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September 2019

Estimating the Consequences of Climate Change from Variation in Weather

September 27, 2019 @ 10:30 am - 11:45 pm
WGHL 401, 800 Cady Mall
Tempe, AZ 85281 United States
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I formally relate the consequences of climate change to the time series variation in weather extensively explored by recent empirical literature. I delineate the classes of payoff functions for which reduced-form fixed effects estimators exactly recover the effects of climate. The conditions become more restrictive when regressions do not control for forecasts or for lagged weather, as has been common in the empirical literature to date. I also show how to recover structural estimates from reduced-form weather regressions. My median estimates indicate that following even the RCP 4.5 trajectory of stabilized emissions would reduce U.S. agricultural profits by nearly 50% over this century.

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October 2019

Obesity and Self-Control: Evidence from Purchase Data

October 9, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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In this paper, we examine the relationship between obesity and food purchase behavior using a novel and unique dataset that links individual-level scanner data on food purchases to survey data containing questions about an individual's obesity status. We find that obese individuals have higher purchase shares of unhealthy goods, are more likely to purchase products offered in checkout lanes that exploit consumer temptation, and are significantly more sensitive to price changes in product categories that are both unhealthy and tempting. We find no differences in price sensitivity across obesity levels in comparable product categories that would not be considered tempting. Moreover, we find that the relationship between price sensitivity and BMI is significantly smaller for individuals who have recently lost weight. Our empirical results are consistent with the model of self-control developed by Gul and Pesendorfer (2001) and Benabou and Pycia (2002). We do not find systematic support for the idea that more obese individuals are more myopic, in contrast to earlier research. We also do not nd systematic evidence that obesity is correlated with worse information about the consequences of unhealthy eating.

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Farmers to Entrepreneurs

October 16, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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We study the birth of non farming enterprise in the developing world. We test if such activities are led by skills or are an ex-post income smoothing device for uninsured households. We find that farmers become entrepreneurs in response to negative productivity shocks to farming, while credit constraints do not seem to play a substantial role. Importantly, and consistently with irreversible Acs (2006) investment or learning-by-doing, these reluctant entrepreneurs do not revert to full farming following new positive productivity shocks. These entrepreneurs are typically under performing entrepreneurs while they were above average farmers. This selection might contribute to the understanding of the dual phenomenon of low-productivity units coexisting in developing countries.

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November 2019

Retail Price Premiums for Organic Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

November 6, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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Organic foods are one of the fastest-growing food market segments in the United States, with an average annual growth rate of approximately 14 percent in the last two decades. Despite the large and growing importance of organic foods, we have only limited information about retail price premiums and how these have changed over time, across space, and products. This paper addresses the gap by estimating retail price premiums for organic fresh fruits and vegetables (FFVs) using data and methods that are novel to the field. Specifically, we estimate premiums by constructing panel price indices for both conventional and organic FFVs using point-of-sale scanner data. Our sample includes data from grocery stores and mass merchandisers in 24 contagious Metropolitan Statistical Areas between 2009 and 2017. Our main result is that the national average organic price premiums in the FFV market range between 58 and 92 percent over the period 2009-2017. The premiums are persistent and have been trending upward over this period. We also find that differences in premiums across regions are substantial, while they have slightly converged during the study period. Another substantive contribution of the paper pertains to the “ideal” measurement of price premiums, that has been overlooked in the prior literature. We show that price premiums are substantially overestimated if the compared basket of conventional products is not the same as that of organic products.

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The Evolution of Diet Quality in the U.S.: Evidence from Scanner Data

November 20, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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Christian Rojas is a Professor in the Department of Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In this paper, we compute an index of diet quality as it pertains to food purchases at retail stores in the United States.

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January 2020

Cruel to be Kind: Moral Hazard in UK Animal Disease Management

January 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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This research examines the effect of economic considerations (compensation rate, cattle price, and feed price) on bTB incidence rate controlling for spatial variation in bTB rate in the surrounding area.

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February 2020

Can Making Family Salient Increase Financial Savings? Quantifying Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in Voluntary Retirement Contributions Using a Field Experiment in Mexico

February 12 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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We demonstrate that sending this intervention to all account holders would increase profits by $375,800 pesos ($19,032 USD). In contrast, a strategic application of this intervention to profitable individuals only would increase profits by $4,887,000 pesos ($246,000 USD). From a consumer welfare perspective, this strategic application would also generate 4,597 new voluntary retirement contributors (the blanket approach would generate 2,340 new contributors).

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Jim Oehmke (USAID)

February 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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April 2020

Steve Wu (Purdue)

April 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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Craig Gundersen (U Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

April 15 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
AGBC 149, Polytechnic Campus
Mesa, AZ 85212 United States
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