Professor Jennifer Alix-Garcia, together with co-authors from the University of New South Wales in Australia and the World Bank, investigates the impact of refugee camps on local populations.  The work uses both nighttime lights data -- a proxy for economic activity -- and household surveys to assess whether or not Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya has helped or hurt the local pastoral population.  The research shows that, on average, local residents benefit from the camp. In fact, a 10% increase in the refugee population is associated with approximately a 5.5% increase in consumption of locals living near the camp.  This effects seem to be driven by increases in wage earning opportunities and the possibility of selling agricultural and livestock production to camp residents.  The work is in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Development Economics.  Prof. Alix-Garcia recently appeared on the Voice of America radio program South Sudan in Focus to discuss this research (available here, starting at minute 12:25).

Assistant Professor Steven Dundas, with co-authors from North Carolina State University and RTI International, recently published a study that provides evidence on the relative economic value of efforts to balance environmental protection with recreation access to public lands. Using recreational data for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the research shows that the costs to recreational fishing from temporally and spatially varying closures to both vehicle and pedestrian access to portions of the seashore range from $400,000 to $2 million annually. These costs are shown to be substantively lower than potential benefits of protecting nesting shorebirds (piping plovers) and sea turtles. The paper, Recreation Costs of Endangered Species Protection: Evidence from Cape Hatteras National Seashore, is in the January 2018 issue of Marine Resource Economics.  A recent news story about this paper can be found here.


Professor John Antle recently published "Methods to Assess Between-system Adaptations to Climate Change: Dryland Wheat Systems in the Pacific Northwest United States" in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & EnvironmentIn this paper, the authors propose to extend methods for agricultural impact assessment to study the adaptations that agricultural producers are likely to consider in response to climate change such as the use of different combinations of crop or livestock species and associated changes in management. They conclude that the method used for estimating the productivity of the new system introduces an element of uncertainty into adaptation analysis, in addition to the other data, model and scenario uncertainties.



Professor Larry Lev and Senior Faculty Research Assistant Laurie Houston were part of a group that recently published a journal article entitled  "Beyond Fresh and Direct: Exploring the Specialty Food Industry as a Market Outlet for Small- and Medium-sized Farms" in Renewable Agriculture and Food SystemsThis study investigated the benefits, barriers, and challenges for small- and medium-sized farmers who want to sell products to specialty food manufacturers (SFMs). Their paper analyzed 240 survey responses from dairy, meat, fruit/vegetable/nuts, and grain specialty manufacturers and 60 in-depth interviews of these manufacturers and farmers in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, and Oregon. Overall, they found evidence that the specialty food industry is an emerging market channel for small- and medium-sized farms. They also found that to be successful suppliers of SFMs, farmers need to have processes in place to ensure the quality of their products.


The Annual Review of Resource Economics recently published "A Conversation with Emery Neal Castle" by faculty members Emery CastleBruce WeberRichard Sandler, and JunJie Wu. Emery was Professor Emeritus at OSU in this department where he taught agricultural economics for more than twenty-five years and held numerous administrative positions including Dean of the Graduate School, Director of the Water Resources Institute, and Dean of Faculty. Sadly, Emery passed away in October 2017.


Faculty members David Lewis and Christian Langpap just published an article entitled "How Does Urbanization Affect Water Withdrawals? Insights from an Econometric-Based Landscape Simulation" in the journal Land Economics. They studied how urban land development affects water withdrawals on a regional scale to account for market adjustments, human behavioral responses, and government institutions; and found a complicated relationship between future water withdrawals and changes in socioeconomic drivers.

Beau Olen and JunJie Wu published a Choices article titled “Tracking the Evolution and Recent Development of Whole Farm Insurance Programs.” This article analyzes the development of Whole Farm Revenue Protection—WFRP—as well as outcomes in its first two years. WFRP addresses adverse selection by expanding the size and diversity of the insurance pool and serves as a complement for buy-up insurance and a substitute for disaster assistance and catastrophic risk protection. This research is supported by a joint project with UC Davis and Cornell University through a USDA NIFA funded project.

Professors Christian Langpap and JunJie Wu recently published an article entitled “Thresholds, Perverse Incentives, and Preemptive Conservation of Endangered Species” in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Implementation of the Engendered Species Act (ESA) on private land has historically focused on regulation after a species was officially listed. In recent years, it has shifted towards offering pre-listing incentives to avoid listings and the costs and conflicts resulting from regulation. In this paper, they examine these pre-listing incentives by allowing the incentive structure, perverse incentives to destroy habitat or preemptive conservation, to be endogenously determined. They found that which incentive structure emerges depends on how high the conservation threshold is and on the relative costs of habitat conservation versus habitat destruction. It is critical to distinguish between these incentive structures because a policy that works in one setting does not necessarily work in the other. Their results shed light on policy decisions in several recent high-profile ESA cases.