Zilberman, David

By: Lichtenberg, Erik; Zilberman, David
A dynamic framework is presented for analyzing regulations affecting the use of spoilage-reducing inputs with potential negative environmental effects, such as pesticides, growth regulators, chemical preservatives, and irradiation. Such regulations change intertemporal consumption patterns as well as total output. Consumers may benefit from restrictions on storage technology, giving them a reason to support regulation even when it may not be warranted to correct environmental externalities. Static analyses do not take into account changes in intertemporal consumption, and thus may give misleading depictions of the effects of imposing new regulations. Implications of the framework for development and trade policy are discussed, as are extensions to cases of uncertainty and multiple time periods.
By: Cohen, Daniel R.; Zilberman, David
Offering evidence from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) and centering around Kenkel and Norris conclusions regarding "Agricultural Producers' Willingness to Pay for Real-Time Mesoscale Weather Information," this article questions the use of growers' hypothetical willingness-to-pay responses as the sole basis for deciding whether to invest in Mesonet, a statewide network of weather station. Survey respondents' lack of familiarity with a new technology and strategic behavior lead to underestimates of actual willingness to pay. Moreover, weather information has numerous agricultural and nonagricultural uses, and only sampling growers overlooks gains to other potential users. Low hypothetical willingness-to-pay responses of a subsection of the potential adopters should necessarily discourage investment. Rather, a substantial willingness to pay may signal a need for further market research.
By: Zilberman, David; Millock, Katti
This article argues that the existing maze of pesticide policies reflects the multidimensionality of side effects of pesticide use that cannot be addressed by uniform policies. Pesticide policies will improve as (a) economic literacy among natural scientists and policymakers increases; (b) economic models of pesticide use and agricultural production in general better incorporate biological consideration; (c) benefit-cost criteria are introduced to determine regulations of pesticide, and (d) policies are enacted that take advantage of new information technologies and enable increased reporting of pesticide use. Moving from bans toward financial incentives and flexible policies that will allow chemical use where the benefit-cost ratios are high will improve resource allocations.
By: Buschena, David E.; Zilberman, David
This article reviews two major approached used in the past for risk analysis - the expected utility approach and the use of safety rules and endeavors to reconcile their applicability and use in light of the recent nonexpected utility risk literature and working using the mean-Gini coefficient for risk analysis. This leads to the identification of several "reduced form" hypotheses that hold under a variety of theoretical structures and to a discussion of some empirical evidence regarding these hypotheses. The major lesson of recent research of individual behavior under risk is that it is not always consistent with the expected utility approach; in short, there is no generic model for evaluating behavior under risk.
By: Just, Richard E.; Zilberman, David
Politicians dealing with the "farm problem" sometimes lament that output increases when prices go up and when prices go down. This article presents three possible theoretical explanations. In the first, farmers deplete soil (over-farm) when prices are low and imperfect capital markets prevent borrowing. In the second, farmers in financial stress (low prices) allocate more family labor to farming to meet debt-repayment constraints. In the third, wealth held in farmland tends to decline as prices decline. With decreasing absolute risk aversion, this increases risk aversion which, in extreme cases, causes negative supply response.