2018-2019 Seminar Series
September 21, 1:45-2:45, Filley Hall 210 Dr. Paul Winters, International Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentCan 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 SaskatchewanCo-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 UniversityComplementarity 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-LincolnPerformance 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.
Filley Hall 210
University of Southern Queensland
Examining differences in Australian and US agricultural policy: Advocacy, institutions and instrumentsAbstract Australia and the US are both developed, anglophone, Euro-colonial nations with similar agricultural production systems and some common export commodities. Both countries have cultural and political narratives about the importance of agriculture and rural communities, both were influenced by the resurgent market ideology of the 1980s and participate in WTO and a range of bi-lateral agreements. Australia is also relatively exposed to US cultural and political trends and ideas. Despite these commonalities and the potential for policy transfer, the agricultural policies of the two countries are notably different. In particular, Australia has drastically reduced effective support to farmers with almost no on-going agricultural programs, in contrast to the extensive programs in the US.
Filley Hall 47
University of Minnesota
Producer Attitudes toward Output Price Risk: Experimental Evidence from the Lab and from the FieldAbstractIn a seminal article, Sandmo (1971) showed that when faced with a risky output price, a risk-averse producer would in theory hedge against price risk by producing less than she would if she instead had been faced with a certain price equal to the mean of the risky price distribution. A number of agricultural and food policy instruments (e.g., administrative pricing, buffer stocks, marketing boards, and variable tariffs) as well as a substantial amount of research contributions are predicated on the idea that producers dislike output price volatility. We test Sandmo’s prediction experimentally, both in the lab with US college students and in the field with Peruvian farmers. We find no support for Sandmo’s prediction, either in the whole sample or in the restricted sample of risk-averse subjects. Moreover, we find that our subjects increase their production in response to price risk at the extensive margin but decrease it in response to price risk at the intensive margin. Looking at alternative explanations for our subjects’ behavior, we find no support for the safety-first decision criterion or for the hypothesis that our subjects maximize expected profit rather than expected utility, but we find suggestive evidence in support of prospect theory.
Filley Hall 210
Kansas State University
Using Cross-country Data to Estimate the Yield Impact of Genetically Engineered CornAbstractAgriculture has historically experienced one of the highest rates of productivity growth in the U.S. economy, but recent evidence suggests this growth is beginning to slow. The growth decline has coincided with concerns about food price spikes, social instability, increases in food insecurity, growing world population, drought, and climate change. This confluence of problems has prompted interest in determining whether certain technologies can promote gains in crop yields, and none has been more controversial than biotechnology. Many previous studies have investigated whether adoption of genetically engineered (GE) crops has increased yield, and the consensus from the micro-level data and experimental studies is that adoption of GE crops are associated with higher yield. However, ample skepticism remains, with high profile popular publications purporting that GE crops have failed to live up to their promise of yield increases. Here we combine U.S. and French corn yield data spanning 1980-2015 to estimate yield gains associated with GE adoption. This is an especially relevant comparison given the similarity of growing conditions in both countries coupled with the fact that GE corn has not been adopted in France due to regulatory restrictions, which provides an exogenous source of variation that can be exploited using quasi-experimental methods. We consider several possible identification approaches including (i) using only U.S. data in a fixed-effects regression framework; (ii) adding French data as a natural control in the same fixed effects framework; and (iii) utilizing propensity score methods to determine the “best matching” treatment and control groups across countries. Results suggest a yield gain of approximately 17-22 bu/acre depending upon the approach. Ongoing work is seeking to better understand whether these gains are heterogeneous across locations and the drivers thereof.
East Campus Union
Consumer Trends and Impacts on Agricultural Productivity and the Future Food SystemLusk is the author of Unnaturally Delicious: How Science and Technology are Serving up Super Foods to Save the World and The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate. He is a frequent commentator on food and food policy and has been called one of the most prolific food and agricultural economists of the past two decades. Lusk has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and a B.S. in food technology from Kansas State University. His a fellow and past president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. His more than 200 journal articles are among the most cited agricultural economics research. He blogs about food and agricultural policy at his website jaysonlusk.com/
Filley Hall 210
Visiting lecturer at the University of California, Davis and visiting researcher at ETH Zurich
Economics of the supply functions for pollination and honey: Marginal costs and supply elasticityAbstract: 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.
Filley Hall 210
Mississippi State University
2017-2018 Seminar Series
February 23, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210 Lindon Robison, Michigan State University
The Role of Social Capital and Relational Goods in Health Care DecisionsDr. Lindon J. Robison is Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AFRE) in the tenure stream at Michigan State University. He has published numerous books and articles, including the text for the department’s capstone Agri-business management course 435 which he also teaches. He has consulted for governments, firms, and international organizations such as the World Bank, particularly in Latin America. He has worked for the US Government as an agricultural economist, has been a visiting faculty member at Brigham Young University, the University of Minnesota, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala Sweden. He has won many academic awards including Best Ph.D. thesis for his work on risk and portfolio management of rural banks and in 2012 was made a fellow of the Institutional and Behavioral Economics section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). His most frequently cited works include The Competitive Firm’s Response to Risk which he authored with Peter J. Barry and “Is Social Capital Really Capital?” which he authored with Allan A. Schmid and Marcelo E. Siles. His pioneering research focuses on the role of social capital (relationships of caring, trust, and regard) on establishing the terms and level of trade—that has been applied to minimum sell land and car prices, the likelihood of loan approval, and medical screen decisions. His most recent publications describe social capital motives and distinguish between relational goods and commodities.
