Browsing ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Department "Agricultural and Applied Economics"
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- Adoption Analysis and Impact Evaluation of Potato IPM in EcuadorCarrion Yaguana, Vanessa Del Rocio (Virginia Tech, 2013-07-02)There are several well-known negative side effects associated with pesticide use such as health problems and environmental pollution. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) seeks to minimize pesticide use while reducing pest infestation to economically tolerable levels. The introduction of IPM CRSP activities in Ecuador to institutionalize IPM methods focused on priority crops in the country. This study analyzes adoption and the economic impacts of IPM technologies on potato production in the province of Carchi. A model is estimated in which IPM adoption is discrete and ordered and pesticides expenditures are estimated as a function of education, farming experience, wealth, plot size and farmer being sick due to pesticide use for each level of IPM adoption. Results indicate that farmers who were exposed to certain IPM information sources increased adoption of IPM practices on potatoes, but farmers\' education and experience were not important factors in explaining IPM adoption. The calculated economic benefits in terms of aggregate cost savings per production cycle were $823,000.
- Adoption and Impacts of IPM for Cambodian Rice FarmersJackson, Sydni Blaine (Virginia Tech, 2017-11-15)This study evaluates the adoption and impacts of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) adoption for rice in Cambodia. Extent of adoption and characteristics of adopters are discovered. Farmers are considered high adopters of IPM if they used two non-pesticide or minimal-pesticide practices to control rice insect, disease, weed, or rodent pests in the last twelve months; farmers are considered low adopters if they used one practice; farmers are considered non-adopters if they used zero practices. IPM practices include pest-resistant variety; stale seedbed (sequential harrowing or harrowing followed by a non-selective herbicide); apply Trichoderma on seeds or seedlings, no insecticide spray for the first 40 days; apply bio-pesticides such as neem, Bt, and metarhizium, and Beauvaria; Sarcocystis bait for rodents; hand weeding at recommended growth stage; and/or another practice specified by the farmer. Out of 394 farmers surveyed, 40 (10.15%) were found to be high adopters, 228 (57.86%) were found to be low adopters, and 126 (31.97%) were found to be non-adopters of IPM. IPM practices currently include mostly hand-weeding and no spray for 40 days; few other practices were adopted. Our study reveals a need for broader education on rice IPM throughout Cambodia. The high frequency of pesticide applications among rice farmers, the finding that adoption of IPM was not found to have a meaningful influence on the number of pesticide applications, and the finding that less than one-quarter of farmers in our study have received training on IPM reveal the need for increased knowledge of IPM in Cambodia, and the need for future education on IPM to focus on reducing pesticide use.
- Adoption Determinants and Economic Benefits of Integrated Pest Management for Nepali Vegetable FarmersMcGowan, Amanda Leigh (Virginia Tech, 2022-01-19)The majority of Nepal's population relies on agriculture, so invasive and native pests' ability to reduce farmers' crop yields is a significant concern. To protect farm households' food security and livelihoods, it is imperative to find effective pest management products and practices. Integrated pest management (IPM) is an arguably cheaper and less harmful alternative to conventional synthetic pesticides and is a way of managing and preventing agricultural pests using different levels of control methods (e.g., biological, cultural, and chemical) that have minimal adverse environmental and human health impacts. This study provides information on the extent of IPM practices by Nepali vegetable farmers, adds to the understanding of factors that influence the IPM adoption decision, and compares the economic benefits and performance of IPM to other conventional pest management practices. Our survey of 346 vegetable farmers in four districts throughout Nepal provides the primary data we use in our analysis. We distinguish practices into two categories: simple IPM practices that are commonly used and require limited knowledge and complex practices that typically require more knowledge and conscious use of IPM itself. We use a probit model to determine the factors that significantly affect the decision to adopt complex IPM practices. Our results find two explanatory variables that consistently affect complex IPM adoption: gender and IPM training. We compare the costs and benefits of using IPM to other conventional pest management practices by analyzing results from experimental field trials conducted in Nepal's Banke and Surkhet districts. Using an economic surplus approach, we estimate the market-level benefits of using IPM practices for three vegetables in Banke and four vegetables in Surkhet. The results predict cumulative IPM benefits of $1.06 to $1.44 million across the two districts.
