Dr. Juan SesmeroTopic: Out-of-Equilibrium Behavior and Inference on Firm Conduct: Evidence from Laboratory Experiments
Background - Dr. Juan Sesmero holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Juan’s research and teaching activities are focused primarly on the economics of competition in agricultural markets, the economics of agricultural irrigation, and adaptation to and impact of climate change in agriculture. Juan’s research received support from USDA-NIFA and the National Science Foundation. Most prominently, he is currently leading a USDA-NIFA (Markets and Trade) funded project that integrates theory, laboratroy experiments, and econometrics to advance identification of structural parameters when the mode of competition among firms is uncertain.
Dr. Ed RubinTopic: Power Plants, Air Pollution and Regulatory Rebound
Background - Interactions between overlapping regulations can have unintended impacts on polluting activities. We document one such potentially important interaction. Local regulators in areas constrained by one type of air quality regulation—threshold-based local air quality standards—are incentivized to permit more local pollution in response to a decline in emissions induced by another kind of regulation—rules targeting power plant emissions. We combine a state-of-the-art particle trajectory model, machine learning, and an econometric model of local air pollution exposure to quantify the relationship between sustained reductions in upwind power-plant emissions of pollution (PM2.5) precursors and downwind pollution levels. We use this integrated air quality modeling framework to test whether pollution levels in constrained counties appear to "rebound" when emissions from upwind pollution sources decline. We document evidence that is consistent with a local emissions rebound.
Dr. Amy AndoBackground Info:
Abstract - Ando is a Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. She earned a B.A. in economics from Williams College in 1990 and a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T in 1996. Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois she worked as a Fellow at Resources for the Future for three years where she is currently a University Fellow. Ando has secured grants from sources including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - NIFA. Papers emerging from her research have appeared in Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics, Resource and Energy Economics, the Journal of Law and Economics, Conservation Biology, and numerous other scholarly journals and books. Ando is currently one of the lead Co-Editors of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and has served as a handling editor for other highly ranked journals. She has worked on review panels for multidisciplinary grant competitions at the National Science Foundation and participated in expert advisory workshops related to stormwater and wildlife habitat policy for the EPA and the USDA (respectively). Ando has served on the Advisory Committee for the Environment Program at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation on advisory groups to help the City of Chicago form and evaluate stormwater initiatives, and currently on the Science Advisory Board for The Nature Conservancy in Illinois. She is currently an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and previously served as a Board member and then Vice President of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
Dr. Samarendu Mohanty
Topic: The Role of Potato in Building Sustainable Agri-Food Systems in Asia
Krishna PaudelBackground info:
Krishna’s work focuses on water quality and water quantity, technology adoption, and international development economics. Krishna has served the agricultural economics and other affiliated professions in several roles, such as Editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, and as President of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association. He currently serves as Associate Editor for two journals: Natural Resource Modeling and Journal of Water Resource Planning and Management.
Dr. Murray FultonA Behavioral Model of Political Economy
Abstract - There is a strong sense currently that western democracies are unable to address their most urgent and critical challenges. Whether it is climate change, income inequality, water shortages, or lack of urban housing, governments appear to be incapable of taking the bold policy steps needed to address these major issues. The main roadblock to change appears to be political. While solutions exist to most of the problems, policy makers are unable to pursue them because of the political backlash that will be unleashed.
The argument developed in this presentation is that these policy breakdowns occur because the proposed policy solutions fundamentally alter society's underlying institutions or rules of the game, which in turn alter the existing power relationships and the distribution of income, both of which are valued. Policies are the result of decisions made by the elite — i.e., those people in society with political power. In this framework, policy formation is understood to rest on an institutional foundation, one that has been built up over time by previous elites for their own substantive purposes. This institutional foundation plays a key role in structuring the elite's decision-making. In addition. the elites are assumed to have a preference for the status quo due to loss aversion. Taken together, these two decision-making determinants — one macro and institutional and one micro and cognitive-based — combine to create a behavioural approach to political economy. This approach integrates the work of authors from numerous disciplines, including behavioural economics, cognitive psychology, political science, institutional theory, and transaction cost economics.
Dr. Simone Valle de SouzaA Comparative Choice Experiment with Leafy Green Consumers
Abstract - As technology evolves at a fast pace, consumers remain somewhat bound to traditional concepts of agricultural systems, showing adverse reactions to ag-tech developments. On the other hand, these very consumers state their appreciation for some of the most important improvements offered by ag-tech, such as easy access to year-round and consistent supply of higher-quality product. Information exchange between producers and consumers becomes key to ascertain the speed and direction of innovative technology development that meets consumer expectations and understanding. The emerging Indoor Agriculture (IA) industry is an example in which technology evolves rapidly, and billions of dollars are being invested in large-scale leafy green production systems. Some of the main attributes of this industry are associated with year-round production, consistent quality and supply, potentially pesticide-free and locally produced fresh produce, revitalization of local communities and lower carbon footprint. However, this industry struggles to grow, despite significant crop production research development, mostly because producers face the risk of large capital investments coupled with the uncertainty associated with consumer perceptions and acceptance of IA technology. Through a discreet choice experiment and latent class analysis three distinct groups of consumers with diverging preferences and willingness to pay for attributes were identified. Results show that although heterogeneity was significantly higher for production methods (i.e. IA, greenhouse and field farming) than product attributes, 55% of consumers accept the technology and are willing to pay a premium for attributes that IA offers. Penultimately, these results help producers to create marketing strategies that appropriately target consumers supportive of the enhanced production or product attributes achieved by urban-located indoor leafy food production systems, and the development of this industry which carries strong environmental and social advantages.
Cover crop practices, programs and soil health outcomes in the U.S.
Filley Hall 210
U.C. Santa Barbara
Title - Environmental Markets: Is the Promise of Coase Fulfilled?
It has long been recognized that common-pool resources, if left unmanaged, tend to be inefficiently over-extracted. This “problem of the commons" remains pervasive today as many natural resources around the world deplete at unprecedented rates. In 1960, Ronald Coase proposed that the assignment of property rights to resources can counter over-extraction and improve welfare by providing incentives for more efficient resource use. These appealing predictions have led to the recommendation of property rights for nearly every common-pool resource - from fisheries, forests, water, to the global climate - and provide an intellectual foundation for the use of environmental markets more broadly. The effectiveness of property rights, however, is predicated on a number of stylized theoretical assumptions, many of which are violated in practice. Thus, it is an empirical question whether property rights will be effective under real-world conditions. In this talk, I will review the empirical literature on the performance of environmental markets, including discussion of my recent paper on groundwater markets (Ayres, A.B., Meng, K.C., and A.J. Plantinga. 2021. Do Environmental Markets Improve on Open Access? Evidence from California Groundwater Rights. Journal of Political Economy 129(10):2817-2860).
Filley Hall 210
U.C. Davis, Filley-Geary Lecture
Title - Modern Food Supply Chains and Meeting the Challenges of Feeding Ourselves Through the 21st Century