March 2, 3:00-5:00, Nebraska East UnionJohn Antle, Oregon State University
Data, Economics and Computational Agricultural ScienceA 2017 special issue of Agricultural Systems on “Next Generation Data, Models and Knowledge Products” presented a vision for accelerating the rate of agricultural innovation and meeting the growing global need for food and fiber. The authors envisage computational agricultural research and development that could complement, and increasingly substitute for, conventional experimental methods. They argue that significantly improved data and models could contribute to development of advanced farm-management systems that could accelerate the adoption and efficient use of more productive and more sustainable technologies. Various ongoing efforts by public sector organizations such as USDA and private firms such as Microsoft are working to develop and implement new technologies consistent with this vision, including new sensors, “big data,” and artificial intelligence. In this lecture I propose that economics has an important role to play in these developments. I draw parallels between advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning and recent developments in microeconometrics, and implications for the potential and challenges of “smart farming” systems and their role in generating data for computational science.
March 9, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210 Kostas Karantininis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Framing an Integrated Development Paradigm for Greek Agriculture
This is a contribution to the quest for a new paradigm for Greek agriculture. Ι use the term “paradigm” in a loose sense as “an open-ended resource: a framework of concepts, results, and procedures within which subsequent work is structured” (Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy).
We have five points of departure: Greek agri-food has shown remarkable resilience even in the dire conditions of the recent financial crisis (2008 to today); the value addition in Greek Greek agri-food lags significantly behind its true potential and far from its competitors in other EU countries; there exist unexploited synergies with other sectors, such as tourism and logistics; the potential competitive advantage of Greek agri-food lies in its diversity which should not be treated as a constraint; the main impediments to growth and development of Greek agri-food are institutional in nature.
The need for a “paradigm shift” in the Greek agri-food industry follows the diagnosis that the problem is systemic rather than sectoral. It is the entire agri-food “system” that needs a revision, and not simply the industry, i.e. farm practices and structures, food processing and logistics. The constraints to the development of the agri-food industry can be found deep into the structure, history and idiosyncrasies of Greek agri-food, and the Greek polity. The new paradigm calls for a perspective that incorporates private and collective governance, large and small scale organizations, national and international scope, that is research-based and efficiency driven.
April 6, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210Lisa House, University of Florida
Teaching without Lecture: Integrating Activities across the CurriculumAbstract: In the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida, we have made an attempt to vary the active learning approaches taken in classes at different points in the program of study for our undergraduate (and masters) program. In this seminar, I will discuss a variety of the different activities we have tried to incorporate, including case studies, simulation "games", "creative" projects, as well as presentations (written and oral) and the use of flipped classrooms. Each of these activities has included a learning curve on the part of the instructor and I will discuss some of the "lessons" learned.
September 22, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210 Murray Fulton, University of Saskatchewan
The Political Economy of Good GovernanceAbstract: In recent years there has been a marked increase in interest in what constitutes good government, good governance and quality of government. In addition to a broad consensus that government is no longer the key player in governing the economy, a concern has emerged that pursuing economic growth alone will not generate the best outcomes for society. In this paper, we examine these questions through a political economy model of governance in which power, economic payoffs and governance arrangements co-develop. Using this model we explore how corruption and ignorance affect the two underlying political economy problems of wealth generation and wealth distribution. We show, as other authors have done, how corruption generates outcomes that fail to grow the pie, while at the same time generating distributional outcomes that are highly disadvantageous. We then show how ignorance can have one of two effects, depending on the context. In the one case, ignorance—through its impact on transaction costs—can result in a failure of the pie to grow, often with detrimental distributional impacts. In the other case, ignorance can lead to increases in the size of the pie, albeit at the cost of redistributing the benefits of this growth to a particular group to such an extent that political instability ensues.
October 13, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210 Marco Costanigo, Colorado State University
A Belief-Preference Model of Choice for Experience and Credence GoodsAbstract: We develop a methodology addressing the issue of confounded beliefs and preferences in models of discrete choice. First, we formalize the theoretical framework and logical underpinnings of a belief-preference model of choice for experience and credence goods, where subjective beliefs relate to uncertain product quality. Then, we present the experimental procedure within the context of an online choice experiment studying consumer food preferences. The empirical strategy leverages information from a quality sorting task to identify and estimate beliefs, while choice data are used to recover preferences. By conditioning product choices on predicted quality perceptions, the issue of endogenous beliefs is resolved.
November 10, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210 Sara Savastano, World Bank and University of Rome Tor Vergata
Farm Size and Productivity A “Direct-Inverse-Direct” Relationship
April 21 3:00-4:30, 210 Filley HallMarc Conte, Fordham University
"District Subdivision and the Location of Smallholder Forest Conversion in Sumatra"
A unique GIS data set from Indonesia that distinguishes smallholder and plantation operations is used to test the impact of district subdivision, which enhances local control of natural-resource revenues, on the location of smallholder forest conversion. Nonparametric analyses find that in subdivided districts, smallholders convert forests on steeper land that is further from the nearest road and deeper into the forest. Smallholders are also less responsive to forest protection in subdivided districts. District subdivision imposes a welfare loss of $1,734 to $5,256 per hectare (in 2010 USD) from the increased carbon emissions associated with smallholder conversion deeper in the forest.
September 16, 3:00-4:30, East Campus Union Richard Shumway, Washington State University
“Are Innovations Really Induced by Input Price Changes?"
