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An Investigation of Spatial and Temporal Concepts in U.S. Corn and Soybean Markets

by Bekkerman, Anton

Abstract (Summary)
Spatial and temporal issues are often important concepts within agricultural economics research. Understanding these issues and developing models that incorporate spatio-temporal frameworks can lead to more accuracy in answering important economic questions. This thesis uses the spatio-temporal framework to analyze topics that pertain to modeling disease risk of soybeans, estimating welfare effects from wind-borne diseases, and examining price transmissions in North Carolina soybean and corn markets. First, economic impacts of soybean rust in the United States are examined by using zero-inflated count-data models that are adjusted for potential endogeneity between inspections and infection finds. Past soybean rust finds and inspections in the county and in the surrounding counties, weather and overwintering conditions, and plant maturity groups and planting dates are all found to be significant aspects of determining soybean rust. These results are then used to accordingly price annual insurance contracts that cover soybean rust damages. Next, welfare impacts of wind-borne disease outbreaks in the United States are investigated under two alternative indemnification policies.The standard insurance program and a proposed check-off and mitigation scheme are compared, and simulation estimates are provided for a soybean rust outbreak in the U.S. soybean industry. The results indicate that welfare benefits may be as high as $1.7 billion under the check-off and mitigation plan. Finally, linkages between spatially separated corn markets and soybean markets in North Carolina are analyzed by extending the constant threshold autoregressive model, which is the methodology found in the current literature. The more flexible asymmetric variable thresholds model, which allows the transaction costs neutral band to vary according to external factors, statistically outperforms the alternative specifications, might better represent long time series data, and indicates that the constant threshold models can underestimate the time-to-convergence and magnitude of a price shock in linked markets.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Nicholas E. Piggott; Barry K. Goodwin; Michael J. Roberts; Denis Pelletier

School:North Carolina State University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:economics

ISBN:

Date of Publication:04/16/2009

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