AGRICULTURAL RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY AND PRODUCER DECISION MAKING
DeLay, Nathan Daniel
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This dissertation consists of three papers on agricultural risk management and producer decision making. The first paper estimates the potential for federal crop insurance subsidies to crowd-out participation in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Using an instrumental variables (IV) regression technique, I find that crop insurance removes a small amount of land from CRP and that crowding-out effects vary by land use heterogeneity. The second paper explores the effects of crop insurance agent market structure on the insurance decisions of producers. The paper uses a comprehensive insurance policy-level dataset to estimate the relationship between agent market power and insurance coverage. Results indicate that agent market power matters for insurance decisions, though effects vary by region. Generally, insurance agents use market power to influence producers in ways that improve actuarial profitability. The third chapter analyzes the determinants of calving intervals in Western Kenya and explores how improvements in herd fertility affect household milk production, consumption, and nutrition.