Technological innovations in agriculture and elsewhere, of course, follow from advances in general scientific knowledge. But the development of technologies can also be driven by input prices - escalating prices for one particular input encourage development of new technology that substitutes for that input. This "induced innovation" hypothesis has been widely examined by economists, but despite its intuitive appeal, it has received limited empirical support. Professor Shumway will present some new research findings relevant to this puzzle.
September 30, 3:00-4:30, Filley Hall 210 Murray Fulton, University of Saskatchewan
“The Governance of Federations"
Organization theorists and management scholars have thus far overlooked the prevalence and success of enterprise federations, a group of organizations that form a central to provide themselves with purchasing, wholesaling, manufacturing, logistics, technical and/or other services. Many enterprise federations are structured as cooperatives – examples include Home Hardware and Federated Co-operatives Limited. What is intriguing about a federation vis-à-vis other forms of governance is not that it co-ordinates activities between organizations, nor that it features a central enterprise, but rather that power is shared between the central enterprise and the autonomous constituent organizations that own the central and are the primary users of its services. According to insights derived from transaction cost analysis and agency theory, the additional costs associated with collaborative governance should render federations more inefficient than conventional governance models, leading them either to centralize completely or fail. The questions posed in this paper is: Why do federations continue to exist, and in some cases even thrive, in competitive industries where presumably more efficient forms of governance are possible? In other words, what, if anything, does federated governance add to compensate for the additional costs of greater collaboration in decision-making?
October 7, 3:00-4:30, 210 Filley HallJames Oehmke, U.S. Agency for International Development
“Rural Economic Transformation in the Senegal River Valley"
Over the past 50 years attempts modeled on the Green Revolution to catalyze transformation in remaining low-income countries, which rely importantly on subsistence agriculture, have met limited success—and global political, economic and social forces have rapidly changed the development context. This begs the question: what does successful structural transformation of an agricultural economy look like today? An empirical case study of what is arguably the beginning of a contemporary rural economic transformation process in the Senegal River Delta provides a potential answer. The study adds to the traditional measures of transformation—agricultural technology adoption and staple-crop productivity increases—to include measures of institutional change, business development and rural non-farm employment, among others.
Three conclusions emerge. First, evidence suggests a shift from subsistence to commercial farming, which is consistent with neo-classical structural transformation. Second, there appears to be increasing business activity, employment and population growth in rural towns and small cities that is consistent with a local structural transformation, but at least preliminarily differs in nature from classical structural transformations that historically are associated with widespread migration out of rural areas including small towns and into large urban metropolises. Third, the nature of the transformation cannot be captured adequately with only agricultural technology and productivity indicators.
October 21, 3:00-4:30, 210 Filley HallLisa Pfeiffer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
“A Safer Catch? The Effect of Catch Share Management on Risk Taking and Safety in Commercial Fishing"
Commercial fishing is a dangerous occupation despite decades of regulatory initiatives aimed at making it safer. We posit that rights-based fisheries management (the individual allocation of fishing quota to vessels or fishing entities, also called catch shares) can improve safety by solving many of the problems associated with the competitive race to fish experienced in fisheries around the world. The competitive nature of such fisheries results in risky behavior such as fishing in poor weather, overloading vessels with fishing gear, and neglecting maintenance. Although not necessarily intended to address safety issues, catch shares eliminate many of the economic incentives to fish as rapidly as possible. We develop a dataset and methods to empirically evaluate the effects of the adoption of catch shares management on a particularly risky type of behavior: the propensity to fish in stormy weather. After catch shares was implemented in an economically important US West Coast fishery, a fisherman’s probability of taking a fishing trip in high wind conditions decreased by 82% compared with only 31% in the former race to fish fishery. Overall, catch shares caused the average annual rate of fishing on high wind days to decrease by 79%. These results are evidence that institutional changes can significantly reduce individual, voluntary risk exposure and result safer fisheries.
November 18, 3:00-4:30, 210 Filley HallTravis Lybbert, University of California, Davis
“Leveraging the Lotto for Financial Inclusion: Lotto-Linked Savings Accounts in Haiti”
Many Haitians are more familiar with lottery wagers than any other financial transaction and few have access to savings products. In Port-au-Prince, we asked 306 participants to make a series of decisions to allocate a fixed budget across consumption, a real-world lotto product, a real-time traditional savings product, and a lotto-linked savings product (LLS) that blended the two by providing lotto credit in lieu of interest payments. We find that the introductions of LLS increased total savings by 22 percent, an increase roughly equivalent to that induced by raising the interest rate on the traditional savings product from 5 to 20 percent. An LLS with a small lotto incentive was equally effective as an LLS with a larger lotto incentive in increasing total savings, excluding expected lotto winnings. An LLS product with a lower expected return than the traditional savings product was equally effective as an LLS that had the same expected return as the savings product. The introduction of LLS reduced allocation in all of the three other options: consumption, lotto, and traditional savings. Bu the reductions were largest for lotto spending and the amount saved in the traditional savings product. We find evidence that the LLS was effective at increasing savings at least partly because individuals overweight small probabilities.
December 1, 12:30-1:30, 210 Filley HallBrenna Ellison, University of Illinois
“Examining Consumer Food Waste: Evidence from Two Experimental Studies”
Although food waste is increasingly recognized as an environmental and food security problem, there remains uncertainty over its primary contributors. Some food waste analyses seem to treat consumer (household) food waste as a “mistake” or careless decision; however, consumer decisions to waste likely reflect tradeoffs and economic incentives. These issues were explored in two experimental studies. In the first, we employ large surveys of U.S. food consumers using both within- and between-subject designs to study consumers’ decisions to discard food in different scenarios that vary safety, price, and opportunity costs. We find that food waste is a function of consumers’ demographic characteristics, and that decisions to discard food vary with economic incentives (paper attached). In the second, preliminary results are presented on the impact of an educational campaign to reduce food waste in university dining facilities.
