nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2019‒05‒06
ten papers chosen by

  1. International Agricultural Mitigation Research and the Impacts and Value of Two SLMACC Research Projects By David A Fleming; Kate Preston
  2. Spatial Spillovers in the Implicit Market Price of Soil Erosion: An Estimation using a Spatio-temporal Hedonic Model By Caffera, Marcelo; Vásquez Lavín, Felipe; Rodríguez Anza, Daniel; Carrasco-Letelier, Leonidas; Hernández, José Ignacio; Buonomo, Mariela
  3. Land Reform and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Micro Data By Tasso Adamopoulos; Diego Restuccia
  4. Regression tree analysis of soil fertility and agro-economic practices and the effects on yield in Tanzania By Jan Lietava; Risa Morimoto
  5. A primer on weather and climate intervention for economists By Scott Knowles; Mark Skidmore
  6. Consumer Buying Behavior of Organic Food with Respect to Health and Safety Concerns among Adolescents By Raza, Syed Ali; Shah, Nida; Nisar, Wasay
  7. The Effect of Air Pollution on Body Weight and Obesity: Evidence from China By Deschenes, Olivier; Wang, Huixia; Wang, Si; Zhang, Peng
  8. Skill versus Voice in Local Development By Casey, Katherine; Glennerster, Rachel; Miguel, Edward; Voors, Maarten
  9. Food Deserts and the Causes of Nutritional Inequality By Allcott, Hunt; Diamond, Rebecca; Dube, Jean-Pierre; Handbury, Jessie; Rahkovsky, Ilya A.; Schnell, Molly
  10. Rules of Origin and Consumer-Hurting Free Trade Agreements By Mukunoki, Hiroshi; Okoshi, Hirofumi

  1. By: David A Fleming (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Kate Preston (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: Evaluating the benefits of publicly funded research is always a challenging task. This paper cannot produce air-tight quantification of the benefits of Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) research. We do, however, demonstrate the key building blocks of significant impact have been obtained. First, it is clear that public funding has contributed importantly to New Zealand’s positioning itself as one of the leading global contributors to agricultural mitigation research. Second, the prominence of the research combined with the low likelihood of research occurring on this scale without public support suggests strongly that the results would not have been obtained absent public funding. Finally, though the realization of ultimate environmental and/or economic benefits will depend on the evolution of farming practices and climate change policy settings, the advances in genetic markers for low CH4 animals and identification of emission-reducing management practices have the potential for GHG emission reductions that would be significant in environmental terms, and whose value at likely carbon pricing levels would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Although the results discussed are conditional on several factors such as future policy implementation, adoption rates and the practical availability of mitigation options and practices for different farm landscapes; the impacts, economic and environmental values attached to mitigation research cannot be overlooked and provide important insights to the benefits that public investments can make to the development of a more sustainable agricultural system for the country.
    Keywords: Agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation; public funding analysis, science policy, climate change
    JEL: Q15 Q16 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2018–09
  2. By: Caffera, Marcelo; Vásquez Lavín, Felipe; Rodríguez Anza, Daniel; Carrasco-Letelier, Leonidas; Hernández, José Ignacio; Buonomo, Mariela
    Abstract: Abstract: We estimate the implicit market price of soil erosion, fitting a spatio-temporal hedonic price model using quarterly data of 3,563 agricultural farms traded in Uruguay between 2000 and 2014. A unique feature of our estimation is that we allow for possible spatial spillovers. We find evidence of a negative and statistically significant association between erosion and land values. A 1% increase in own topsoil loss due to own erosion is associated with a decrease of 0.22% in the per-hectare price of agricultural land (p-value: 0.013, 95% CI: -0.0039, -0.0005). This is equivalent to a decrease of 7.7 USD in the average price per hectare and USD 1,040 in the price of the average farm (134 hectares). This value increases to USD 1,277 when we add the average cross marginal effect of erosion in nearby farms. Our estimates are sensitive to our measure of erosion and our specification of the spatio-temporal weighting matrix. We also find evidence consistent with our hypothesis that farms entering a governmental erosion control plan sent a valuable signal to the market regarding soil management. An indicator of whether the farm has at least one parcel under the government erosion control plans is associated with a 29% increase in the farm´s per-hectare price (p-value: 0.000, 95% CI: 16.26%, 41.53%) higher than those with no parcel under these plans. The average total marginal effect (own plus cross effects) of the erosion control plans is 35.37% (p-value: 0.000, 95% CI: 20.33%, 50.40%).