- Adoption Determinants and Impacts of Tuta absoluta Integrated Pest Management for Nepali Tomato FarmersKnaresboro, Lauren Marie (Virginia Tech, 2019-09-12)Tuta absoluta, a member of the moth family, causes devastating yield loss to tomato farmers around the world. Its recent migration into the tomato fields of Nepal puts tomato farmers at a high risk of yield loss. In response, chemical pesticide use by Nepali farmers is increasing. Integrated pest management (IPM) practices have been implemented in hopes of reducing the frequency of chemical pesticide use while controlling yield risks. This study examines the extent and determinants of Tuta absoluta IPM adoption and its effect on the frequency of pesticide use for Nepali tomato farmers. Primary data was collected from four-hundred and one households in four districts throughout Nepal. Two levels of IPM practices were assessed, simple and complex, based on the need for additional knowledge and tools. An instrumental variable probit analysis was used to analyze the determinants of IPM adoption. Household distance to nearest agricultural extension office was a significant factor decreasing the likelihood of the adoption of complex practices. Amount of land dedicated to tomato production, membership status of the primary decision maker, IPM training regarding Tuta absoluta practices and severity of Tuta absoluta were found to increase the likelihood of the adoption of complex practices. In order to analyze pesticide use, a simple linear regression was used. Primary decision maker's age, gender, and education level were significant determinates to decrease the amount of expenditures spent on chemical pesticides to control for Tuta absoluta. IPM adoption level, amount of land dedicated to tomato production and severity of Tuta absoluta damage were significant determinates to increase the amount of expenditures spent on chemical pesticides to control for Tuta absoluta.
- The Adoption of Genetically Modified Organisms in Uruguay's Agriculture: An Ex-Ante Assessment of Potential BenefitsHareau, Guy G. (Virginia Tech, 2002-07-15)The present study analyzes the economic impact of the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Uruguay's agriculture. Using a partial equilibrium framework the impacts of transgenic varieties are simulated for two crops, rice and potatoes, in small open and closed economies respectively. The model accounts for the presence of market imperfections created by the monopolistic behavior of the genes' patent owner. The change in economic surplus generated after the adoption of the new technology is projected to be positive, although the seed markup charged by the monopolist reduces the surplus compared to a perfectly competitive market. Total deadweight losses and domestic losses are found to increase with the seed premium, as additional monopolist profits are extracted out of the country. Adoption decreases with the seed premium, further reducing the domestic consumer and producer surplus. The results of the study suggest an active role for national technology policies and for the agricultural R&D system in Uruguay to generate conditions that attract the technology's owner to a small market while at the same time reducing the potential losses that monopoly power creates .
- Adoption of Integrated Pest Management Technologies: A Case Study of Potato Farmers in Carchi, EcuadorMauceri, Maria (Virginia Tech, 2004-12-16)Potato farmers in Ecuador rely on chemical inputs to manage pests and optimize yields. IPM techniques are recommended to lower production costs, reduce exposure to pesticides, and improve the long-term sustainability of the agriculture system. We conducted a survey of 109 potato farmers in Carchi, Ecuador that included 30 Farmer Field School (FFS) participants, 28 farmers who had been exposed to FFS-participants, and 51 randomly selected farmers. Using an ordered probit model, the data were analyzed to identify determinants and constraints of adoption. Access to information through FFS was the main determinant of adoption of IPM, followed by field days, pamphlets, and exposure to FFS-participants. The study looked at the relative cost-effectiveness of information dissemination methods and found that field days and pamphlets have strong impacts on adoption considering their low cost of implementation. The only significant household variable was household size, where larger households adopted less IPM. Per capita land holdings were not significant in the model. There is evidence of farmer-to-farmer diffusion from FFS to non-FFS farmers. Further research is necessary to evaluate the nature and quality of information transfer between farmers. The study was limited by the small sample size and non-random selection of farmer respondents.
