stages of development.
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano; Lamonaca, Emilia
    Abstract: The increasing interest of policymakers and academics on non-tariff measures (NTMs) has stimulated a growing literature on their effects on agri-food trade of African countries. The empirical evidence, however, are ambiguous: some studies suggest that NTMs are trade barriers, others suggest they have a catalyst role for trade. Understanding the drivers of these contrasting effects and the prevailing one would allow to draw important conclusions. We review, through a meta-analytical approach, a set of empirical studies that quantify the effects of NTMs on African agri-food trade. We find a prevalence of the trade-impeding effects. Our results also help explaining differences in NTMs’ effects due to methodological and structural heterogeneity. Moreover the effects of NTMs vary across types of NTMs and analysed commodities. We conclude by comparing our findings with existing literature and emphasize which research areas deserve further investigation such as intra-Africa trade or trade effects of technical NTMs.
    Keywords: Non-tariff measures; African trade; Trade barrier; Trade catalyst; Literature review.
    JEL: F13 N57 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2018–12
  8. By: Headey, Derek; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John; Stifel, David
    Abstract: Child dietary diversity is poor in much of rural Africa and developing Asia, prompting significant efforts to leverage agriculture to improve diets. However, growing recognition that even very poor rural households rely on markets to satisfy their demand for nutrient-rich non-staple foods warrants a much better understanding of how rural markets vary in their diversity, competitiveness, frequency and food affordability, and how such characteristics are associated with diets. This paper addresses these questions using data from rural Ethiopia. Deploying a novel market survey in conjunction with an information-rich household survey, we find that children in proximity to markets that sell more non-staple food groups have more diverse diets. However, the association is small in absolute terms; moving from three non-staple food groups in the market to six is associated with an increase the number of non-staple food groups consumed by ~0.24 and the likelihood of consumption of any non-staple food group by 12 percentage points. These associations are similar in magnitude to those describing the relationship between dietary diversity and household production diversity; moreover, for some products, notably dairy, we find that household and community production diversity is especially important. These modest associations may reflect several specific features of our sample which is situated in very poor, food-insecure localities where even the relatively better off are poor in absolute terms and where, by international standards, prices for non-staple foods are very high.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2018–12–20
  9. By: Derya Keles; Philippe Delacote; Alexander Pfaff
    Abstract: Since the late 1970s protected areas have been one of the most widely used regulatory tools for the conservation of ecosystem services. In this paper, we assess the possible drivers to the choice of withdrawing protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon. Protected areas are subject to inefficiencies because of the existence of conflicts over land between conservation and development activities. Further additionality is an issue, as protected areas tend to be located in areas with low opportunity cost of conservation, where forests are not likely to be cleared. This issue is particularly important in the Brazilian Amazon where growing development must be combined with the need to avoid deforestation. We first present a simple model of degazettement choice which leads us to assess how the presence of two agencies having different development and conservation objectives can lead to implementing this decision. We suggest that the probability to decide the removal of protected areas is larger in places with low and high development pressures. Then, we investigate the empirical determinants of protected area withdrawal by taking advantages of the new PADDDtracker (Protected Area Downgradement, Degazettement and Downsizement) dataset (WWF, 2017b). We confirm that the likelihood of degazettement is strongly influenced by developmentpressures, through characteristics of the land that enable agricultural development, and by variables related to protected area quality of enforcement and management costs. As protected areas located in highest pressure areas are more likely to be additional, there is a risk that only the most effective protected areas may loose their protection.
    Keywords: Conservation policy, PADD, Land-use change, Brazilian Amazon, Public policy
    JEL: Q56 Q57 Q58 O13 O21
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Scott H. Irwin; Kristen McCormack; James H. Stock
    Abstract: The D4 RIN is the tradable compliance certificate for the biomass-based diesel mandate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Understanding the price dynamics of the D4 RIN is important for understanding the RFS because its price sets a ceiling on the ethanol RIN (D6) and because some observers have suggested that RIN price fluctuations are too large to be explained by economic theory. We use option pricing theory to develop a model of the D4 RIN in terms of its economic fundamentals: the spread between the prices of biodiesel and petroleum diesel and the status of the biodiesel blenders’ tax credit. The resulting D4 fundamental price closely tracks actual D4 prices. We conclude that RIN price volatility arises because of the design of the RFS and intrinsic features of the US fuel supply system.
