How have agricultural economists affected other fields

In the field of environmental economics, agricultural economists have contributed in three main areas: designing incentives to control environmental externalities (such as water pollution due to agricultural production), estimating the value of non-market benefits from natural resources and environmental amenities (such as an appealing rural landscape), and the complex interrelationship between economic activities and environmental consequences.

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What can agricultural economists do for You?

With regard to natural resources, agricultural economists have developed quantitative tools for improving land management, preventing erosion, managing pests, protecting biodiversity, and preventing livestock diseases.

What are the main problems of Agricultural Economics?

And then, there are the general problems of agricultural growth and the problems like those concerning tenurial systems and tenurial arrangements, research and extension services which are again predominantly macro in character. Such problems their origin, their impact and their solutions are all the subject matter of agricultural economics.

What are the different fields of Agricultural Economics?

The field of agricultural economics includes agricultural finance, policy, marketing, farm and agribusiness management, rural sociology,…. In general, one can say that when a large fraction of a country’s population depends on agriculture for its livelihood, average incomes are low.

How will the global economic crisis affect the US agricultural exports?

This analysis suggests that as a consequence of the slowing global economy and the appreciation of the dollar, U.S. agricultural exports could fall from $117 billion in 2008 to $96 billion in 2009. Another feature of the crisis is that declining world economic activity has caused world energy prices to decline precipitously.


Why economics is important in the field of agriculture?

In general, agricultural economics has contributed to the fields of research and training, smallholder and rural development, project planning and management, and the formulation, planning and analysis of macro-policy.


How does agriculture impact the economy?

What is agriculture’s share of the overall U.S. economy? Agriculture, food, and related industries contributed $1.055 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, a 5.0-percent share. The output of America’s farms contributed $134.7 billion of this sum—about 0.6 percent of GDP.


What is the role of agricultural economists?

The primary objective of agricultural economists is to maximize profitability in agriculture to the benefit of society. They pursue this aim through studying and analysing the aspects that influence the agricultural economy and distribution of resources, such as land, raw materials, labour and machinery.


How is economics applied to agriculture?

Agricultural economics is an applied social science that deals with how producers, consumers, and societies use scarce resources in the production, marketing, and consumption of food and fiber products. In agricultural markets, the forces of supply and demand are at work.


What are the impacts of agriculture to the society?

The result is that agriculture globally exerts increasing pressure on the land and water resources of the earth, which often results in land degradation (such as soil erosion and salinization), and eutrophication. Agriculture is also associated with greenhouse gas emissions (Kirchmann and Thorvaldsson 2000).


How did the development of agriculture bring change to human society?

When early humans began farming, they were able to produce enough food that they no longer had to migrate to their food source. This meant they could build permanent structures, and develop villages, towns, and eventually even cities. Closely connected to the rise of settled societies was an increase in population.


Where would an agricultural economist work?

Agricultural economics majors find themselves working in banks, credit unions, insurance companies, legal firms, and private companies. Some get jobs with the government. You might go to work for the National Agriculture Statistics Service or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


What are agricultural economists interested in?

Many agricultural economists are interested in the food systems of developing economies, the linkages between agriculture and nutrition, and the ways in which agriculture interact with other domains, such as the natural environment.


What is agricultural economics?

Agricultural economics is an applied field of economics concerned with the application of economic theory in optimizing the production and distribution of food and fiber.


What is the International Association of Agricultural Economists?

The International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) is a worldwide professional association, which holds its major conference every three years. The association publishes the journal Agricultural Economics. There also is a European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE), an African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) and an Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. Substantial work in agricultural economics internationally is conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute .


What are the main areas of environmental economics?

In the field of environmental economics, agricultural economists have contributed in three main areas: designing incentives to control environmental externalities (such as water pollution due to agricultural production), estimating the value of non-market benefits from natural resources and environmental amenities (such as an appealing rural landscape), and the complex interrelationship between economic activities and environmental consequences. With regard to natural resources, agricultural economists have developed quantitative tools for improving land management, preventing erosion, managing pests, protecting biodiversity, and preventing livestock diseases.


What is the origin of economics?

Origins. Economics has been defined as the study of resource allocation under scarcity. Agricultura l economics , or the application of economic methods to optimizing the decisions made by agricultural producers, grew to prominence around the turn of the 20th century. The field of agricultural economics can be traced back to works on land economics.


What is development economics?

