AEDE Faculty, PhD Candidates and Post Doctoral Researchers Featured at Annual Agricultural and Applied Economics Conference

July 11, 2019

 AEDE faculty and graduate students have a long-standing history of membership and leadership with the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). The organization is comprised of members working in academic departments, government agencies, NGOs, and in the private sector in the fields of agricultural and applied economics.

AEDE was especially well-represented at this year's Annual Meeting on July 21-23 in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Ian Sheldon was recognized as an AAEA Fellow which is AAEA's most prestigious honor and recognizes member contributions to the advancement of agricultural or applied economics. Dr. Elena Irwin was recently elected to serve on the AAEA Executive Board of Directors and Dr. Joyce Chen is Chair-elect of the Comittee on Women in Agricultural Economics.

Here is a run-down of papers, presentations and sessions featuring AEDE faculty, graduate students and post doctoral researchers:

PhD Candidate Jane Chen won the Best Paper award for 2019 AAEA, China Section for her paper entitled, Group Lending without Joint Liability: Behavioral Insights from a Framed Field Experiment in Rural China." The paper was co-authored with Professors Jon Einar Flatnes and Mario Miranda after she conducted a field experiment in Chinese villages in summer of 2017.

"Land Values and Farm Debt Accumulation: A Dynamic Model" - Ana Claudia Sant’Anna, Mario J. Miranda, Ani Katchova

"Warehouse Receipt Financing for Smallholders in Developing Countries: Short on Logic, Long on Imagination" - Mario J. Miranda

"Assessing the Private and Social Benefits of Forest Concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve" - Corinne F. Bocci, Brent Sohngen


"The Effect of Government Policies, Investments in Education, and Producers’ Decision to Diversify on the Economic Efficiency of the Agricultural Sector in Latin America" - Ana Claudia Sant’Anna

"Increasing Student Engagement and Attracting Talent in a Changing Academic Environment - Zoë Plakias, Anna Parkman

"Ag Finance and Farm Management - Issues in Farmland Valuation and Cash Rents: Preferential Agricultural Property Tax’s Impact on Land Values" - Robert Dinterman

"Brexit: Will it be a Game of ‘Chlorinated Chicken’?" - Ian M. Sheldon

"Food Waste and Loss: Global Perspectives and Local Challenges" - Brian E. Roe

"Impact of Innovative Food Systems and Farm 2 School on Food Access and Food Choices" - Lightning Section moderated by Zoë Plakias 

"The Effect of Air Pollution on Stock Market Trading Volume: Evidence from China" - Yian Xu
Abstract: Most past studies examine the impact of air pollution through their direct impact on human health or property values, such as air pollution’s positive effect on the mortality rate of patients or its negative effect on housing prices. This study contributes to assisting policymakers to understand the linkage between air pollution and stock market thus offering insights on additional benefit of policies to reduce air pollution. Leaving the explicit economic drivers aside, there are also non-economic factors with considerable influence on behavior but are relatively less studied. One example is the investors’ mood. It is consistent with intuitions that investors’ mood is important in making financial decisions (see, for example, Lucey and Dowling 2005). The determinants of human’s mood are complex but meteorological and environmental conditions are considered a major contributor (for example, Saunders 1993; Hirshleifer and Shumway 2003). Saunders (1993), one of the seminal studies in this field, identified the negative impact of cloudy days in New York City on the New York Stock Exchange index returns. Hirshleifer and Shumway (2003) found a similar negative effect of the lack of sunshine on stock returns by providing international evidence from 26 countries. Following this trend, several studies have examined mood determinants such as weather, environment as well as air pollution on human financial decisions (Li and Peng 2016; Zhang, Jiang, and Guo 2017). All research so far supports the conclusion that air pollution has a negative impact on stock returns. However, a common drawback of these studies is that by using stock returns observed at the national level and pollution data measured at the city level, they cannot establish a clean relationship between these quantities. 
Reference: Hirshleifer, D., & Shumway, T. (2003). Good day sunshine: Stock returns and the weather. The Journal of Finance, 58(3), 1009-1032.
Li, Q., & Peng, C. H. (2016). The stock market effect of air pollution: evidence from China. Applied Economics, 48(36), 3442-3461.
Lucey, B. M., & Dowling, M. (2005). The role of feeling in investor decision-making. Journal of Economic Surveys, 19, 211–238.
Saunders, E. M. (1993). Stock prices and Wall Street weather. The American Economic Review, 83(5), 1337-1345.
Zhang, Y., Jiang, Y., & Guo, Y. (2017). The effects of haze pollution on stock performances: evidence from China. Applied Economics, 49(23), 2226-2237.