- Adoption of non-traditional enterprises by Virginia farmersZhou, Xiaofeng (Virginia Tech, 1994)This study investigates the role of non-traditional enterprises in rural economies and attempts to understand farmers’ decision to adopt non-traditional enterprises. Three separate mail surveys were conducted to collect socio-economic data from biological and organic, Angora goat, and ginseng farm enterprises. Descriptive statistics, Pearson χ² tests, and multinomial logit models were used to accomplish the objectives of the study. The analysis focuses on biological and organic, and Angora goat enterprises. The results of the analysis show that the principal operators of these enterprises were significantly younger, better-educated, better-off, and more likely to be a female in comparison to all Virginia farmers. The majority of farm operators came from non-rural backgrounds and their principal occupation is not farming. Only a very small percentage cited economic factors as the most important reason for starting the non-traditional enterprises. The most common information source used for planning and developing these new enterprises is books, magazines, or newsletters. The majority of respondents in both the biological/organic and Angora goat surveys did not perform any feasibility analyses prior to beginning their non-traditional enterprises. The farmers rated production and marketing as their major problems. In general, the majority of biological and organic farms and Angora goat farms were not profitable in 1993, and the income from these enterprises contributed very little to household income. However, it was found that biological and organic enterprises have played an important role in the economic survival of farmers with financial obstacles. The majority of farmers in the samples saw a bright future for their products.
- Advances in Applied Econometrics: Binary Discrete Choice Models, Artificial Neural Networks, and Asymmetries in the FAST Multistage Demand SystemBergtold, Jason Scott (Virginia Tech, 2004-04-14)The dissertation examines advancements in the methods and techniques used in the field of econometrics. These advancements include: (i) a re-examination of the underlying statistical foundations of statistical models with binary dependent variables. (ii) using feed-forward backpropagation artificial neural networks for modeling dichotomous choice processes, and (iii) the estimation of unconditional demand elasticities using the flexible multistage demand system with asymmetric partitions and fixed effects across time. The first paper re-examines the underlying statistical foundations of statistical models with binary dependent variables using the probabilistic reduction approach. This re-examination leads to the development of the Bernoulli Regression Model, a family of statistical models arising from conditional Bernoulli distributions. The paper provides guidelines for specifying and estimating a Bernoulli Regression Model, as well as, methods for generating and simulating conditional binary choice processes. Finally, the Multinomial Regression Model is presented as a direct extension. The second paper empirically compares the out-of-sample predictive capabilities of artificial neural networks to binary logit and probit models. To facilitate this comparison, the statistical foundations of dichotomous choice models and feed-forward backpropagation artificial neural networks (FFBANNs) are re-evaluated. Using contingent valuation survey data, the paper shows that FFBANNs provide an alternative to the binary logit and probit models with linear index functions. Direct comparisons between the models showed that the FFBANNs performed marginally better than the logit and probit models for a number of within-sample and out-of-sample performance measures, but in the majority of cases these differences were not statistically significant. In addition, guidelines for modeling contingent valuation survey data and techniques for estimating median WTP measures using FFBANNs are examined. The third paper estimates a set of unconditional price and expenditure elasticities for 49 different processed food categories using scanner data and the flexible and symmetric translog (FAST) multistage demand system. Due to the use of panel data and the presence of heterogeneity across time, temporal fixed effects were incorporated into the model. Overall, estimated price elasticities are larger, in absolute terms, than previous estimates. The use of disaggregated product groupings, scanner data, and the estimation of unconditional elasticities likely accounts for these differences.
- Agricultural Cooperation and Horticultural Produce Marketing in Southwest VirginiaTrupo, Paul (Virginia Tech, 1997-06-04)Agricultural production in Southwest Virginia is characterized by numerous small, geographically disperse farms dedicated to traditional practices of producing tobacco and cattle. Community leaders have expressed the desire to diversify the region's agricultural production base to include potentially more profitable commodities such as horticultural crops. In order for the small growers to penetrate the fresh horticultural market and compete with the larger production regions, they must organize themselves into a farmer cooperative that allows them to pool resources, reduce costs, and share risk. A successful cooperative will increase farm incomes for the region's producers. The co-op will strive to obtain a higher price for the commodities produced than that price which can be obtained by growers acting independently. The increase in farm incomes should offset forecasted decreases in agricultural incomes resulting from declines in the region's traditional production activities. Increased farm incomes for a large number of small growers should have a substantial impact on agricultural producers, marketers, and equipment suppliers and lead to economic development for the region as a whole. Several past horticultural cooperative efforts have been publicly financed and eventually failed for a wide variety of reasons. The methodology used in this research include surveying and interviewing marketing specialists, co-op managers, growers, extension agents, horticulturists, and other experts involved with both successful and failed cooperative efforts. The data gathered from these interviews has been used to identify key factors that have contributed to the success or failure of the other cooperative efforts. Based on the key factors identified from the research, a specific cooperative structure has been developed for the Southwest Virginia growers. This organizational structure incorporates into its legal documentation (bylaws, business plan, and marketing agreement) the critical factors that must be carried out by members, management, extension, and marketers in order to increase the probability for the cooperative's long-term survival and profitability.
