Chavas, Jean-Paul

By: Chavas, Jean-Paul; Cooper, Joseph; Wallander, Steven
This paper investigates the measurement of risk exposure in agriculture and its linkages with input and output decisions. We develop a conceptual analysis of risk under general risk preferences, including cumulative prospect theory. The approach is applied to a sample of U.S. farms from 1996 to 2011. In a multi-input, multi-output framework, the analysis documents the effects of management on production risk exposure and estimates the cost of risk under alternative frameworks. We find that variable inputs contribute to increasing risk, while livestock contributes to reducing risk. Nonfarm income reduces the cost of risk.
By: Chavas, Jean-Paul; Shi, Guanming
This paper uses conditional quantile regression to analyze the effects of genetically modified (GM) seed technology and management on production risk in agriculture, with an application to the distribution of corn yield in Wisconsin. Using the certainty equivalent (CE) as a welfare measure, our analysis decomposes the welfare effects of risk, management, and agricultural technology into two parts: mean effects and risk premium (measuring the cost of risk). We document how biotechnology and management interact to improve agricultural productivity and reduce farm risk exposure. For corn, we find that GM European Corn Borer (GM-ECB) technology consistently increases CE (the increase ranging from +4.6% to +11.8%) and that a significant part of this increase can come from risk reduction. We also show that the benefits of the GMECB biotechnology are heterogeneous: they vary significantly across regions as well as across management schemes
By: Shi, Guanming; Chavas, Jean-Paul
We investigate differentiated product pricing and the effects of vertical organization under imperfect competition. We rely on vertical measures of concentration (termed VHHI) to study how the exercise of market power varies with substitution/complementarity relationships among products and vertical structures. This approach is applied to U.S. soybean seed pricing under vertical integration versus licensing. We find evidence that vertical organization affects seed prices, with an impact ranging from 1.87% to 13.6% of the mean price. These effects vary by institutional setup.We also find that complementarity can mitigate price enhancements associated with market concentration.
By: Kim, Kwansoo; Chavas, Jean-Paul
This study presents an econometric analysis of the effects of a government price support program on price dynamics and price volatility. Price support programs, a common feature of agricultural policy, provide a lower-bound censoring of the distribution of market prices. An econometric model of market prices is developed using a dynamic Tobit specification under time-varying volatility. The model is applied to the U.S. non-fat dry milk market. It is used to investigate the impact of market liberalization on price dynamics and price volatility in the presence of private and public stocks. The econometric results show how the price support program and stocks (both private and public) affect expected price volatility.
By: Chavas, Jean-Paul; Kim, Kwansoo; Lauer, Joseph G.; Klemme, Richard M.; Bland, William L.
This study investigates the recent evolution of corn yield, with a special focus on the tradeoff between corn profitability and risk. The analysis relies on time-series data from Wisconsin experimental farms at the edge of the Corn Belt. An econometric model of corn yield, corn grain moisture, and corn profitability is specified. Both conditional means and conditional variances are estimated for different sites in Wisconsin. The empirical analysis shows the changes in corn yield and profit over time and across space. The evidence suggests that yield trends are due mostly to technical progress, with smaller effects generated by climate change. On average, corn yield and profitability have improved faster in northern Wisconsin than in the Corn Belt. However, risk has also increased faster. Results show that the choice of corn hybrid maturity makes it easier to manage risk in the Corn Belt than in northern Wisconsin.
By: Chavas, Jean-Paul
This study investigates the nature of price expectations in a competitive market. The approach is illustrated in an application to the U.S. pork market, which exhibits cyclical patterns and biological production lags. Pork price equations are estimated under different expectation regimes. The empirical results suggest the presence of heterogeneous price expectations among market participants. A large proportion of the market (73%) is found to be associated with backward-looking expectations, where future prices are anticipated on the basis of their observed historical patterns.
By: Chavas, Jean-Paul; Holt, Matthew T.
Assuming a competitive market, conditions are determined for when a steady-state equilibrium does not exist in the optimal dynamic management of a biological population. Irregular and unpredictable behavior (called "chaos") can arise from fully rational economic decision making. High interest rate, adjustment costs, and an inelastic demand can contribute to market instability.
By: Chavas, Jean-Paul; Aliber, Michael
A nonparametric analysis of technical, allocative, scale, and scope efficiency of agricultural production is presented based on a sample of Wisconsin farmers. The results indicate the existence of important economies of scale on very small farms, and of some diseconomies of scale for the larger farms. Also, it is found that most farms exhibit substantial economies of scope, but that such economies tend to decline sharply with the size of the enterprises. Finally, the empirical evidence suggests significant linkages between the financial structure of the farms and their economic efficiency.