nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒08‒07
thirteen papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Integration in Gasoline and Ethanol Markets in Brazil over Time and Space under the Flex-fuel Technology By Nuñez, Hector M.; Otero, Jesús
  2. Brazil's Agricultural Total Factor Productivity Growth by Farm Size By Helfand, Steven M.; Magalhaes, Marcelo M.; Rada, Nicholas E.
  3. It’s all about location?: An analysis of the factors that affect the location decision of sugarcane processing mills in Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil By Sant'Anna, Ana C.; Granco, Gabriel; Bergtold, Jason S.; Caldas, Marcellus M.
  4. RCTs for Agriculture: Exploring the Impact of a Text Message-based Intervention on Adoption of Blackberry Integrated Crop Management in Ecuador By Carrión Vanessa; Alwang, Jeffrey; Norton, George W.; Barrera, Víctor
  5. Argentina's Agricultural Policies By Ridley, William; Devadoss, Stephen
  6. Marketing Cooperatives in Developing Countries: Who Joins Them and How Can They Do Better? By Malan, Benoît; Saitone, Tina L.; Sexton, Richard J.
  7. Feasibility of new agricultural futures contract: a study in the Brazilian rice market By Capitani, Daniel H.D.; Mattos, Fabio
  8. Climate Change Adaptation: The case of the Coffee Sector in Nicaragua By Zuluaga, Victor; Labarta, Ricardo; Läderach, Peter
  9. Grain price and volatility transmission from international to domestic markets in developing countries By Ceballos, Francisco; Hernandez, Manuel A.; Minot, Nicholas; Robles, Miguel
  10. Getting a Leg Up or Pulling it Down? Interpersonal Comparisons and Destructive Actions: Experimental Evidence from Bolivia By Zeballos, Eliana
  11. Abandoning Coffee under the Threat of Violence and the Presence of Illicit Crops. Evidence from Colombia By Ibáñez, Ana María; Muñoz, Juan Carlos; Verwimp, Philip
  12. Brazil’s Response to Lower Commodity Prices By Cordonnier, Michael
  13. From Financial Repression to External Distress: The Case of Venezuela By Carmen M. Reinhart; Miguel Angel Santos

  1. By: Nuñez, Hector M.; Otero, Jesús
    Abstract: We employ a pair-wise approach to analyse regional integration in the gasoline and ethanol markets in Brazil. Using weekly price data for these two fuels at the state level over a period of almost 10 years, we find that more than half of the fuel price differentials are stationary, which reveals the importance of allowing for spatial considerations when testing for market integration. We find that the speed at which prices converge to the long-run equilibrium depends upon the distance between states and the similarity between tax regimes. Other demand and supply factors such as population density, number of gas stations and GDP per capita are not statistically significant.
    Keywords: Gasoline, ethanol, prices, market integration, distance, Demand and Price Analysis, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, C33, L11, Q43,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Helfand, Steven M.; Magalhaes, Marcelo M.; Rada, Nicholas E.
    Abstract: The role of farm size has recently come to the forefront of agricultural development debates. Agricultural development policy often focuses on small farms given evidence of their role in poverty reduction and of higher yields. Yet policy has also focused on large farms due to their share of output, efficiency gains from vertical and horizontal integration, and potential employment generation. Brazil offers an interesting case study because of its wide spectrum of farm sizes and the country’s dual agricultural policy focus towards large commercial “agribusiness” enterprises, led by the Ministry of Agriculture, and “family farms,” led by the Ministry of Agrarian Development. Our purpose is to examine the role that farm size may have in Brazil’s agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) growth, which has accelerated at one of the world’s fastest rates over the last twenty years. The data are drawn from the agricultural censuses of 1985, 1995/96, and 2006, aggregated at the municipality level into five farm-size classes. The findings of this study point to heavy technical efficiency losses across all size classes, creating a substantial drag on national agricultural TFP growth. Moreover, because farms in the middle of the size distribution achieved the slowest technical change and TFP growth – bookended by faster growth in the smallest and largest farm-size classes – we identify an unexpected and unexplored source of inefficiency, namely medium-sized farms.
    Keywords: agriculture, Brazil, efficiency change, farm size, technical change, total factor productivity (TFP), Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Sant'Anna, Ana C.; Granco, Gabriel; Bergtold, Jason S.; Caldas, Marcellus M.
    Keywords: Ethanol, Sugarcane, Logit, Brazil, Agribusiness, Industrial Organization, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Carrión Vanessa; Alwang, Jeffrey; Norton, George W.; Barrera, Víctor
    Keywords: Agricultural Technology adoption, RCTs, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development,
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Ridley, William; Devadoss, Stephen
    Keywords: Argentina, soybeans, soymeal, soyoil, cattle, beef, export tariffs, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade, D58, F13, F14, Q17,
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Malan, Benoît; Saitone, Tina L.; Sexton, Richard J.
    Keywords: Cooperative, pooling, developing countries, International Development, Marketing,
    Date: 2015–05–27
  7. By: Capitani, Daniel H.D.; Mattos, Fabio
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Marketing,
    Date: 2015–05
  8. By: Zuluaga, Victor; Labarta, Ricardo; Läderach, Peter
    Abstract: This article studies Nicaraguan coffee growers’ perceptions on long term changes in climate, the adaptation strategies implemented and its determinants. Using a household level sample, this study estimates probabilistic models where climate change adaptation is explained by household and farm characteristics, perceptions about changes in climate, measurement of exposure to climate change and geographical fixed effects. Results suggest that household age and years of education, number of household members, level of wealth, having received technical assistance, participation in farmer groups, off farm work, perceptions about changes in climate and exposure to climate change, affect the coffee growers’ decision to adapt to climate change. However, the magnitude and significance of the effect of these explanatory variables varies across adaptation strategies.
