Volume 20, Issue 1, July 1995

July, 1995

By: Centner, Terence J.; Wetzstein, Michael E.
Distinctive new provisions of tractor lemon laws which create obligations and provide penalties for defective self-propelled agricultural equipment are contrasted with provisions of automobile lemon laws. Lemon-law obligations involve both producers' guarantees to provide consumers with a serviceable vehicle and producers' promise to remedy defects. Due to fewer manufacturer obligations under the tractor lemon laws as opposed to automobile lemon laws, tractors may be expected to have more defects than automobiles. Yet the tractor lemon laws contain fewer penalties in the form of restitution remedies. The inconsistencies of these obligations and penalties suggest tractor laws may be inefficient.

July, 1995

By: Tronstad, Russell
Classification and Regression Trees (CART), a computer intensive nonparametric classification method, was used to model weekly Los Angeles wholesale prices (1990-93) for twelve different melon types. CART explained more of the variation in melon prices than did an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression with dummy variables. Explanatory variables ranked as the most-to-least important by CART are as follows: week, type of melon, year, size, grade, and shipping container. The most notable price change occurs when prices fall after 13 May.

July, 1995

By: Choi, E. Kwan; Feinerman, Eli
This paper investigates the effects of first-best policies to regulate nitrogen application. Some nitrogen fertilizer is applied ex ante before a random rainfall, but sidedressed nitrogen may be applied ex post. First-best policy is a tax or a quota on ex ante application, because sidedressed nitrogen is not leached. Since a risk-averse farmer uses more nitrogen ex ante than a risk-neutral farmer, a higher tax must be imposed on the former. Action equivalent first-best taxes and quotas are also welfare equivalent. An empirical model for wheat in Israel was used to demonstrate the analytical findings.

July, 1995

By: Lambert, David K.; Shonkwiler, John Scott
This study attempts to link factors affecting the demand for Bureau of Land Management grazing to perceived changes in permittee welfare over the 1962-92 period. Annual demand for federal forage is found to be sensitive to active preference, beef cow and breeding ewe inventories, and grazing fees and nonfee allotment utilization costs. No evidence is found to support the notion that the demand for grazing has been affected by changes in property rights associated with the federal grazing permit that are not reflected in higher user costs. The total decrease in welfare generated from the permit that are not reflected in higher user costs. The total decrease in welfare generated from the permit to graze public lands has been about 9% per authorized cattle animal unit month and 65% per authorized sheep animal unit month over the study period.

July, 1995

By: Halliburton, Karen; Henneberry, Shida Rastegari
The effectiveness of the federal government's export promotion programs (the Foreign Market Development Program and the Market Promotion Program) for high value agricultural products is evaluated using U.S. almond exports in the Pacific Rim as a case study. Cross-sectional time-series data are pooled for five Pacific Rim countries. While promotions were ineffective in South Korea and Singapore, some estimations of the import demand model indicate promotions in Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong may have been effective.

July, 1995

By: Lence, Sergio H.; Hayes, Dermot J.
Estimation risk occurs when parameters relevant for decision making are uncertain. Bayes' criterion is consistent with expected-utility maximization in the presence of estimation risk. This article examines optimal (Bayes') land allocations and land allocations obtained using the traditional plug-in approach and two alternative decision rules. Bayes' allocations are much better economically than the other allocations when there are few sample observations relative to activities. Calculation of certainty equivalent returns (CERs) with estimation risk is also discussed and illustrated. CERs are typically (and incorrectly) calculated with the plug-in approach. Plug-in CERs may be extremely misleading.

July, 1995

By: Krause, Mark A.; Lee, Jung-Hee; Koo, Won W.
Wheat acreage responses to expected wheat price and price risk are reversed for program and nonprogram-planted acreage in the northern plains, central plains, southern plains, and U.S. Expected wheat price has a strong negative effect on program-complying wheat acreage. Government support prices have a positive effect on program-complying and program-planted acreage. Price risk has a positive effect on program-complying wheat acreage and a negative effect on nonprogram-planted acreage. Estimated price elasticities are higher than in studies where risk was ignored.

July, 1995

By: Shumway, C. Richard
This article is a limited assessment of the agricultural production economics literature since 1982 that resulted from dual modeling approaches. Contributions have removed several perceived obstacles to dual modeling, such as testing curvature, identifying the technology when prices are collinear, and examining dynamics of production. Some contributions have also removed obstacles to primal modeling. Dual methods have been used in risk applications only recently and still appear less convenient than primal methods. Convenience may become the primary criterion for selecting primal or dual methods.