- Agricultural research in Senegal: Economic surplus evaluation of the adoption of variety La Fleur 11 by peanut farmersSoufi, Widad (Virginia Tech, 2001-06-04)Peanut production has been decreasing in Senegal over the past decades for historical, political, economic and environmental reasons. One of the solutions proposed by recent Senegalese administrations is to increase production through agricultural research and the development of peanut varieties that are adapted to the environmental constraints in Senegal. The last variety developed is La Fleur 11, which is very drought tolerant. The purpose of the study is to assess the economic impact of research on La Fleur 11 on the Senegalese economy through an ex-ante evaluation of the net social benefits from the adoption of this new variety. In order to fulfill this objective, an economic surplus analysis is conducted within the framework of a partial equilibrium model. Results indicate that the net social benefits from the adoption of La Fleur 11 are positive. Assuming that all peanut supply is sold to SONACOS at a producer base price and that research evaluation is conducted at the farm-level, Consumers (SONACOS) are the main beneficiaries from research. Their benefits are on average 6 times producers' (farmers). The research-induced increase in the government cost of the subsidy represents 84 percent on average of consumers' and producers' benefits; the research-induced increase in net social welfare represents 16 percent on average of consumers' and producers' benefits. The internal rate of return averages around 43 percent. When peanut markets are disaggregated, research benefits consumers (SONACOS) 3 times more than producers (farmers) at the farm level. Most of producers' benefits come from farm household consumption (47 percent of total farm-level benefits) and most of consumers' benefits come from the official seed market. At the SONACOS-level where peanut oil and cakes are exported, research benefits producers (SONACOS) only; consumers (rest of the world) do not benefit from research at this level. The IRR is more likely to be about 42 percent. This study suggests that future investments in agricultural research in Senegal can result in a positive economic impact provided that other actions are undertaken regarding extension, credit, and input distribution in order to enhance adoption and take advantage of the yield potential of the new peanut varieties. Also, this study provides a procedure of research evaluation for future use in Senegal and West Africa.
- Agricultural Technologies and Economic Development: Three Essays on Technology Adoption and InequalityCarrion Yaguana, Vanessa Del Rocio (Virginia Tech, 2016-04-25)This dissertation is composed of three essays examining adoption of agricultural technologies in Ecuador and intergenerational mobility in the United States. The first essay entitled 'Does IPM Have Staying Power? Revisiting a Potato-producing Area Years After Formal Training Ended' examines (Integrated Pest Management) IPM spread and adoption several years after formal intensive IPM outreach efforts ceased in a potato-producing region in Ecuador. It describes adoption patterns and sources of IPM knowledge in 2012 and compares them with patterns that existed when outreach ceased in 2003. Results show that IPM adoption continues in the area but with a lower proportion of farmers adopting all practices and a higher proportion adopting low to moderate levels compared to 2003. Farmer-to-farmer spread has supplanted formal training and outreach mechanisms. IPM adoption significantly lowers pesticide use and saves production costs for adopters. The second essay entitled 'Can Text Messages Improve Agricultural Outreach in Ecuador?' seeks to understand how receipt of text messages complements training from a farmer field day. It measures the effect of text message receipt on adoption of (Integrated Crop Management) ICM technologies and knowledge about these technologies. In the first part of the paper, we present a theory of behavioral change and its application to adoption of agricultural technologies. In the second part, we use intention to treat (ITT) and an improved-ITT analyses to measure the impact of the intervention. The results of this essay suggest that as providers of information, text messages have some knowledge building effect leading to the adoption of IPM practices. As reminders, text messages effectively increase adoption of IPM practices, in particular recommended pesticides. The third essay entitled 'Determinants of Absolute Upward Income Mobility: The Hidden Cost of Commuting' focuses on commuting times as a determinant of upward income mobility in the United States. We provide an explanation of the channel through which the effect of commuting times on upward income mobility operates. Additionally, it evaluates empirically the effect of commuting on upward income mobility. The empirical results confirm the theoretical model predictions that commuting times affect negatively upward income mobility.