    Keywords: Adaptation, Climate Change, Nicaragua, Coffee, Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management, Production Economics, Q12, Q18, Q54,
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Ceballos, Francisco; Hernandez, Manuel A.; Minot, Nicholas; Robles, Miguel
    Abstract: Understanding the sources of domestic food price volatility in developing countries and the extent to which it is transmitted from international to domestic markets is critical to help design better global, regional, and domestic policies to cope with excessive food price volatility and to protect the most vulnerable groups. This paper examines price and volatility transmission from major grain commodities to 41 domestic food products across 27 countries in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. We follow a multivariate GARCH approach to model the dynamics of monthly price volatility in international and domestic markets. The period of analysis is 2000 through 2013. In terms of price transmission in levels, we only observe lead-lag relationships from international to domestic markets in few cases. To calculate volatility spillovers, we simulate a shock equivalent to a 1% increase in the conditional volatility of prices in the international market and evaluate its effect on the conditional volatility of prices in the domestic market. The transmission of price volatility is statistically significant in just one-quarter of the maize markets tested, almost half of rice markets tested, and all wheat markets tested. Volatility transmission seems to be more common when trade (imports or exports) are large relatively to domestic requirements.
    Keywords: Volatility transmission, price transmission, grain commodity prices, domestic markets, MGARCH, Demand and Price Analysis, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, Q11, C32,
    Date: 2015–06–01
  10. By: Zeballos, Eliana
    Abstract: Accumulating research has shown that individuals’ welfare is affected not only by the absolute amount of resources at their command but also, by their relative position vis-a-vis others. Individuals' concerns about their relative positions may influence individuals’ choices and affect their behavior. For example, upward interpersonal comparisons may spur individuals to reduce consumption gaps by increasing effort or investment to "catch-up" or by "pulling-down" others through destructive actions. "Pulling down" other more successful individuals may have both direct and indirect detrimental effects on productivity and efficiency. On one hand, welfare is reduced directly as the other’s output is destroyed and one’s resources are consumed. In addition, the threat of destructive actions may lead to lower levels of effort and investment. In order to empirically examine how interpersonal comparisons affect effort levels, the prevalence of destructive actions, and how the threat of destructive actions affect effort levels; I designed a set of behavioral games that build on the two-stage "money burning" game. I introduce a simple effort task in the first stage. Specifically, earnings depend on the number of beans individuals separate from a container full of beans and rice. The experimental games were carried out in Bolivia among 285 dairy farmers. I find that when destructive actions are not allowed, positional concerns matter for the bottom half of the earnings distribution. When rankings were revealed to the participants, those below the group mean earnings increased their effort by 7.5%. When I allow for destructive actions, 55% of people are willing to forego higher own-consumption in order to "destroy" others’ output; 58% were victims to destructive action and lost on average 34% of their earnings. There is an asymmetry in direction of destruction, 98.3% of the highest earners suffered some destruction, while only 23.7% of the lowest earners were victims to destruction actions. Finally, the threat of destructive actions reduced highest earners’ effort by 6%.
    Keywords: Interpersonal comparisons Destructive behavior Envy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development, D01 D03 D63,
    Date: 2015–07
  11. By: Ibáñez, Ana María; Muñoz, Juan Carlos; Verwimp, Philip
    Abstract: This paper explores the importance of the risk of violence on the decision making of rural households, using a unique panel data set for Colombian coffee-growers. We identify two channels. First, we examine the direct impact of conflict on agricultural production through the change in the percentage of the farm allocated to coffee. Second, we explore how conflict generates incentives to substitute from legal agricultural production to illegal crops. Following Dercon and Christiaensen (2011), we develop a dynamic consumption model where economic risk and the risk of violence are explicitly included. Theoretical results are tested using a parametric and semi-parametric approach. We find a significant negative effect of the risk of violence and the presence of illegal crops on the decision to continue coffee production and on the percentage of the farm allocated to coffee. Results are robust after controlling for endogeneity bias and after relaxing the normality assumption.
    Keywords: selection model, armed conflict, and agricultural production, Land Economics/Use, Production Economics, C21, C34, D13, D74,
    Date: 2013–08–08
  12. By: Cordonnier, Michael
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2015–02–20
  13. By: Carmen M. Reinhart; Miguel Angel Santos
    Abstract: Recent work has supported that there is a connection between the level of domestic debt level and sovereign default on external debt. We examine the potential linkages in a case study of Venezuela from 1984 to 2013. This unique example encompasses multiple financial crises, cycles of liberalization and policy reversals, and alternative exchange rate arrangements. This experience reveals a nexus among domestic debt, financial repression, and external vulnerability. Unlike foreign currency-denominated debt, debt in domestic currency may be reduced through financial repression, a tax on bondholders and savers producing negative real interest rates. Using a variety of methodologies, we estimate the magnitude of the tax from financial repression. On average, this financial repression tax (as a share of GDP) is similar to those of OECD economies, in spite of the much higher domestic debt-to-GDP ratios in the latter. However, the financial repression “tax rate” is significantly higher in years of exchange controls and legislated interest rate ceilings. In line with earlier literature on capital controls, our comprehensive measures of capital flight document a link between domestic disequilibrium and a weakening of the net foreign asset position via private capital flight. We suggest these findings are not unique to the Venezuelan case.
    JEL: E4 E5 E58 E6 F31 F36 N26
    Date: 2015–07

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