2018-2019 Seminar Series

September 21, 1:45-2:45, Filley Hall 210 Dr. Paul Winters, International Fund for Agricultural Development

Can irrigation investment improve social outcomes? Evidence from the Philippines

Paul Winters is the Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department at the International Fund for Agricultural Development. He was a professor of economics at American University and has worked at the Inter-American Development Bank, the University of New England, and the International Potato Center. His research areas include rural development and smallholder agriculture.

September 28, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210 Dr. Murray Fulton, University of Saskatchewan

Co-operative Research in 2018: What We Know and Don’t Know

Murray Fulton is the director of the Centre for the Study of Co-operative and a professor in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan.   

October 12, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210Dr. Mani Rouhi Rad Colorado State University

Complementarity not Substitution between Natural and Produced Capital

Understanding the relationship between natural capital and produced capital is critical for achieving sustainability. The focus of existing theoretical and empirical literature in natural capital has been on substitutability of natural capital and other forms of capital suggesting that depleting natural capital can be substituted by investments in produced or human capital. This paper develops a framework for studying the substitution or complementarity of natural capital and produced capital when shadow price of natural capital is not observed. We then provide an empirical evidence of the complementarity between these two forms of capital in the case of the Panama Canal expansion. We distinguish between capital space and utilization space and show that stocks and flows may not have the same relationship. Finally, we show that the substitution or complementarity relationship depends on the type of investment and the nature of the relationship is not clear ex-ante. Our results shed new light on the effects of investment in produced capital on the value of natural capital assets and sustainability concepts.

November 2, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210Dr. Simanti Banerjee, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Performance and Strategic Behavior in Spatial Conservation Auctions - A Laboratory Experiment

Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes are policies that economically incentivize private landholders – farmers to implement different land use practices on their properties which produce ecosystem services benefits for society. One key environmental goal of PES schemes is to incentivize farmers to implement similar land uses on adjacent parcels or those within a given distance of each other in a cost-effective manner. Spatial coordination is important as it can magnify the amount of ecosystem services benefits produced. Cost-effectiveness is also essential since PES budgets are limited so policymakers are interested in maximizing total benefits produced for the money spent, usually through the implementation of conservation auctions. One way to incentivize spatial coordination is to allow groups of farmers to submit applications for implementing different land uses jointly rather than individually in the auctions. Recent reforms of PES Schemes in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK have stressed the desirability of participation by farmers in groups, rather than as individuals as is the case currently. Given this context, we use a laboratory economic experiment to examine the performance of a conservation auction both in the presence and absence of joint bidding opportunities. In the auction experiment, participants submit bids reflecting the total amount of money they are willing to receive for implementing different land use practices on their farms. In some sessions, we allow subjects to revise and resubmit bids while in others, this option is unavailable. In keeping with real-life interactions within farming communities, the subjects can communicate with their neighbors before submitting an individual and/or joint bid. Our results indicate that joint bidding opportunities do not increase auction efficiency or the amount of environmental benefits realized. Overall efficiency is however high, in all treatment conditions. Rent-seeking in the auction declines in the joint bidding condition depending upon whether subjects can revise and resubmit bids to improve their likelihood of being selected.

Past Seminars