    JEL: C32 Q11 Q42
    Date: 2018–12
  11. By: OECD
    Abstract: This report synthesises OECD work analysing agricultural policies, markets and trade. It highlights recent developments in agricultural markets and policies and considers how these have changed the source and nature of the gains from multilateral reform, and considers opportunities for further reforms.In large part, gains from further reform come from the opportunities to increase income and jobs through increasing agro-food sector participation in global and domestic value chains. Countries can enhance the overall competitiveness of their agro-food sectors though more open trade policies and reducing the impacts of measures that raise trade costs. This includes reducing distorting domestic support and market access barriers, including to agro-food imports; ensuring that non-tariff measures are appropriate, transparent, and science-based; and reducing barriers to services trade.
    Keywords: agricultural policy, Agricultural trade, global value chains, non-tariff measures, policy reforms, trade in services
    JEL: F13 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2019–01–07
  12. By: Holden, Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: Fertilizer and other input subsidies have been a prominent component of agricultural policies in many Asian and African countries since the 1960s. Their economic and political rationale is scrutinized with emphasis on the second generation of targeted input subsidy programs that were scaled up in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) after 2005. The extent to which they full-fill the goal of being ‘market smart’ is assessed after inspecting the potential for such subsidies in SSA. The new fertilizer subsidy programs do not live up the market smart principles and suffer from severe design and implementation failures. While a clear exit strategy was one of the key principles, this principle has been neglected with the result that most current programs are more ‘sticky’ than ‘smart’. They have only partially achieved the intended impacts and have resulted in a number of unintended negative impacts. Redesign should start from a pilot stage testing basic mechanisms.
    Keywords: Fertilizer subsidy; externality; market failure; market smart; impact; elite capture
    JEL: Q12 Q18 Q28
    Date: 2018–09–14
  13. By: Fabio Santeramo (Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, degli Alimenti e dell'Ambiente - Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment [University of Foggia] - Università degli Studi di Foggia - University of Foggia); Emilia Lamonaca (Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, degli Alimenti e dell'Ambiente - Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment [University of Foggia] - Università degli Studi di Foggia - University of Foggia)
    Abstract: The increasing policy interests and the vivid academic debate on non-tariff measures (NTMs) has stimulated a growing literature on how NTMs affect agri-food trade. The empirical literature provides contrasting and heterogeneous evidence, with some studies supporting the 'standards as catalysts' view, and others favouring the 'standards as barriers' explanation. To the extent that NTMs can influence trade, understanding the prevailing effect, and the motivations behind one effect or the other, is a pressing issue. We review a large body of empirical evidence on the effect of NTMs on agri-food trade and conduct a meta-analysis to disentangle potential determinants of heterogeneity in estimates. Our findings show the role played by the publication process and by study-specific assumptions. Some characteristics of the studies are correlated with positive significant estimates, others covary with negative significant estimates. Overall, we found that the effects of NTMs vary across types of NTMs, proxy for NTMs, and levels of details of studies. Not negligible is the influence of methodological issues and publication process.
    Keywords: Non-tariff measures,Trade standards,Meta-analysis,Trade barriers
    Date: 2018–11–15
  14. By: Singh, Nirvikar
    Abstract: Fifty years ago, Punjab embarked on its famous Green Revolution, leading the rest of India in that innovation, and becoming the country's breadbasket. Now its economy and society are struggling by relative, and sometimes even absolute, measures. Using the original Green Revolution as a benchmark, this paper discusses five areas of challenge and promise for a new round of agricultural innovation in Punjab. These are: complexity of the agricultural economy, complementary inputs such as infrastructure, switching costs (including risks), balancing frontier innovation and adaptation, and the relative roles of the public and private sectors.
    Keywords: Punjab, agriculture, innovation, switching costs, infrastructure
    JEL: O30 P16 P26 Q10
    Date: 2019–01–01
  15. By: Andy McKay; Saurabh Singhal; Finn Tarp
    Abstract: While many studies of welfare dynamics have been conducted using panel data sets with two or three waves, much richer insights can be obtained where more waves are available. This paper analyses this issue for the case of the Viet Nam Access to Resources Household Survey, a carefully collected and high-quality data set collected over a period of eight years from 2008 to 2016. The survey was conducted over a period of impressive overall welfare improvement, but the data set highlights significant heterogeneity in this with significant numbers of households in fact becoming worse off. A panel-based econometric analysis of the evolution of different measures of welfare identifies that there are strong dynamics in welfare for all three measures considered here, but that shocks and changes in household composition are very important drivers of changing welfare levels at the household level.