February 17 3:00-4:30, 210 Filley HallDavid Lambert, Kansas State University
“Education and Factor Bias in Agriculture and Related Industries"
The number of hours devoted to value-added output in the NAICS sector Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting is increasingly supplied by individuals with advanced schooling. Consistent with hypotheses of a positive relationship among technology development, adoption, and dissemination and a skilled workforce, we find that the composition of the workforce is closely aligned with measures of the state of technology and with labor saving biases resulting from technical change. The changing composition of the workforce and technical change have driven an average wedge of 31% between reported wages W and wages augmented by the state of technology W*. Reported labor compensation in the sector was about $89 billion in 2010, with an average wage index of 110.9. The augmented labor wage index in 2010 was about 68.7, a loss of about 38%, whereas capital price increased from 121.9 (PC) to 196.7 (PC*).
March 10 3:00-4:30, 210 Filley HallBettina Klaus, University of Laussane (Switzerland)
“Object Allocation via Immediate-Acceptance: Characterizations and an Affirmative Action Application"
Which mechanism to use to allocate school seats to students still remains a question of hot debate. Meanwhile, immediate acceptance mechanisms remain popular in many school districts. We formalize desirable properties of mechanisms when respecting the relative rank of a school among the students' preferences is crucial. We show that those properties, together with well-known desirable resource allocation properties, characterize immediate acceptance mechanisms. Moreover, we show that replacing one of the properties, consistency, with a weaker property, non-bossiness, leads to a characterization of a much larger class of mechanisms, which we call choice-based immediate acceptance mechanisms. It turns out that certain objectives that are not achievable with immediate acceptance mechanisms, such as affirmative action, can be achieved with a choice-based immediate acceptance mechanism.
March 31 3:00-4:30, 210 Filley HallDavid Bullock, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“Generating and Using Focused Big Data for N Fertilizer Management"
Recent research has used precision agricultural technology (PAT) to run large-scale field trials that greatly reduce the cost of data generation. We explore the economic value of such trials. We report results of Monte Carlo simulations in which information generated in trials is used to improve farm management in subsequent years. A key result is that in our simulations the value of PAT is not based on its making variable rate management feasible. Rather, most of the value of PAT comes from the improved management made possible by the information derived from the field trials the technology permits.
April 7 3:00-4:30, East Campus UnionUma Lele, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Fellow, Daugherty Water for Food Institute International Advisory Panel, formerly World Bank Senior Advisor
“Incentives and Rewards to Innovation in a Rapidly Changing Global Environment"
The 4th industrial revolution, already upon us, promises jobless growth with technology replacing humans and knowledge and skills trumping physical capital. Creating gainful employment for millions is at the center of the cataclysmic political changes and policy concerns throughout the world. Dr. Uma Lele will outline how, and how well, developing regions are undergoing changes in incentives for rapid broad based and sustainable growth, in the context of the highly different resource endowments and the departure from the traditional concept of structural transformation. Questions related are, for example, is large scale farming inevitable? Is it part of a power law? What does it mean for those excluded from the process of structural transformation? How can productive employment be expanded to absorb workers displaced from robotized technological change? Lele will assert that social science research is sorely needed but lacking.
2015-2016 Seminar Series
April 2 3:00-4:30, East Campus UnionDr. Dan Sumner, University of California, Davis
“Animal Agriculture Facing Pressure from Regulations and Private Standards"
Abstract: Animal agriculture faces pressures from government regulations and private buyer standards, including those related to labeling. This presentation will review economic relationships for several important issues related to poultry, pork, beef and milk industries. These issues have a common theme: widespread concerns about farm or food system practices are based on misperceptions or misinterpretations. Also, that changes in practices and product characteristics have been imposed by government regulation or intermediate buyer standards that limit consumer choices, rather than by effective market demand by end use consumers.
Among the most significant implications of these trends in animal agriculture are disincentives for application of science and technology to agricultural and food practices. Such disincentives for innovation may foster slower farm and food system productivity growth, slower declines in food prices, slower improvements in food safety, and slower reductions in food waste. In rich, relatively well-fed economies the impacts are substantial but affect a relatively small part of the economy and a small share of most consumer budgets. Among the poor of the world, the consequences are vital and include less nutritious diets and resultant health threats for a billion people.
March 11, 3:00, 210 Filley HallDr. Sebastian Pouliot, Iowa State University
"Willingness to Pay for Ethanol in Motor Fuel: Evidence from Revealed and Stated Preference for E85"
Abstract: The relative preferences of motorists for E10 and E85 in different regions of the United States were estimated. An intercept survey of motorists with flex-fuel vehicles at E85 fuel stations in IA, CO, OK, AR and CA was conducted. A hypothetical scenario was proposed to each motorist where either the price of the fuel selected (not selected) was increased (decreased). Fuel preferences were estimated using both the revealed preference data from observed choices and the stated preference date from the hypothetical price scenario. We find that motorist significantly discount E85 compared to E10 even when adjusting for the different energy content of the two fuels and that the distribution of willingness to pay for E85 does not vary significantly between regions, except that flex motorists in California are willing to pay more for E85.
