1995

December, 1995

By: Parcell, Joseph L.; Schroeder, Ted C.; Hiner, Frina D.
Cow-calf prices are determined by interaction of many factors. At a particular auction, cow-calf pair prices often had a range of 75% of the mean price. This variability suggests that producers need to be informed regarding cow-calf price determinants. This study uses auction data during 1993 to estimate price differentials associated with cow-calf pair characteristics using a hedonic model. Cow breed, age, health, conditions, horns, frame, and whether the cow had been bred back were significant price determinants. Calf weight, health, and frame had significant price impacts. Highest prices were paid for pens containing 9-December pairs of young Angus, dehorned, bred back, healthy cows with heavy healthy calves.

December, 1995

This section includes: JARE Editor's Report for 1994-95; Reviewers, July 1994-June 1995; WAEA 1994 Award Winners; Past Presidents, Western Agricultural Economics Association, 1927-94; Past Editors; Guidelines for Submitting Manuscripts to JARE; Membership Information; Back Cover

December, 1995

By: Bhattacharyya, Arunava; Harris, Thomas R.; Narayanan, Rangesan; Raffiee, Kambiz
Technical efficiency of rural water utilities is determined using frontier production functions. An indirect production function is developed to model the two-step production process of a local government-controlled firm. Data from 26 rural Nevada water utilities are used to estimate inefficiency in terms of firm-specific variables. A multistep estimation procedure is used instead of single-step maximum likelihood estimation. Model selection tests are used to choose the best model. Privately owned utilities are most efficient; self-governing water districts are the least efficient. Municipal governments operate the most and least efficient utilities.

December, 1995

By: Skold, Melvin D.; Davis, Robert M.
The incidence of benefits and costs from controlling rangeland grasshoppers on public grazing lands poses problems of economic efficiency and distributional equity. Public grasshopper control programs operate like public disaster assistance. However, grasshopper infestations are an insurable risk. This article proposes a rangeland grasshopper insurance program which reduces the economic inefficiencies and distributional inequities of the existing program.

December, 1995

By: Kenkel, Philip L.; Norris, Patricia E.
Mesoscale weather networks can provide improved weather information to agricultural producers. This technology can potentially improve production decisions, reduce irrigation and pesticide inputs, and reduce weather-related losses. Developing a mesoscale network to disseminate real-time mesoscale weather information requires a substantial investment. In addition, there are costs associated with maintenance of the system and distribution of the information available. While public funds may be available to support initial development of the system, there may be less public support initial development of the system, there may be less public support for maintaining the system and subsidizing users' access to the information. This study uses the contingent valuation technique to determine the willingness of Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, as one set of potential users, to pay for real-time mesoscale weather information. The results indicate that agricultural producers are willing to pay only a modest fee for improved weather information. Gross sales, irrigation, and past weather losses are among the factors shown to significantly impact willingness to pay.

December, 1995

By: Smith, Rodney B.W.; Tomasi, Theodore D.
Mechanism design theory is used to develop the properties of optimal pollution control incentive schemes in the presence of adverse selection, moral hazard, and transaction costs. The model presented here shows (a) with no deadweight costs (transaction costs) , first-best allocations are always possible; (b) in the presence of transaction costs (caused by raising taxes), only second-best allocations are feasible; and (c) the conditions under which the optimal incentive scheme implementing second-best allocations will be a nonlinear tax, a standard(s), or a combination of both taxes and standard(s).

December, 1995

By: Taylor, R. Garth; Young, Robert A.
Irrigation water from a southeastern Colorado county has been sold to distant municipalities. The county's junior water right delivered limited and uncertain water supplies which were used on relatively poor soils. The ability of water markets to allocate water to the highest-valued use was addressed by assessing the direct foregone benefits of the transfer using deterministic and discrete stochastic sequential (DSSP) programming models. Crop mix predicted by the DSSP followed observed regional patterns. The DSSP was thus used to derive regional water demand from which foregone value was estimated. Direct regional foregone agricultural benefits were relatively low-due to uncertain water supplies and unproductive soils-indicating the market selected a low-valued supply for transfer.

December, 1995

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.