    Keywords: spatial spillovers, spatio-temporal hedonic model, soil erosion, farmland values, Uruguay
    JEL: Q1 Q12 Q15
    Date: 2019–04–30
  3. By: Tasso Adamopoulos; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: We assess the effects of a major land policy change on farm size and agricultural productivity using a quantitative model and micro-level data. We study the 1988 land reform in the Philippines that imposed a ceiling on land holdings, redistributed above-ceiling lands to landless and smallholder households, and severely restricted the transferability of the redistributed farm lands. We study this reform in the context of an industry model of agriculture with a non-degenerate distribution of farm sizes featuring an occupation decision and a technology choice of farm operators. In this model, the land reform can reduce agricultural productivity not only by misallocating resources across farmers but also by distorting farmers' occupation and technology decisions. The model, calibrated to pre-reform farm-level data in the Philippines, implies that on impact the land reform reduces average farm size by 34% and agricultural productivity by 17%. The government assignment of land and the ban on its transfer are key for the magnitude of the results since a market allocation of the above-ceiling land produces about 1/3 of the size and productivity effects. These results emphasize the potential role of land market efficiency for misallocation and productivity in the agricultural sector.
    JEL: O11 O13 O14 O4 O53 Q1 R2 R52
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Jan Lietava; Risa Morimoto (Department of Economics, SOAS University of London, UK)
    Abstract: Food security and yield production have been extensively studied in regard to fertiliser response in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. Soil fertility gradients within farms interact with other complex factors such as plot management, alongside bio-physical as well as socio-economic constraints, to create extensive heterogeneity in yield production. Hence, blanket recommendations regarding increasing inputs may not just lead to limited or no change in productivity but may affect long term sustainability. To try and explore the relationships between these factors, Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis was used to simplify the effect of plot management decisions. Data was from the focal plots of the 2016 and 2017 Tanzanian Agronomy Panel Survey (TAPS 2017; n = 580) with a range of yields and socio-economic contexts (2.10tha-1 – 3.68tha-1). Results suggested that in low resource fields, management factors are subservient to extreme soil degradation while in high resource fields good management such as optimal planting are needed for maximum predicted yield (4.48tha-1; n = 51). Boundary line analysis was conducted, and maximum yield-nutrient response values calculated. The yield gap obtained suggested only up to 60% of locally obtainable yield is reached, highlighting the necessary balance between intensity of resource use and good management for sustainable and sufficient crop production, especially in the case of extreme soil degradation.
    Keywords: Regression tree analysis, soil property, Tanzania, agro-economic practice
    JEL: Q10 Q15 Q56 R15 R28
    Date: 2019–02
  5. By: Scott Knowles; Mark Skidmore
    Abstract: There is limited public discourse and understanding about the history and science of weather and climate intervention, though scientists have researched, tested and implemented numerous methods of weather modification for six decades. Also, climate-related geoengineering is steadily gaining support as a means of combatting rising global temperatures. With climate change and associated increasing occurrence of extreme weather events, there has not been a more providential moment to consider the implications of anthropogenic, atmospheric intervention. This paper summarizes information about weather and climate intervention with the aim of answering the question: Why aren’t more economists interested in evaluating weather and climate intervention activities?
    Keywords: weather modification, cloud seeding, geoengineering, climate change, economic analysis
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Raza, Syed Ali; Shah, Nida; Nisar, Wasay
    Abstract: In the recent era, environmental protection has gained popularity and a paradigm shift has been observed in the consumer’s dietary choices. The consumer start preferring organic foods, as they are considered as healthier and eco-friendly. The organic food consumption is widely increased in the developed countries but its adoption is still low in the developing country like Pakistan. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the factors that affect the adolescent’s intention to purchase organic foods in the context of Pakistan. For the purpose of the study, the data have been collected from 350 respondents and Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) has been used for the analysis. The result shows that the variables ecological welfare, nutritional content, sensory appeal has a significant relationship with utilitarian and hedonic attitude. Whereas, natural content has a significant relationship with utilitarian attitude but has an insignificant relationship with hedonic attitude. On the contrary, price has a significant relationship with hedonic attitude but has an insignificant relationship with utilitarian attitude. Moreover, both the attitude (utilitarian and hedonic) has a significant relationship with consumer intention to buy organic foods. From the results, several implications can be derived for the marketers, policymakers, and the organic food retailers.
