2005

By: Norwood, F. Bailey; Luter, Ryan L.; Massey, Raymond E.
The Environmental Protection Agency's new Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) regulations are forcing some farms to export livestock manure to off-farm acres. The regulation compliance cost depends on the willingness of neighboring crop producers to accept or pay for the manure. This study estimates a manure willingness-to-pay distribution for crop producers using a contingent valuation mail survey. A flexible parametric distribution is borrowed from the crop yield literature, which shows that manure willingness to pay is left-skewed. Most crop producers in our sample will pay a positive price close to the savings in commercial fertilizer, but approximately 25% require a payment before accepting manure.
By: Ward, Clement E.
Previous research has not addressed the impacts of alternative supply conditions on price discovery and pricing choice. This study estimated models with data from an experimental market, the Fed Cattle Market Simulator, encompassing live weight, dressed weight, and grid pricing under two alternative supply scenarios. Significance of variables explaining transaction price variation and pricing choice differed between the two supply periods. Overall results were close to expectations. Higher quality cattle marketed with a grid brought higher prices in both supply periods. Having lower quality cattle in either supply period increased the probability of cattle being marketed (purchased) on a live weight basis.
By: Davis, David E.; Schluter, Gerald E.
Results of this study show that a heterogeneous labor force serves to attract new food manufacturing investment. We conduct analysis for SIC 20, Food and Kindred Product Manufacturing, and disaggregate analysis on all nine three-digit SIC food industries. Heterogeneity variables are a significant factor in nearly all specifications. We also examine which factors create the greatest increases in the expected number of new establishments. Areas with a high degree of labor heterogeneity are found to have large advantages. Labor heterogeneity is among the most important factors attracting food manufacturing to urban areas over rural areas.
By: Koundouri, Phoebe; Nauges, Celine
In the estimation of production functions, ignoring risk considerations can cause inefficient estimates, while biased parameter estimates arise in the presence of sample selection. In the presence of uncertainty and selection bias, the latter introduced by the endogeneity of qualitative characteristics of inputs in crop choice, we show that correcting for risk considerations (a la Just and Pope, 1978, 1979) but not selection bias, can produce incorrect inferences in terms of risk behavior. The arguments raised in this study have estimation and policy implications for stochastic production analysis applied to all goods whose qualitative characteristics can affect sample selection.
This section includes: JARE Editor's Report; Reviewers November 2004-October 2005; WAEA 2004 Award Winners; WAEA Past Presidents 1927-2005; Past Editors: Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1977-1991, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 1992-2003; Minutes of 2005 WAEA Executive Committee Meeting;
By: Wheatley, W. Parker; Buhr, Brian L.
This paper presents a theory of how industry structure and beliefs about Internet marketplace use have driven choice and ownership of marketplaces. The theory's predictions suggest that surviving Internet marketplaces will be those with strong historical linkages in an industry and those owned by or affiliated with major commodity buyers. Comparisons of these predictions with actual outcomes provide validation of the theory. Where predictions differ from results, observations are made as to the nature of the deviations.
By: Johnson, Heather C.; Ward, Clement E.
Grid pricing improves the flow of information to producers, but market signals sent by grids may not be clearly understood. This study uses a two-stage Coefficients of Separate Determination process, four sets of fed cattle carcass data, and sensitivity analyses to identify market signals sent by grid pricing. Weight sends a stronger market signal than carcass quality characteristics such as quality and yield grade. Although grids are shaping production, market signals indicate that lower quality carcasses are penalized more than higher quality carcasses are rewarded. Sensitivity analyses suggest changes in quality and yield grade discounts have the greatest impact on market signals.
By: Peterson, Hikaru Hanawa
As increasingly more transactions occur away from open markets, the so-called "thin" market issues arise. This paper analyzes unpublished transaction data from Egg Clearinghouse, Inc. (ECI), a marginal marketplace for eggs that trades 4% of all eggs (80% of eggs available for open trading). Results suggest that marginalized markets can serve as an inventory adjustment mechanism while maintaining the role of price discovery as a check for non-market prices. At ECI, most firms both buy and sell regardless of operational types, participation is balanced across all types of firms in the industry, and sellers in general yield to buyers' preferred terms of trade.
The Cooperative Extension Service is an outstanding success story for education, but a model whose value is now in question. I focus on economic principles that apply to the question, "Is it time to end Extension, and if not, how can it be saved?" Six principles are identified: public goods, competitive advantage, privatization, long-run sustainability, business practices, and political economy. There is cause to support Extension, but leadership is needed to establish a common direction and to implement changes. Strategic planning would be helpful to identify these changes and to make Extension's value known to clientele and policy makers. Includes biography of Dana L. Hoag.
By: Ward, Clement E.; Hornung, Jonathan T.
Livestock producers primarily, but policy makers also, have an interest in market effects from meatpacking plant closings and openings. This article presents results from a study to determine price impacts from an anticipated hog slaughtering plant opening and an unexpected fed cattle slaughtering plant closing. The estimated price effects for each plant event were modeled with price difference and partial adjustment models. The plant opening resulted in higher absolute and relative hog prices in the Provincial market where the plant was located. However, adverse price impacts from the fed cattle plant closing were less evident.