February 12, 3:00, 210 Filley HallDr. Mykel Taylor, Kansas State University
"The Value of Social Capital in Cropland Leasing Relationships"
Abstract: In the U.S. economy, informal bargaining between persons for services or assets of relatively high value is uncommon. However, there is one example encountered frequently in agriculture: the cropland lease. Many farmers rent at least a portion of their cropland and typically no formal markets exist for pricing land. This reliance on informal bargaining for the primary capital asset in farming suggests lease rates and the relationship between landowner and tenant have significant economic implications. If the existence of a long-lived and close relationship affect the rates at which the land is leased, then, cropland leases offer a unique test of the theory of social capital.
February 4, 3:00, 210 Filley HallDr. Brent Gloy, Visiting Professor, Purdue University
"When Theory Meets Reality: The Professor Goes Back to the Farm"
Dr. Brent Gloy is an agricultural economist specializing in agricultural finance and agribusiness management. His research has been quoted and referenced in media ranging from the farm press, to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Economist, among others. He founded and served as the first Director of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. Dr. Gloy’s current writings can be found on his website Agricultural Economic Insights, which he co-founded with David Widmar. Dr. Gloy has held tenured faculty positions in agricultural economics at Purdue University and Cornell University. He currently operates his family farming operation in Southwest Nebraska, is a partner in Agricultural Economic Insights, LLC, and serves as a visiting professor at Purdue University. Brent received his masters and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
October 2, 3:00, 210 Filley Hall
David Just, Professor, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
"Why Choice Matters and Why it Doesn't: An Application to Food Policy"
Abstract: In the attempt to curb the obesity crisis, policymakers are taking ever stronger measures. Recently this has resulted in several high-profile cases of backlash, with consumers complaining that their choices are being limited. Economic models of behavior predict that consumers will respond to changes in price in a way that is independent of the source of the price change. Yet research indicates that consumers that are emotionally attached to a consumption good or other behavior might respond with resistance when policies threaten their consumption or behavior. Using both survey and experimental data, we demonstrate how such emotional responses can create hidden costs to policy implementation that could not be detected using standard welfare economic techniques. We propose a partial equilibrium model of emotional response to policy whereby preferences are endogenous to policy choices. We propose that confrontational policies (such as a tax or quota) increase the marginal utility for a good, and that validating policies (such as a subsidy) also increases the marginal utility for a good. A social planner that ignores potential emotional responses to policy changes may unwittingly induce significant dead weight loss. Using our model, we propose a feasible method to determine if emotional deadweight costs exist, and to place a lower bound on the size of these costs.
September 11, 3:00, 210 Filley Hall
JunJie Wu, Professor and Emery N. Castle Chair in Resources and Rural Economics at Oregon State University
"Causes and Consequences of Open Space in U.S. Urban Areas"
Abstract: The large variation in the share of land in open space across U.S. urban areas raises some interesting questions: a) what are the key factors that determine the amount of open space in an urban area? b) how does open space conservation affect property values and local public finance and services? and c) is the existing amount of open space in U.S. urban areas socially optimal? In this paper, we conduct theoretical and empirical analysis to address these issues. Results suggest that a significant share of U.S. urban areas have too little open space in the sense that even if additional open space would not provide any amenities, it would still increase total land values and social welfare. On the other hand, for more than 10% of U.S. urban areas, the total value of environmental benefits from open space must be at least as large as the total land value to justify for the amount of open space they have. Some of these urban areas likely have too much open space.
2014-2015 Seminar Series
2013-2014 Seminar Series
September 13, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Stephen Hamilton, California Polytechnic State University, "Oligopoly Intermediation, Relative Rivalry and the Mode of Competition"
September 20, 3:00, in 210 Filley Hall - Nathan Kauffman, Economist, Omaha Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, "Farm Investment and Leverage Cycles: Will This Time Be Different?"
October 18, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Nathan Hendricks, Kansas State University, "The Environmental Effects of Crop Price Increases: Nitrogen Losses in the U.S. Corn Belt"
Abstract: High corn prices cause more land to be planted to corn, which increases the use of nitrogen fertilizer. Some of this nitrogen flows into waterways and causes serious environmental damage. We estimate that nitrogen losses are highly inelastic with respect to crop prices, but that the absolute losses can still be large. Our results suggest that changes in corn and soybean prices due to the U.S. ethanol mandate have expanded the size of the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico by roughly 288 square miles on average. To obtain these estimates, we use a panel of field-level crop data derived from satellite imagery. We merge these data with predictions from the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to estimate nitrogen losses by field. Our econometric model allows for substantial spatial heterogeneity, which is important for reducing bias in dynamic panel estimates and accounting for possible correlation between acreage response to price and nitrogen losses.
November 8, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Kelly Cobourn, Virginia Tech University, "Optimal Surface Water-Groundwater Management: The Importance of Hydrology and Irrigation Technology" Abstract
January 24, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Barrett Kirwan, University of Illinois, ""Does Crop Insurance Cause Farmers to Take On More Debt?"
Abstract: The Federal Crop Insurance program has expanded dramatically over the past two decades—from $140 million in subsidies and 84 million acres covered to nearly $10 billion in subsidies and 260 million acres covered. The effect this has had on farmers' credit demand and investment behavior is unclear. Self-selection and market dynamics have masked the direct effect of crop insurance. This paper uses numerous changes to the crop insurance program to isolate crop insurance's direct effect on credit demand and, ultimately, investment. I find that crop insurance increases debt holdings—suggesting that farmers are transferring risk to the taxpayer. Crop insurance also causes farm investment to increase, suggesting that the program may also solve market failures.