- Agricultural Technolongy in Bangladesh: a Study on Non-Farm Labor and Adoption by GenderVictoria, Melanie Villanueva (Virginia Tech, 2007-07-16)There is growing interest in learning the impacts of agricultural technologies especially in developing economies. Economic analysis may entail assessment of employment and time allocation effects of new technologies. An issue of importance in South Asia is the impacts of technological change on a specific type of occupation: rural non-farm activities. In order to fully understand these effects, the research must integrate gender differences and determine if the results would be similar irrespective of gender. This paper particularly looks at the effects of HYV adoption on time allocation and labor force participation of men and women in non-farm activities. In estimating the effects of HYV adoption on non-farm labor supply, information on the dependent variable, supply of non-farm labor (or the number of days worked while engaged in non-farm labor), is not available for individuals who do not participate in non-farm labor. Hence sample selection or self-selection of individuals occurs. A feasible approach to the problem of sample selection is the use of Heckman's Two Stage Selection Correction Model. Income functions were estimated for males and females while correcting for the sample selection of non-farm wage earners. An enhanced understanding of the conceptual links among HYV adoption, non-farm labor supply, and gender issues is achieved by discussing the Farm Household Model. The constrained maximization which is drawn from the Farm Household Model would bring about demand functions and reduced form functions for adoption and labor supply. The reduced-form equations are estimated at the individual level for the following: adoption of HYV technology in rice cultivation, and non-farm labor supply of both adult males and females. Regression results are presented for both Ordinary least squares (OLS) and Tobit estimates. HYV adoption and non-farm labor supply of men and women are influenced by several factors in Bangladesh. The household characteristics assumed to potentially determine technology adoption and non-farm labor decisions are the following: non-farm wages per month of the males and females, farm size, asset value, ratio of yield per decimal land of high-yielding to traditional variety of rice, HYV yield, local variety yield, and the ratio of variance of yield per decimal land of HYV to traditional or local varieties. The empirical findings suggest that the decision to adopt HYV technology is determined primarily by farm size, value of total assets of the household, ratio of yield per decimal of land of high-yielding to traditional variety of rice, and the ratio of variance of yield per decimal of land of high-yielding to traditional variety of rice. A larger farm size or land owned in decimal unit increases the non-farm labor supply of females, but not of men. HYV yield is significant and positive, while the local variety yield is significant and negative. This means that higher HYV yields increase the supply of non-farm labor of women, while higher local or traditional yields lower women's supply of non-farm labor.
- Agricultural Trade Performance and Potential: A Retrospective Panel Data Analysis of US Exports of Corn and SoybeansGrossen, Grace Elizabeth (Virginia Tech, 2019-08-22)There are a variety of international issues that disrupt the global trade market, an important one being national policies on the regulation of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Many crops have been genetically modified for reasons from herbicide resistance to correcting dietary shortfalls. This study evaluates the United States' exports of corn and soybeans from 1998 to 2016 to identify unusual shocks in trade values. In particular, this study quantifies how the importers' policy stance on the GMO issue impacts bilateral trade values. I estimate a gravity model with both ordinary least squares (OLS) and Poisson pseudo maximum likelihood (PPML) estimations. Residual analysis is used to assess the difference between actual trade and the trade levels predicted by the models. The results suggest that anti-GMO policies reduce trade values by an average of 11%. The largest difference between predictions and actual trade values is seen in corn exports to the European Union. Between 1998 and 2016, this forgone trade in corn was valued at $52.7 billion, which is $2.77 billion per year on average. This value is similar to the annual average value of U.S. exports of corn to Japan in the same period, $2.46 billion. The results have important implications for the agricultural industry. For developing nations, adoption of GMO crops could increase productivity and help alleviate poverty. Ultimately, the decision to adopt is up to the consumer, so the factors of consumer knowledge and opinions of GMOs are not to be ignored.
- The Amenity Value of Trees: a Meta-analysis of Hedonic, Property-value StudiesHeier, Elizabeth (Virginia Tech, 2012-08-09)Tree species migration as a result of climate change may alter the composition of trees in local communities. Shifts in tree diversity, stand age, species predominance and the overall number of trees are potential changes. Community tree programs may also change the characteristics of local trees through planting or preservation efforts, but these programs may also mitigate the effects of climate induced tree migration. Numerous hedonic property value studies have estimated the implicit price of tree amenities associated with residential properties. Quantitative analysis of the results from multiple studies valuing trees can identify if the relationship between implicit price and tree amenities extended across these studies. The results of the meta-regression found systematic variation was present across positive implicit prices for local tree cover. The scarcity, age and type of local trees were also significantly related to the implicit price of amenity tree cover. The amenity tree cover findings suggest that county tree canopy cover of about 42% optimizes implicit price. Recent extreme weather events and ownership of trees contributed to negative implicit prices. These results may assist in planning and goal setting for community tree programs to mitigate the effects of climate induced tree migration.