    Date: 2018
  16. By: Sumner, Daniel; Champetier, Antoine
    Abstract: We report new data and estimates of beekeeper costs and revenues, which include data on each activity undertaken by honey producers and pollinators, including labor, transport costs and materials for pest and disease management. We use these data, recent surveys and USDA NASS information to develop and characterize supply functions for (1) pollination services to crops that bloom in the late winter (dominated by almonds) and (2) pollination services to crops that bloom in the spring, and (3) U.S.-produced honey. The positions and shapes of these supply functions are crucial to understanding how the honeybee industry will respond to changes in demand for pollination services, and other market conditions, including shifts in honey import supply, and forage availability affected by climate change.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Demand and Price Analysis
    Date: 2018–12–20
  17. By: Abdulai, Awudu; Goetz, Renan; Ali, Williams; Owusu, Victor
    Abstract: This paper analyzes smallholder farmers’ decisions to participate in crop insurance programs, using cross-sectional data from cocoa farmers in the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Western Regions of Ghana. Given the significance of output uncertainty and imperfect capital and insurance markets, we develop a theoretical framework to show how risk preferences and liquidity constraints influence farmers’ crop insurance participation decisions. We use a stated preference approach to obtain information on farmers’ willingness to participate in crop insurance programs, and a discrete choice model to examine the factors that influence their participation decisions. We find that risk preferences and liquidity constraints influence farmers’ willingness to participate in crop insurance programs. The results also show that the probability of participating in crop insurance programs is higher for males, the more educated, and those who trust others. The levels of fertilizer and pesticide expenditure and the access to credit are also found to significantly influence the decision to adopt the programs.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2018–12–20
  18. By: Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: In this paper I discuss overweight and obesity and their repercussions on health deficit accumulation and longevity in a life cycle model. Individual decisions are conceptualized as the partial control of impulsive desires of a short-run self (the limbic system) by a rationally forward-looking long-run self (the prefrontal cortex). The short-run self-strives for immediate gratification through consumption of food and other goods. The long-run self reflects the consequences of eating behavior on weight gain and health, exercises to lose weight, invests money to improve health and saves for health expenditure in old age. Not conceding to short-run desires, however, entails an idiosyncratic utility cost of self-control. The model is calibrated to match food expenditure, exercise, and other choices of an average U.S. American. The results suggest that imperfect self-control reduces average lifetime by up to five years. I use the model to analyze the role of self-control, income, food prices, energy density, and medical progress in explaining obesity and to develop a test on whether obesity is driven by excessive desire for food or lack of self-control.
    Keywords: self-control,overweight,obesity,physical exercise,health investments,aging,longevity
    JEL: D11 D91 E21 I10 I12
    Date: 2018
  19. By: Gunderson, Craig
    Abstract: The “right to food” has been formally implemented in some countries and, in other contexts, it is used as an exhortation for governments or other entities to take actions to reduce food insecurity. What exactly is meant by this right, how the demands of meeting this right can be met, whether countries can actually meet this right, and multiple other questions have emerged in discussions about the right to food. Often absent from discussions about the right to food is how specific food assistance programs can and do play a role in reducing food insecurity and, hence, helping to meet the goal of the right to food. In particular, whether the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is a useful model for ensuring the right to food. I begin this paper with a consideration of the right to food and the obligations this imposes on a society based on Roman Catholic teachings on the right to food. If a country is to have a right to food, whether or not this is being met should be measurable. I therefore consider a measure, the Food Security Supplement (FSS) that has been used in the U.S. Under the auspices of this definition, I discuss five components of a right to food and how SNAP does and does not meet these components. In concluding remarks, I discuss where this paper falls short and potential ways of furthering this conversation.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2018–12–20
  20. By: Headey, Derek; Martin, William J.; Laborde, David
    Abstract: Dairy is an exceptionally nutrient-dense food of immense importance to healthy growth in early childhood. However, dairy consumption among young children is strikingly low in many parts of Africa and Asia. This paper attempts to explain this puzzle, focusing on the obvious roles of income/wealth and prices, and the less well understood roles of lactose intolerance, cattle ownership, nutritional knowledge, water quality, and refrigeration. We find evidence suggesting that all of these factors might account for differences in dairy consumption across countries, although the disparity in dairy prices between low and high consumption countries is particularly large and puzzling, given the tradability and relative affordability of powdered milk. We therefore develop a novel trade analysis to understand why dairy prices are so high, especially relative to staple cereals, and illustrate how comparative (dis)advantage in dairy is often poorly aligned with pricing policies. We conclude the paper by highlighting unresolved research questions in this complex puzzle, including the need to learn from countries that have been able to drastically improve dairy consumption, including those with little tradition of dairy consumption such as Thailand and Vietnam.
    Keywords: Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2018–12–20

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