January 31, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Sunil Dhoubhadel, PhD candidate, UNL Department of Agricultural Economics
Abstract: Hertel et al. (2010) examine the global impact of increasing the US corn ethanol production as a result of the 2015 conventional mandate in the RFS. Specifically, they examine the impact on global land use changes and resulting changes in global greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions. In this extension of Hertel et al. (2010), the global impacts of both conventional and advanced mandate for 2015 are examined. The analysis entails comparison of the results with the Hertel et al. (2010) using GTAP-BIO model.
The results from this extension indicate sugarcane ethanol and biodiesel may not result in less CO2 emissions. This result is contrary to popular opinion that these biofuels produce less GHGs emissions. The huge global land use changes associated with the implementation of the advanced biofuels mandate which mainly comprise of sugarcane ethanol and biodiesel are the primary drivers of this result.
February 7, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Hayley Chouinard, Washington State University "Making Friends to Influence Others: The Creation, Allocation and Impacts of Social Capital on Association Membership"
Abstract: We examine the decision to join and contribute to an association by agents with different productivity. We model and solve a game that explains investments to form social capital which can produce club goods for members or influence industry-wide policy. Association products and government regulation affect membership and contribution decisions. Government influenceability affects the decisions also, but varies with agent productivity and association output. Often, an increase in government influenceability increases social capital in associations composed of high productivity agents because they prefer to influence policy while low productivity agents focus on production.
February 21, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Cory Walters, University of Nebraska-Lincoln "Revenue Risk with Crop Insurance and Forward Contracting"
Abstract: Crop insurance, a government program, and futures markets, a privately operated program, exist to help agricultural producers manage income risk. Using producer's historical yield data and futures market information; we investigate the income risk impact from these programs. Results suggest that income protection crop insurance policy and forward contracting complement each other. For 2012, a revenue protection crop insurance policy with enterprise units and 80% coverage level reduces income risk is by $333 per acre and increases expected income by about $24 per acre, which is due to the presence of the subsidy, over no insurance or hedging.
February 28, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Christine Crago, University of Massachusetts "Solar Photovoltaic Technology Adoption in the United States: An Empirical Investigation of State Policy Effectiveness"
March 14, 3:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Eric Thompson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research, "To Switch or Not to Switch? Industry Switching by Displaced Workers During the Great Recession"
April 4 Filley-Garey Seminar, 3:00 East Campus Union- Mark Rosegrant,Director Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute "Water Scarcity and Food Security: Challenges, Scenarios and Policy Responses"
2012-2013 Seminar Series
September 27, 2012 - Dr. Clayton Yeutter, Dr. Yeutter is an alumnus of the Department of Agricultural Economics, former Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative
October 5, 2012, 1:00 in 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Qiuqiong Huang, University of Minnesota "The Effects of Well Management and the Nature of the Aquifer on Groundwater" Paper
October 18, 2012, 11:00, East Campus Union- Dr. Keith Fuglie, Branch Chief for Resource, Environmental and Science Policy, USDA-Economic Research Service "Productivity Growth and Technology Capital in the Global Agricultural Economy" Paper
November 2, 2012 - Dr. Timothy Dalton, Kansas State University "Explaining Ambiguity Aversion in Three African Countries: Results from Behavioral Experiments" Abstract
January 25, 4:00 in Law College Auditorium - Dr. Will Martin, World Bank and President-elect International Assoc. of Agricultural Economists "The Role of Agriculture in the Doha Development Agenda"
February 8, 2013 3:00, 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Benjamin Gramig, Purdue University, "Environmental and economic tradeoffs in a watershed when using corn stover for bioenergy"
Abstract: There is an abundant supply of corn stover in the U.S. that remains after grain is harvested which could be used to produce cellulosic biofuels mandated by the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This research integrates the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) watershed model and the DayCent biogeochemical model to investigate water quality and soil greenhouse gas flux that results when corn stover is collected from alternative cropping systems. Together with economic estimates of the cost of each alternative, multiple watershed-scale optimizations are performed for individual pollutant-cost minimization criteria; we compare these results with a purely economic optimization that maximizes stover production at the lowest cost without taking environmental impacts into account. We illustrate tradeoffs between cost and different environmental performance criteria, assuming that nutrients contained in any stover collected must be replaced. The key finding is that stover collection using the practices modeled results in increased contributions to atmospheric greenhouse gases and sediments to waterways while reducing nitrate and total phosphorus relative to the status quo without stover collection. Our results suggest that additional information is needed about (i) the level of nutrient replacement required to maintain grain yields and (ii) cost-effective management practices capable of reducing soil erosion when crop residues are removed in order to avoid contributions to climate change and water quality impairments as a result of using corn stover to satisfy the RFS.
March 1, 2013 3:00 in Law College Auditorium - Dr. Kym Anderson, the George Gollin Professor of Economics, University of Adelaide, and Professor of Economics at the Australian National University "Recent and Prospective Developments in Agricultural Trade Policies"
Abstract: For decades, earnings from farming in many developing countries have been depressed by a pro-urban bias in own-country policies, as well as by governments of richer countries favouring their farmers with import barriers and subsidies. Both sets of policies reduced global economic welfare and agricultural trade, and almost certainly added to global inequality and poverty. Progress has been made over the past three decades in reducing agricultural protection in high-income countries and agricultural disincentives in developing countries, but the propensity of governments to insulate their domestic food market from fluctuations in international prices has not waned. Both food-importing and food-exporting countries engage in insulating behaviour, which contributes to the amplification of international food price fluctuations yet does little to advance their national food security. Thus much scope still remains to improve economic welfare and to reduce poverty by removing remaining trade distortions. This Lecture will summarize indicators of these trends and fluctuations in farm trade barriers before examining what unilateral, regional or multilateral trade arrangements, together with complementary domestic measures, could help advance global food security without risking sociopolitical unrest.