By: Stewart, Hayden; Blisard, Noel; Jolliffe, Dean; Bhuyan, Sanjib
Health-oriented government agencies have had limited success at encouraging Americans to eat a healthful diet. One reason may be that other preferences compete with our desire to eat healthfully. We explore the effect of consumer preferences on the demand for food away from home, including frequency of eating out and choice of outlet type. Preferences for convenience and ambience are found to influence behavior. Furthermore, omitting these variables from econometric models can bias the estimated effect of preferences for a healthful diet.
By: Dahlgran, Roger A.
This study examines the effect of transaction frequency on profit and cash flow risk for firms that periodically purchase inputs, continuously transform inputs into outputs, and periodically sell output. Soybean-processing profit and cash flows are computed for unhedged, direct-hedged, and risk-minimizing-hedged processing with up to 52 transactions per year. Findings include: (a) higher transaction frequencies result in lower unhedged profit and cash flow risk and lower hedging effectiveness, (b) anticipatory hedging provides less risk protection than product-transformation hedging, (c) stabilizing cash flow stabilizes annual profits but the converse does not hold, and (d) hedging profits makes cash flow more variable.
By: Torell, L. Allen; Rimbey, Neil R.; Ramirez, Octavio A.; McCollum, Daniel W.
The relative importance of income earning potential versus consumptive values in setting ranchland prices is examined using a truncated hedonic model. The market value of New Mexico ranches is related to annual income earning potential and other ranch characteristics including ranch size, location, elevation, terrain, and the amount of deeded, public, and state trust land on the ranch. We found ranch income to be a statistically important determinant of land value, but yet a relatively small percentage of ranch value was explained by income earnings. Ranch location, scenic view, and the desirable lifestyle influenced ranch value more than ranch income.
This paper presents a model of pastoralists, as illustrated by reindeer herders, together with an analysis based on a cross-sectional data set on Swedish reindeer-herding Saami. The intrinsic utility of being an active reindeer herder plays an important role in determining supply. Results show this can lead to unconventional supply responses among pastoralists, and suggest that the probability of a backward-bending supply response increases with stock size. Further analyses confirm that reindeer herders with backward-bending supply curves have significantly larger herds than herders with conventional supply responses. Relaxed externalities from forestry would cause most herders to increase their slaughter.
By: Hurley, Terrance M.; Oishi, Kikuo; Malzer, Gary L.
Site-specific crop response functions (SSCRFs) are useful for estimating the value of variable rate nitrogen applications (VRA), but appropriate statistical models are necessary. Problems estimating SSCRFs using experimental field data include region, spatial, treatment, and strip dependent heteroskedasticity and correlation. We develop a spatial autoregressive error (SARE) model for dealing with these problems and compare results with previous analysis based on a geostatistical (GEO) model. VRA value estimates for the two models differ notably for 1995 data from Southern Minnesota. Furthermore, findings show that the results of a comparison of model performance are location specific.
By: Moon, Wanki; Balasubramanian, Siva K.; Rimal, Arbindra
A two-stage decision model is developed to assess the effect of perceived soy health benefits on consumers' decisions with respect to soy food. The first stage captures whether or not to consume soy food, while the second stage reflects how often to consume. A conceptual/analytical framework is also employed, combining Lancaster's characteristics model and Fishbein's multi-attribute model. Results show that perceived soy health benefits significantly influence both decision stages. Further, consumers' negative perceptions regarding soy (unappetizing taste and inconvenience) have a substantially greater impact on soy consumption behavior than their perceptions about soy health benefits. This finding carries significant implications for the soy industry. Additionally, this health benefit perception mediates the effect of general health-related factors such as knowledge, motivation, and awareness on soy consumption behavior. Our results also underscore the importance of current FDA-regulated health claims in stimulating consumer demand for soy foods.
By: Blank, Steven C.; Erickson, Kenneth W.; Moss, Charles B.
To remain viable, agriculture in each location must offer returns that are competitive with those from alternative investments and sufficient to cover producers' financial obligations. Economic theory says that rates of return converge over time as resources flow into more-profitable industries and out of less-profitable industries, causing factor price changes. Both traditional growth and trade theories say factor markets will adjust to equalize commodity returns over time. This study examines spatial relationships in agriculture's profitability over time. Results show temporal and spatial convergence of returns consistent with trade and development theories. However, there are profit patterns unique to state/regional agriculture, raising policy implications.
By: Tonsor, Glynn T.; Schroeder, Ted C.; Fox, John A.; Biere, Arlo W.
A choice experiment is used to evaluate how consumers in London, Frankfurt, and Paris value beef steaks with attributes such as: "hormone-free," "GM-free," farm-specific source verification, and domestic origin. The effect of various consumer characteristics on steak selection is also evaluated. Results suggest that European consumers are significantly heterogeneous in their preferences for beef steak attributes. French and German consumers have a higher willingness to pay to avoid genetically modified feed use than British consumers, while German and British consumers would pay more for growth hormone-free beef. French and German consumers are willing to pay for farm-specific source verification.