- Analysis of Agricultural Production in Albania: Prospects for Policy ImprovementZaloshnja, Eduard X. (Virginia Tech, 1997-09-11)The overall objective of this study is to develop a framework to predict the impacts of government policies on agricultural production in Albania. The specific goal of this study is to provide some empirical estimates of the farmers' short-run supply response to government policies that effect output and input prices. Different theoretical approaches to integrating the questions this study purports to answer were considered. Two models were deemed as most appropriate for Albanian agriculture. The first is a semi-commercial farm household model and the second is the well-known indirect profit function model. The first model was preferred. However, the second was used instead, due to the lack of information necessary for an empirical application of the semi-commercial farm household model. A quadratic functional form was selected to approximate the profit function. It satisfied the Taylor series approximation convergence test. Two approaches were used to estimate the empirical model. In the first, the traditional approach, the symmetry and homogeneity conditions were imposed beforehand and then the system of equations was estimated using the ITSUR procedure in SAS. Following common practice, a joint Rao test of these conditions was conducted, implicitly assuming that the test statistic has a Fisher distribution or, stated differently, assuming that parameter estimators are normally distributed. The test results indicate that the conditions are met. A second approach, proposed by McGuirk, et al., was also used in this study. The approach proposed by McGuirk, et al., requires that, before imposing and/or testing any theoretical assumption, the unrestricted model is estimated and tested to see if all the underlying statistical assumptions of the linear regression are met. The misspecification tests suggested that the model is not statistically adequate. This finding indicated that the theoretical test conducted in the traditional approach was invalid. An alternative estimation procedure is proposed in the study for cases when a statistically adequate model cannot be specified. Named the sub-sample or the bootstrapping method, this procedure consists of randomly selecting a large number of sub-samples from the cross-sectional sample and running a regression for each of them. The large number of estimates for each of the coefficients serves as a basis for estimating 95-percent confidence intervals. An inspection of the supply and input demand elasticities calculated based on coefficients estimated through the sub-sample method revealed that half of them have wide 95 percent confidence intervals. Therefore, predicting policy impacts across all output and input equations is not possible. However, elasticities that have narrow confidence intervals and make economic sense can be used to predict isolated policy impacts, if Albania returns to the conditions that prevailed before the political turmoil of 1997.
- Analysis of firm desirability among Virginia's economic development directorsBailey, Thomas M. (Virginia Tech, 1996-08-10)The primary objective of this thesis is to examine the preferences local-level economic development directors possess for different firm characteristics when deciding whether to offer incentives. The thesis examines the different incentives that exist in Virginia and finds that incentive activity has been steadily increasing since 1990. The historical rates of business activity reveal that more non-manufacturing firms locate and expand in metropolitan areas, but manufacturing firms in non-metropolitan areas hire more people per firm. The results indicate that this is not due to an explicit strategy of Virginia's economic development directors. A comparison is made between community economic development goals and important firm characteristics as perceived by local-level economic development directors. A rank-ordered logit model is then used to measure the willingness to pay for various firm characteristics. The results indicate that economic developers are willing to pay for increases in firm investment, increases in wages per employee, and decreases in the probability of a firm closing or moving. Economic developers in Virginia are not willing to pay directly for increases in firm employment, but firm employment is important in its indirect effect on the willingness to pay for wages. The linkages of a firm with a community (community (measured by sales impact, the employment multiplier, and overall employment impact) were insignificant variables for all economic developers.
