Alston, Julian M.

By: Fuller, Kate Binzen; Sanchirico, James N.; Alston, Julian M.
We develop a novel spatial-dynamic model of landowners managing a disease in a perennial crop. We use the model to investigate the dynamic gains from cooperation to address the spatial externality resulting from disease vector dispersal. We find that solving for the complete time path of control decisions is important; cooperation leads to each landowner investing more in treatment in early years than in cases where one agent free rides on the other’s control. Our model is based on Pierce’s Disease of grapevines in California’s Napa Valley but is applicable to a range of diseases in perennial crops.
By: Bovay, John; Alston, Julian M.
Many U.S. states have been considering proposals to introduce mandatory labeling requirements for foods containing GMOs. This paper analyzes precinct-level voting patterns in the case of California’s Proposition 37, which was narrowly defeated in the November 2012 ballot. Those voting patterns can be predicted primarily by support for Democrats, their platforms, and President Obama. Projections using our estimated model imply that a majority of voters in only three of fifty states (Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont) plus the District of Columbia would have passed Proposition 37 had it been on their ballots in 2012.
By: Alston, Julian M.; Fuller, Kate B.; Kaplan, Jonathan D.; Tumber, Kabir P.
Since 2000, approximately $50 million per year has been spent to control infestations of the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter (GWSS), an insect that spreads Pierce’s Disease (PD). This amount includes the costs of state and federal efforts to monitor and control the GWSS, research on PD/GWSS, and compliance with the PD Control Program. Using a simulation model of the market for California wine grapes, we estimate that under the current program, PD costs winegrape growers and consumers $92 million annually. If the program ended and the GWSS became widespread throughout California, the annual cost borne by growers and consumers would increase by an estimated $185 million.
By: Alston, Julian M.; Sumner, Daniel A.
This article begins with a review of what has happened to U.S. domestic farm policies and related agricultural trade policies over the past 10 years. We conclude this review with a brief overview of the policies as they stand today. Then we consider potential outcomes in the 2007 Farm Bill, and their implications for U.S. agriculture and, in particular, for agriculture in the Western states. Finally, we contemplate the longer-term possibilities for meaningful, enduring reform of U.S. farm program policies.
By: Zhang, Mingxia; Sexton, Richard J.; Alston, Julian M.
This study investigates market conditions when food processor/handler brand advertising, whether undertaken by an investor-owned firm or by a cooperative, will benefit or harm farmers. Addressing this question provides insight into the policy issue of whether and when promotion funds intended to benefit farmers should be used in support of brand advertising. Analysis of a two-stage oligopoly-oligopsony model shows that advertising by an investor-owned firm is most likely to be harmful to farmers when it takes place in a relatively unconcentrated industry and when advertising is relatively more effective at creating brand market power than at increasing total demand.
By: Alston, Julian M.; Gray, Richard S.
Canada and the United States have used different trade policies to support their wheat industries. Canada conferred sole export powers to the Canadian Wheat Board, allowing it to price discriminate among markets. The U.S. government has funded transfers to its wheat producers from taxpayers, instead, through export subsidies. This study compares these two ways of supporting producers in terms of their transfer efficiency and overall deadweight losses, the incidence on different domestic interest groups, and their consequences for third party traders. In the analysis we consider the implications of market power of wheat marketing firms for the comparison of policy alternatives in the context of the Canadian wheat industry.