    Keywords: Organic Food Consumption, Utilitarian and Hedonic Attitude, Pakistan. PLS-SEM
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2019–04–05
  7. By: Deschenes, Olivier (University of California, Santa Barbara); Wang, Huixia (Hunan University); Wang, Si (Hunan University); Zhang, Peng (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
    Abstract: We provide the first study estimating the causal effect of air pollution on body weight. Using the China Health and Nutrition Survey, which provides detailed longitudinal health and socioeconomic information for 13,226 adult individuals over 1989-2011, we find significant positive effects of air pollution, instrumented by thermal inversions, on body mass index (BMI). Specifically, a 1 μg/m3 (1.59%) increase in average PM2.5 concentrations in the past 12 months increases BMI by 0.31%, and further increases the overweight and obesity rates by 0.89 and 0.19 percentage points, respectively. Our paper identifies a new cause of obesity, and sheds new light on the morbidity cost of air pollution.
    Keywords: air pollution, obesity, weight gain, China
    JEL: I12 I15 Q53
    Date: 2019–04
  8. By: Casey, Katherine (Stanford Graduate School of Business and NBER); Glennerster, Rachel (Department for International Development); Miguel, Edward (U of California, Berkeley and NBER); Voors, Maarten (Wageningen U)
    Abstract: Where the state is weak, traditional authorities often control the local provision of land, justice, and public goods. These authorities are criticized for ruling in an undemocratic and unaccountable fashion, and are typically quite old and poorly educated relative to younger cohorts who have benefited from recent schooling expansions. We experimentally evaluate two solutions to these problems in rural Sierra Leone: an expensive long-term intervention to make local institutions more inclusive; and a low-cost test to rapidly identify skilled technocrats and delegate project management to them. In a real-world competition for local infrastructure grants, we find that in the status quo and institutional reform arms, traditional authorities do not delegate to skilled individuals despite the clear benefits of doing so. A public nudge successfully encourages delegation, leading to an average gain of one standard deviation unit in competition outcomes. The results uncover a broader failure of traditional autocratic institutions to fully exploit the human capital present in their communities. We compare these findings to the prior beliefs of experts on likely impacts, and discuss implications for competing views on the sustainability of foreign aid.
    JEL: H41 I25 O15
    Date: 2019–01
  9. By: Allcott, Hunt (New York University and NBER); Diamond, Rebecca (Stanford GSB and NBER); Dube, Jean-Pierre (Chicago Booth and NBER); Handbury, Jessie (Wharton and NBER); Rahkovsky, Ilya A. (U.S. Department of Agriculture); Schnell, Molly (Stanford)
    Abstract: We study the causes of “nutritional inequality†: why the wealthy eat more healthfully than the poor in the United States. Exploiting supermarket entry, household moves to healthier neighborhoods, and purchasing patterns among households with identical local supply, we reject that neighborhood environments contribute meaningfully to nutritional inequality. Using a structural demand model, we find that exposing low-income households to the same products and prices available to high-income households reduces nutritional inequality by only nine percent, while the remaining 91 percent is driven by differences in demand. These findings counter the common notion that policies to reduce supply inequities, such as “food deserts,†could play an important role in reducing nutritional inequality. By contrast, the structural results predict that means-tested subsidies for healthy food could eliminate nutritional inequality at a fiscal cost of about 15 percent of the annual budget for the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
    JEL: D12 I12 I14 L81 R20
    Date: 2018–11
  10. By: Mukunoki, Hiroshi; Okoshi, Hirofumi
    JEL: F13 F15 L11
    Date: 2019–03

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.