- Analysis of In-Lieu Fee Programs in providing Wetland and Stream Compensatory MitigationTutko, Benjamin Thomas (Virginia Tech, 2017-10-16)The nation's Section 404 permitting program, of the Clean Water Act (CWA), represents one of the longest regulatory histories of designing and implementing credit trading programs to satisfy regulatory requirements. The role and the function of in-lieu fee (ILF) programs in supporting this regulatory structure have undergone a substantial change. For the first time in the history of the Sec. 404 program, 33 CFR Part 332 and 40 CFR Part 230, Subpart J (the "2008 mitigation rule" or "rule"), prioritizes the use of off-site mitigation over on-site-mitigation. Additionally, the rule prioritizes advanced, third-party mitigation; especially as achieved through mitigation banks; over any off-site compensatory mitigation provided by ILF programs (33 CFR 332.3(b)(1)). This new regulatory environment favors the use of commercial mitigation bank credits while acknowledging that the limited permittee demand of off-site mitigation credits, in particular areas, justifies the continuing need for ILF programs (Corps and EPA 2008, p.19606,19611). This research examines how regulatory officials use ILF programs under the 2008 mitigation rule, and, it determines the extent to which ILF programs are capable of fulfilling the role envisioned for them under the 2008 mitigation rule. Simulation results indicate that commercial mitigation banks cannot meet risk adjusted returns under limited credit demand conditions. ILF programs offer some additional financial capacity to fill the void in commercial bank coverage; but, this potential is limited in low demand conditions. Furthermore, empirical case studies of a Virginia and Georgia provide evidence that regulatory officials rely on ILF programs to provide off-site compensatory mitigation almost exclusively in the absence of private credit supply, as intended in the 2008 rule. Evidence in Georgia and Virginia also indicate that, in some situations, ILF programs face difficulties in providing mitigation under the constraints of limited demand and more stringent regulatory requirements.
- Analysis of Policies Affecting Pesticide Use in EcuadorYamagiwa, Takayoshi Jose II (Virginia Tech, 1998-02-05)Nominal Rates of Protection (NPR) were calculated to quantify the degree of pesticide subsidy in Ecuador from 1991 to 1996. Equilibrium exchange rates were computed first to determine the indirect and total NPR's in addition to the direct NPR's. The computed equilibrium exchange rates from 1987 to 1996 indicated a decreasing trend in Sucre overvaluation. The direct NPR's indicated a small tax on pesticides due to a tariff and customs tax, and the indirect NPR's indicated a decreasing trend of subsidization due to the reduction in Sucre overvaluation. In sum, total NPR's indicated that the subsidy on pesticides has decreased substantially. A demand function for pesticides was estimated to quantify the effect of price distortions on pesticide demand. Due to the limited degrees of freedom, a statistically significant function was not obtained. However, pesticide price, agricultural credit, and overvaluation of the Sucre were statistically significant in influencing pesticide demand. Policy implications were drawn based on empirical results and background information. Since the agricultural profitability of small farms producing outputs for domestic consumption is most affected by the current economic liberalization, the Ecuadoran government may need to find a means for supporting the profitability of these farms to protect national agricultural productivity. Policies that aid these farmers in the adoption of inexpensive integrated pest management (IPM) technologies would help achieve this end, while reducing the environmental and health problems caused by pesticide use.
- An analysis of the ability of Virginia's water systems to finance system improvementsHunter, Janet R. (Virginia Tech, 1995-09-14)The Safe Drinking Water Act and its 1986 Amendments are expected to result in increasing costs for water systems. The ability of systems to finance the required improvements is examined. The financial needs of water systems are examined to determine if needs vary by system ownership or system size. Increased water rates are expected as a result of financing system improvements. The increase in rates is predicted, and the effect of increased rates on low-income households is examined. The study concluded that the problem facing Virginia's water systems is not an inability to finance system improvements. The increased rates expected as a result may, however, impose hardships on low-income households.
- An analytic model of the food consumption behavior of health-conscious individualsKambhampaty, S. Murthy (Virginia Tech, 1994-05-05)Evidence of changing patterns of food consumption behavior is presented. Previous attempts at explaining these changes are critically reviewed and the need for an alternate approach is identified. A model of consumer behavior in which utility from food consumption is maximized subject to outlay for foods and limits on the consumption of fat, cholesterol, sodium, and/or other food components is proposed. This model yields a system of demands that are functions of prices and outlay as well as the composition of food and limits on the consumption of these components. The structure of this model is examined and restrictions on consumer food demands are derived. The derivation of individual demands based on the proposed model is demonstrated using a specific indirect utility function. Tests of the joint hypotheses that fat or cholesterol consumption determines food demand are defined. The computation of aggregate food demand elasticities with respect to changes in prices and changes in attributes such as fat or cholesterol consumption is demonstrated. Data necessary for estimating the parameters of the model and testing hypotheses are identified. The model proposed in this study allows tests of the hypothesis that food demands are not affected by food composition as well as measurement of these effects