1999

By: Asche, Frank; Tveteras, Ragnar
This study deals with modeling of production risk by means of a two-step procedure. In contrast to earlier studies of production risk, we do not immediately adopt restrictive functional forms for the risky production technology. We first test for the presence of production risk. If production risk is found to be present, the mean and risk functions are estimated separately. This allows the use of more flexible functional forms for both the mean and the risk functions than commonly found in the literature. An empirical application to Norwegian salmon farming, where restrictive specifications of the technology are rejected, demonstrates the validity of our approach. Presence of production risk many primary production sectors implies that this approach should be considered in productivity studies.
By: Dahl, Bruce L.; Wilson, William W.; Gustafson, Cole R.
All major exporting countries of agricultural commodities have some form of credit guarantee program. As the importance of credit programs escalates, it is incumbent on policy makers to examine the value of their program relative to those of competitors. In this study, a model based on option pricing theory was developed to estimate the value of credit guarantees extended to importers and applied to U.S. and competing countries' programs. The Canadian guarantee has the lowest implicit value, followed by the U.S., Australian, and French guarantees. French guarantees had the highest implicit value due to higher coverage for interest and freight and insurance.
By: Holt, Matthew T.
It is shown that the first-order differential acreage allocation model developed by Bettendorf an Bloome and by Barten and Vanloot, and based on certainty equivalent profit maximization, may be extended to a levels version. The levels model, referred to as a linear approximate acreage allocation model, is potentially useful when panel or cross-sectional data are employed. An empirical application with U.S. state-level corn flex acreage data for the period 1991-95 indicates the feasibility of the approach. Estimated price and scale elasticities are generally larger than previous estimates, and are perhaps indicative of acreage response under the provisions of the 1996 Farm Act.
By: Menkhaus, Dale J.; Bastian, Christopher T.; Phillips, Owen R.; O’Neill, Patrick D.
Laboratory methods are used to investigate the impacts of supply and demand risks in a forward market on prices, quantities traded, and earnings when the choice of transacting in a forward or spot market is endogenous. Forward market activity dominates spot trading, with 80-90% of the trades taking place in the forward market regardless of how risk arises. Buyer earnings tend to be higher than earnings for sellers when there is risk. A correspondence exists between risk type and the relative increase in buyer earnings. Buyer earnings increase significantly when demand is random, and also when both supply and demand are random.
By: Karagiannis, Giannis
The impact of proportional profit taxes on input use is analyzed under conditions of production uncertainty and risk aversion. Two kinds of profit taxes are considered: proportional profit taxes with perfect loss offset and revenue-neutral profits taxes. Their impact on optimal input use is examined under various forms of production uncertainty, such as the Just-Pope model and the cases of multiplicative and additive uncertainty. It is shown that the structure of risk attitudes, the form of production uncertainty, the underlying (stochastic) technical interdependencies, and the risk-input relations are crucial features in determining the impact of proportional profit taxes on optimal input use.
By: Muth, Mary K.; Wohlgenant, Michael K.
We develop a model to measure the degree of oligopsony power in the beef packing industry, while accommodating variable proportions technology, that can be estimated with fewer data requirements. In particular, nonspecialized input quantities, which are often not available, are not needed. Through application of the envelope theorem, we show that the relationship between value marginal product and marginal factor cost can be defined over the prices of the nonspecialized inputs rather than their corresponding quantities. When applied to the beef packing industry, we find no evidence of oligopsony power over our 1967-93 sample period.
By: Allen, Douglas W.; Lueck, Dean
In a dynamic contracting environment, increasing standards over time in light of past performance is known as the ratchet effect. Despite the recent theoretical attention given to the ratchet effect, models that include these effects have not been empirically tested against contract data. In this study, we use farm-level data on modern Great Plains agricultural cash rent and cropshare contracts to test for the presence of ratchet effects in the context of a principal-agent model with moral hazard. We find limited evidence for the ratchet effect within share contracts, and no evidence that it is important for the choice of contract between cash rent and cropshare.
By: Pautsch, Gregory R.; Babcock, Bruce A.; Breidt, F. Jay
Studies examining the value of switching to a variable rate technology (VRT) fertilizer program assume producers possess perfect soil nitrate information. In reality, producers estimate soil nitrate levels with soil sampling. The value of switching to a VRT program depends on the quality of the estimates and on how the estimates are used. Larger samples sizes, increased spatial correlation, and decreased variability improve the estimates and increase returns. Fertilizing strictly to the estimated field map fails to account for estimation risk. Returns increase if the soil sample information is used in a Bayesian fashion to update the soil nitrate beliefs in nonsampled sites.
There is concern in the beef industry that present marketing practices may be impending the transmission of economic signals from consumers to producers. Presently, fed cattle may be sold on a show list, pen-by-pen, or on an individual head basis, and may be priced using live weight, dressed weight, or grid or formula pricing. Market signals are more likely to reach producers if cattle are priced individually. Current value-based pricing are discussed. Three grid pricing systems are evaluated over six marketing dates using data from 5,520 head of fed cattle. Each of the grids do send the anticipated pricing signals in that marbling and leanness are rewarded. However, the magnitudes of the price signals vary over time and across grids.
