Essays on International Agricultural Development
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This dissertation comprises studies on three research topics related to international agricultural development. The first paper examines trades costs associated with Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) across a wide range of countries. Trade impacts of invasive pests and pathogens, FMD in particular, are thought to be substantial but are not examined in a comprehensive analysis. We quantify effects of FMD outbreaks on export of livestock products in a panel of 145 countries. Export demand equations are estimated for meat and live animals using spatial instrumental variable Tobit and Poisson estimators. Results show that FMD outbreaks have significant and negative impacts on exports of both meat and live animals with an estimated export revenue loss of about 115 million dollars for each affected country per year. The second paper investigates impacts of FMD outbreaks on individual livestock-owning households to understand disease implications at the local level. A theoretical framework for household decision-making under uncertainties of disease outbreak forms a basis for econometric specification. A survey was conducted in 78 traditional livestock-dependent households across five districts of northern Tanzania. Results indicate that households realized significantly negative impacts of FMD on milk production, traction productivity, and cash income generation from livestock sales. Households that reported vaccination against FMD were found to spend significantly higher amount on child education and lower amount on human health. This study provides evidence that the FMD prevention in these communities would reduce the FMD burden and increase livestock production opportunities.The third paper deals with computation, decomposition, and testing for convergence of Fare-Primont index of total factor productivity (TFP) for five South Asian countries. Results indicate that the TFPs do not exhibit a consistent trend across the countries studied. Decomposition of the TFP measure into technical and efficiency change components shows that the agricultural TFP change in the South Asian countries has been driven by improvement in production technology rather than efficiency. Utilizing recently developed procedures for panel data, TFP growth rate is found to converge to a steady state. In general, health capital and government expenditure on agriculture are found to have positive impacts on the productivity growth rate.