"Compensating Differentials of Rents, Wages and Agricultural Returns: The Quality-of-Life among Indonesian Regencies and Cities" - Wei Chen (co-authored with H. Allen Klaiber and Daniela A. Miteva)
Abstract: This paper develops a novel compensating differential model of quality of life rankings with an agriculture sector. We use data from a developing country, Indonesia, and recover quality-of-life rankings for jurisdictions across the country at distinct time periods allowing us to examine how quality of life rankings have changed over time. Based on Roback (1982), we introduce an agriculture sector in the theoretical equilibrium system alongside housing and labor markets. To conduct the research we use detailed household data from two waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) fielded in 2007 and 2014 across 11 provinces in Indonesia. We estimate implicit prices for various amenities based on hedonic equations of housing rents, non-farm wages and agricultural returns. The results indicate that compensating differentials exist across the country and in particular the impacts of amenities on agriculture and non-farm labor market are different. Moreover, we calculate the quality-of-life rankings for 192 Indonesian districts (regencies and cities) in 2007 and 2014, respectively.

"Impact of the Basel III Bank Regulation on Agricultural Lending" - Kevin Kim

"Soils and South Asian Stunting: Low soil zinc availability drives child stunting in Nepal" - Kichan Kim (co-authored with Leah Bevis)
Abstract: A vibrant literature examines the effect of time-varying environmental influences on human health in developing countries. But the most important environmental influences may be those that vary over space, shaping regional welfare and development over many years. We examine such an influence in Nepal, where zinc (Zn) deficiency is widespread in both soils and humans, as in the rest of South Asia. We hypothesize that soil Zn deficiency, by limiting the Zn concentration in locally produced and consumed crops, drives insufficient dietary Zn intake, human deficiency, and child stunting. Using conditionally random variation in soil Zn concentration, we find that Zn deficiency in soils indeed drives child stunting across the country, and particularly in the more economically isolated western regions. Moving from “low Zn” to “high Zn” soils increases height-for-age by twelve percent, and reduces child stunting by five percent. It also decreases the prevalence of child anemia. Moreover, market integration, as proxied by nightlights, mitigates the effect, presumably by allowing separability between staple crop production and consumption. Consumption of animal-sourced foods also eliminates the effect. Positive weather shocks increase the magnitude of the effect, likely through increasing availability of and reliance on locally-produced food. These results have important implications for Zn deficiency and stunting across South Asia; soils may be one piece of the South Asian malnutrition puzzle.

“Water Scarcity and Conflict Between Upstream and Downstream Riparian Countries” - Sahar Yousef 

More than one quarter of the world’s population lives in water-scarce areas, while most countries share at least one transboundary river with at least one riparian country. Knowing that, one question comes to mind: if water-scarcity is prevalent, should we expect riparian countries to fight over the water allocation of shared rivers? To answer this question, I use a modified version of the river sharing game in which countries can resort to force to solve the water allocation problem. Using backward induction, I solve for the probability of the downstream country using force against the upstream country, and the probability of the latter responding with force to the former’s hostile actions. I test the model empirically using the maximum likelihood complementary log-log model using a set of all upstream/downstream riparian dyads with available data from 1960 to 2012. Both theoretical and empirical results indicate that water scarcity is a significant determinant of the downstream country’s decision to use force, while the upstream country’s scarcity level has no significant impact on their decision to respond with force. The results suggest that a future increase in conflict over water between upstream and downstream riparian countries is not farfetched.