By: Loomis, John B.; Traynor, Kerri; Brown, Thomas C.
We investigate the possibility that some respondents to a dichotomous choice question vote YES, even though they would not pay the posted dollar amount in order to register support for the project or policy. A trichotomous choice question format is proposed to determine if allowing respondents the opportunity to vote in favor of a project at an amount less than their bid affects estimated willingness to pay. Using univariate and multivariate tests, we find the trichotomous choice question format reduces the number of YES responses and produces a statistically significant decrease in willingness to pay for an open-space program.
By: Kastens, Terry L.; Dhuyvetter, Kevin C.
This study simulates whether Kansas wheat, soybean, corn, and milo producers could have profitably used deferred futures plus historical basis cash price expectations for post-harvest unhedged and hedged grain storage decisions from 1985-97. The signaled storage decision is compared to a representative Kansas producer whose crop sales mimic average Kansas marketings each year. Using 23 grain price locations, the simulations resulted in an 11 cents per bushel annual increase in grain storage profits for wheat, 27 cents for soybeans, -17 cents for corn, and -20 cents for milo; however, storage profit differences varied substantially across locations. Hedging tended to decrease risk, but not impact profitability.
By: Thompson, Gary D.; Wilson, Paul N.
Sales of newly introduced bagged, refrigerated salads grew at over 50% annually, during 1994-95. Consumption of bagged salads displayed marked seasonality despite year-round availability and uniform quality at more stable prices than head lettuce. Using scanner data from 44 areas, a single-equation demand model incorporating the effects of weather on seasonal consumption is estimated. Statistical tests of aggregation indicate that weather-induced seasonality varies significantly across areas, as do own- and cross- price elasticities. Econometric results suggest more seasonality in eating by people living in more northern latitudes, a pattern also observed by psychiatrists studying eating disorders.
By: DeVuyst, Eric A.; Ipe, Viju C.
The control of agricultural nonpoint source pollution is emerging as a priority of state and national pollution control programs. Best management practices (BMPs) are often proposed as a method of control. Many BMPs are perceived by farmers as having economic disadvantages when compared to conventional management systems. In the absence of tougher environmental restrictions on farmer behavior and complete observability of individual farmer actions, it may be necessary to provide economic incentives to encourage farmer adoption of BMPs within environmentally sensitive watersheds. This study investigates the use of a group incentive contract to encourage adoption of BMPs. The idea behind the group incentive contract is to compensate farmers for actual damages due to adoption of BMPs while avoiding moral hazard problems and exploiting the correlated risks that farmers in a watershed face. Simulation results indicate that the majority of the nitrate pollution generated by central Illinois corn growers could eliminated at little or no cost.
By: Richards, Timothy J.; Patterson, Paul M.
Food safety has become an important issue affecting public health and grower profits. Outbreaks of foodborne illnesses are typically accompanied by press accounts of the incident and a decrease in demand. This study estimates the short- and long-run impacts of adverse and positive information delivered through print media on strawberry grower profits. Positive information may arise as apart of the promotional efforts of grower associations. It is found that adverse information reduces grower profits, but that positive information can partially offset their effects. It is suggested that grower groups could redirect funds used for promotion to food safety initiatives.
By: Buschena, David E.; Ziegler, Lee
Revenue insurance, only recently introduced for major crops in the U.S., has captured a considerable share of the multiple-peril insurance market. This study evaluates the predictive reliability of using price distributions inferred from options markets to rate revenue insurance products. We find for periods early in the crop growing season that price distributions inferred from options trades offer greater reliability than distributions based on historical futures trades. Options-based price distributions should receive further consideration in crop revenue insurance rating, but current administrative constraints must be considered.
By: Morrison Paul, Catherine J.
The U.S. meat products industries have experienced increasing consolidation. It has been speculated that this has resulted from cost economies, perhaps associated with technical change or trade factors. It has also been asserted that increased concentration in these industries may be allowing the exploitation of market power in the input (livestock) and output (meat product) industries. These issues are addressed for the four digit SIC meat and poultry industries. Findings show that the beef and pork products industries tend to have similar structures, which differ from the poultry industries. None of the industries, however appear to have exhibited excessive market power, particularly when scale economies (diseconomies), and resulting reductions (increases) in marginal cost from output expansion, are taken into account. Also, technical change and trade (especially export market) trend impacts seem overall to have contributed to cost efficiency.
Livestock dressed weights have experienced significant trends and volatility which affect wholesale production of red meats. An econometric model was used to estimate the impact of relative prices and technology on cattle and hog average dressed weights. For fed steers and heifers, the economic incentives affecting placement weights and weight added in feedlots were considered. Results indicate quarterly dressed weights of steers and heifers respond to contemporaneous profitability ratios and to lagged feeder prices, the effects being highly inelastic. Cow dressed weights also responded while hog dressed weights did not respond to profitability ratios. Technology changes may have accounted for about 83% of dressed weight growth for steers and about 62% for hogs from 1980-97.