April 3, 2013, 3:00 East Campus Union Columbine Room - Dr. Robbin Shoemaker, the National Program Leader in Economics responsible for economic programs; the Policy Research Centers and exploring science policy theory and analysis. He is in charge of NIFAs Policy Centers grants and of the Ag Economics and Rural Development Foundational grant program which includes Trade and Competitiveness. "Current and Emerging Issues for Agriculture and Resource Policy"
April 12, 2013 - Dr. Keri Jacobs, Iowa State University, "The Effect of Conservation Priority Areas on Bidding Behavior in the Conservation Reserve Program"
September 9, 2011, 3:00, 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Weber A. Neves do Amaral
Dr. Amaral is a professor at the University of São Paulo and is a visiting professor at the UNL Department of Biological Systems Engineering
Title: Bioenergy Systems in Brazil: Challenges and Future Economic Developments
September 30, 2011, 3:00, 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Rodolfo Nayga (Joint seminar with the Department of Food Science)
Dr. Nyaga is a Professor and Tyson Chair in Food Policy Economics at the University of Arkansas Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
Title: "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Childhood Obesity"
Paper: The Effect of Fast-Food Restaurants on School-Level Obesity
Abstract: We analyze the effect of the number of fast food restaurants at different distances from public schools in Arkansas on school-level obesity rates. We use instrumental variable estimation with fast-food restaurant proximity being instrumented by proportion of the population within the 15 to 24 year-old age group and nearness of the school to major highways. Although statistical evidence of the causal effect is mixed, results generally suggest that fast-food restaurants near schools are likely contributing to childhood and adolescent obesity. The impact of fast-food restaurants is greatest when they are within a quarter of a mile of schools and this impact declines as distance between the school and fast-food restaurants increases. The magnitudes of this impact are robust but statistical significance varied depending on model specification.
October 7, 2011, 3:00, 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Murray Fulton
Dr. Fulton is Professor and Graduate Chair at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan
Title: "Policy Issues in the Transition from Organization to Market: The Case of the Canadian Wheat Board"
October 28, 2011, 3:00, 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Richard Gray
Dr. Gray is a Professor in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan
Title: "Intellectual Property Rights and the role of public and levy-funded research: Some lessons from international experience"
Paper: Intellectual Property Rights and the role of public and levy-funded research: Some lessons from international experience
January 27, 2012, 3:00 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Guanming Shi
Dr. Shi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin
Title: "An Analysis of Selectivity in the Productivity Evaluation of Biotechnology"
Paper: An Analysis of Selectivity in the Productivity Evaluation of Biotechnology: An Application to Corn
Abstract: This paper investigates selectivity bias issues arising in the productivity evaluation of biotech hybrids, with an application to GM corn yield. The analysis is applied to experimental data on Wisconsin corn yields covering the period 1990-2010. Relying on a "Heckman-like" factor that accounts for selectivity, the analysis uncovers evidence of selection bias. It indicates that some of the observed yield advantage associated with GM hybrids is contributed by their conventional genes. This stresses that, even after the widespread adoption of GM corn in the US, traditional breeding still plays an important role in productivity improvements for corn. We also document how rising market concentration of biotech firms has contributed to increasing selectivity bias in corn yield. Our results suggest that current patenting laws may not appropriately differentiate between GM genes and conventional genes.
February 24, 2012, 3:00, 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Jeff Peterson
Dr. Peterson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University
Title:Transaction Costs in Payment for Environmental Service Contracts
Abstract: Payment for environmental service (PES) contracts area a common means of acquiring public ecosystem goods or services from private landowners. Aside from the well-studied incentive problems with these contracts, such as hidden action and hidden information, a sparsely studied complication is the role of transaction costs in contract initiation and enforcement. This paper quanties both the individual and aggregate impacts of the transaction costs that arise from nonprice contract attributes, such as time requirements contract enrollment and compliance procedures during the contract period. Individual agents were found to incur widely varying transaction costs from these attributes, but on average transaction costs comprise a significant portion of contract willingness-to-accept. At the aggregate level, transaction costs were found to create a significant drain on the cost-effectiveness of contracting, similar in magnitude to the inefficiency created by hidden information
March 9, 2012, 3:00, Hardin Hall Auditorium - Dr. Scott Rozelle (Filley-Garey Seminar)
Dr. Rozelle is the Helen F. Farnsworth Senior Fellow and the co-director of the Rural Education Action Program in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
Title: "There is Exactly Enough Time Starting Now: Inequality, Poverty and Malnutrition and the Middle Income Trap in China"
March 12, 2012, 3:00, 210 Filley Hall - Dr. Kyle Stiegert
Title: A Theoretical Analysis of Special Safeguards
Abstract: Special safeguards for agriculture are WTO sanctioned tariffs triggered when imports for certain products exceed a predetermined threshold or when price falls below a predetermined floor. This policy tool emerged originally as part of the Uruguay Round Agreement of Agriculture for those nations that agreed to tarrification. A new, but similar special safeguard mechanism (SSM) has been proposed in the ongoing Doha Round for developing nations. The SSM has been highly contentious and commonly blamed for several breakdowns in negotiations. The purpose of this paper is to investigate theoretically the implications of quantity based special safeguards for agriculture in the presence of imperfect competition. The paper presents four models: one involving two foreign firms exporting to a nation without a domestic industry and three versions of a model with one domestic firm and one foreign exporter. Based on the market situation, the models show how foreign firms will try and lower imports in the current period to prevent triggering the tariff. We also document how firms can store imports in the pre-tariff period and sell in the post-tariff period and on what happens when the domestic firm is allowed to import from a third party.
