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Articles from Winter 2016

Location, Location, Location: Place-Specific Human Capital, Rural Firm Entry and Firm Survival

Georgeanne M. Artz (gartz@iastate.edu), Zizhen Guo (zizhenguo@gmail.com), and Peter F. Orazem (pfo@iastate.edu)
A growing subset of economic development programs in the United States are aimed at attracting or creating new firms. Firms less than five years old account for the vast majority of net new job creation in the United States. However, new firms are fragile: one-third of new start-ups fail within two years of opening and two-thirds exit by their sixth year. To succeed, economic development strategies must increase the pace of firm entry without altering the likelihood of failure. Designing such policies requires information on what factors contribute to the success or failure of new ventures, and how those factors vary across locations.

Biofuel and Feedstock Markets and the EU-US TTIP

John Beghin (beghin@iastate.edu)
A recent CARD analysis looked at the implications of a potential EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for bioenergy and associated feedstock markets. This article reports on the effects of removing bilateral tariffs and TRQs in the two bio-economies.

Measuring Public Agricultural Research and Extension and Estimating their Impacts on Agricultural Productivity: New Insights from US Evidence

Yu Jin (yjin.sufe@gmail.com) and Wallace E. Huffman (whuffman@iastate.edu)
In order to feed the growing population of the world, expected to reach 9.6 billion people—a 29 percent increase over 2013—by 2050 without causing immense environmental damage and hunger, society must increase agricultural productivity. Investing further in public agricultural research and extension will help alleviate this problem. Developed countries, like the United States, have been a leader in this area for most of the twentieth century. For example, US public agricultural research grew rapidly from 1960–1980, but slowed considerably from 1980–1995, showed negative growth from 1995–1998, then flattened by 2010.

Farm Bill Payments in Iowa

Alejandro Plastina (plastina@iastate.edu), Chad Hart (chart@iastate.edu), and Christopher Anderson (cjames@iastate.edu)
In the first half of 2015, crop producers could elect each farm into one of the two new commodity programs introduced by the 2014 Farm Bill: Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC); the latter at the individual farm level (ARC-IC), or at the county level (ARC-CO). Producers who wanted to participate in the commodity programs for the 2014 marketing year had to enroll their farms in the elected programs during the summer of 2015.

Measuring Price Spreads in Red Meat

Sebastien Pouliot (pouliot@iastate.edu) and Lee Schulz (lschulz@iastate.edu)
High and increasing price spreads in red meat often lead to controversy—livestock producers tend to blame low livestock prices on high price spreads, and consumers blame high retail prices on high price spreads. Increasing price spreads can both inflate retail prices and deflate farm prices. The intertemporal relationships among live, wholesale, and retail beef and pork prices are important issues in effectively analyzing and monitoring the efficiency and equity of the red meat marketing system. Knowledge of how these prices react to one another is useful for private as well as public policy decision making.