March 28, 2012, Hardin Hall - Dr. Richard Howitt
Dr. Howitt, University of California-Davis
April 5, 2012, Hardin Hall - Dr. Michael Roberts
Dr. Roberts, North Carolina State University
Spring Semester - 2011
January, 28, 3:00 P.M. 210 Filley Hall
"Consumer Inferences of Food Safety and Quality: Implications for Researchers, Marketers, and Policy Makers"
Glynn Tonsor - Kansas State University
February 18, 3:00 P.M. 210 Filley Hall
Dr. Jeffrey Royer - University of Nebraska-Lincoln
"Disciplinary Differences and Their Implications for Colleges of Agriculture"
March 11, 3:00 P.M. 210 Filley Hall
Joseph Balagtas - Purdue University
"Estimating Market Power of U.S. Dairy Cooperatives in the Fluid Milk Market"
April 8, 3:00 P.M. East Campus Union
Ralph Christy - Cornell University
"Why Small is Still Beautiful: Establishing a Micro-Economic Agenda for Agribusiness Development in Africa"
Fall Semster - 2010
September 17, 3:00 P.M 210 Filley Hall
Laura Schechter - Michigan State University
Title - "Vote-Buying and Reciprocity"
Paper - https://www.msu.edu/~las/votebuying.pdf
September 24, 3:00 P.M. 210 Filley Hall
Murray Fulton - University of Saskatchewan
November 5, 3:00 P.M. 210 Filley Hall
Pierre Merel - University of California - Davis
November 19, 3:00 P.M. 210 Filley Hall
Economic Perspectives on Risk and Uncertainty , led by Dr. Ray Supalla
2009-2010 Seminar Series
Prabhu Pingali - Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (formerly at FAO)
Title - International Agriculture Development: The Role of Strategic Philanthropy
Prabhu Pingali and Department of Agricultural Economics Students and Faculty
Gayaneh Kyureghian- Food Processing Center, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Title - Food Away from Home and Obesity: Public Perceptions vs Empirical Evidence
Tian Xia - Kansas State University
Title - Could Packers Manipulate Cash Markets by Linking Contract and Futures Prices?
Brian C. Briggeman, Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - Omaha Branch
Title - Selfishness, Altruism, and Inequality Aversion towards Consumers and Farmers
Juan Pablo Sesmero, PhD Candidate - Department of Agricultural Economics
Title - "An Implementable Index of Sustainability"
Scott Irwin, University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana
Title - Spreads and Non-Convergence in CBOT Corn, Soybean, and Wheat Futures: Are Index Funds to Blame?
Paper - Spreads and Non-Convergence in CBOT Corn, Soybean, and Wheat Futures: Are Index Funds to Blame?
Elena Irwin, Ohio State University
Title - "Spatial dynamics and economic models of land use change"
Murray Fulton, University of Saskatchewan
Title - "The Tragedy of the Anticommons"
Dr. Wes Peterson, University of Nebraska. Book Presentation and Seminar, based on Dr. Peterson's book, "A Billion Dollars a Day: The Economics and Politics of Agricultural Subsidies."
Sean Cash, University of Wisconsin and University of Alberta
Title - The Scarlet Letter: Stigma, price and warning label effects on consumer preference for snack foods
2008-2009 Seminar Series
Robert Innes - Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Arizona
Harry deGorter - Associate Professor, Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
"On Analyzing the Effects of Biofuel Policies"
Titus Awokuse - Associate Professor, Departments of Economics and Food and Resource Economics, University of Delaware (Visiting at Iowa State University)
"Does Stronger Intellectual Property Rights Protection Induce More Bilateral Trade?"
Bailey Norwood - Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University
"A Calibrated Auction-Conjoint Valuation Method: Valuing Pork and Eggs Produced Under Differing Animal Welfare Conditions"
Boris Bravo-Ureta - Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut
"On Measuring Productivity Impacts of Development Projects: Evidence from Peasant Farmers in Central America"
Richard Just - Distinguished Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Development Economics, University of Maryland; and President, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
"The Dilemma of Empirical Risk Research: Distinguishing True Identification From Arbitrary Assumptions"
Jason Henderson - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Omaha Branch
"Macroeconomic Impacts of the Recession and Financial Crisis on Agriculture"
Murray Fulton - Professor, University of Saskatchewan
"Institutional Failure and Underinvestment in Levy-Funded Agriculture Research"
Ellen Hanak - Director of Research, Public Policy Institute of California
"Climate Change and Housing Prices: Hedonic Estimates for North American Ski Resorts"
Bettina Klaus - Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Maastricht University, The Netherlands (Currently Research Fellow at Harvard Business School)
"Matching Theory and Market Design"
Stephan Marette - Director, INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) SAE2 Department (Economic Department), and Chair, UMR Economie Publique INRA-AgroParisTech (Currently Visiting Professor at Iowa State University)