Development economics is broadly concerned with the improvement of living conditions in low-income countries, and the improvement of economic performance in low-income settings. Because agriculture is a large part of most developing economies, both in terms of employment and share of GDP, agricultural economists have been at the forefront of empirical research on development economics, contributing to our understanding of agriculture’s role in economic development, economic growth and structural transformation. Many agricultural economists are interested in the food systems of developing economies, the linkages between agriculture and nutrition, and the ways in which agriculture interact with other domains, such as the natural environment.


How does agricultural economics work?

Agricultural economics has a proud tradition of developing practical tools that can quantify the gains and losses from changes in policies or programs. These tools have driven home the point that the redistribution achieved by policy changes usually dominates the efficiency effect. Consequently, political forces tend to reflect the concentrated interests in prospective gross benefits or losses more effectively than the diffused interests in net gains. Land grant universities in the United States and public universities in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have produced generations of applied economists working mostly in public institutions. These economists, working in the public interest, have staved off many bad policy proposals, initiated beneficial modifications of others, and, in the case of New Zealand, seized the moment to initiate wholesale agricultural policy transformation. The recent increased numbers of economists working as private sector employees or as paid consultants on agricultural policy have generated or supported new useful initiatives and reforms. However, it seems that many, wittingly or unwittingly, engage in research that places a veneer of respectability over indefensible policies. Crop and disaster programs are discouraging examples. The financial clout of private interests of insurers and the farm lobby and the public consultancies needed to regulate rampant moral hazard and adverse selection have diverted many (but not all) qualified economists from the mission to eliminate such programs in the public interest. We are learning that public programs can be much harder to control if they employ, or encourage employment of, private agents in ill-designed and often nontransparent contractual relationships, and those private agents influence economists as well as politicians.


What are the agricultural sciences?

The agricultural sciences include the plant, animal, and food sciences; soil science; agricultural engineering and entomology; as well as related fields such as agricultural economics, rural sociology, nutrition, forestry, fisheries, and home economics. Historians, economists, sociologists, and philosophers have all studied agricultural sciences and technology, although there are few links among these four approaches. Current studies include those of biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, relations between science and colonialism, returns to agricultural research, and the relations between public and private research in agriculture.


What was the Purnell Act? What were its effects?

The 1925 Purnell Act enabled US State Experiment Stations to use federal funds for research into the economic and social problems of agriculture by undertaking studies in rural sociology, and agricultural and home economics ( Kunze, 1988; Pinkett, 1984 ). Studies of rural and town homemakers’ use of time were carried out in a number of states including: Nebraska ( Clark and Gray, 1930 ); Idaho ( Crawford, 1927 ); Washington ( Arnquist and Roberts, 1929 ); South Dakota ( Wasson, 1930 ); Oregon ( Wilson, 1929 ); Rhode Island ( Whittemore and Neil, 1929 ); and Montana ( Richardson, 1933 ). The primary data from all these studies have been missing for a number of years, although the findings are published in Agricultural Experiment Station and USDA Bulletins.


How many publications does an environmental economist have?

The three emerging environmental economists have been selected based on their substantial contributions to environmental economics research, priority areas. The three economists have more than 20 publications in the field of environmental economics. They have been involved in multiple environmental policy impact and evaluation projects and have been associated with large funding national and international bodies such as the World Bank and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


What did Goldschmidt argue about?

In rural California, Goldschmidt ( 1978) contrasted the dampening of community life by corporate agribusiness with the greater civic participation and lesser economic and racial stratification in locales characterized by family farms.


Why do agricultural households suffer from declining income from off-farm jobs?

Agricultural households also suffer from declining income from off-farm jobs, as the economic recession in the U.S. ripples through to rural-based businesses and loss of tax revenue puts pressure on rural government employment and social services. Because the U.S. farm sector went into the crisis with record-high exports, prices and farm income, …


How will economic growth affect livestock?

Effects on the livestock sector will be positive because of the economic growth but negative because of rising costs for feed and energy.


How did the 2008-2009 world economic crisis affect agriculture?

Declining incomes around the world as a result of the evolving worldwide recession combined with the short-term appreciation of the dollar result in significant declines in U.S. agricultural exports and sharply lower agricultural prices, farm income and employment,


How much did farm income increase in 2013?

With a weaker dollar, projected net farm income will increase by 19% to $106 billion in 2013 and to $118 billion in 2017, while agricultural exports will rise to $120 billion in 2013 and $134 billion in 2017.


What was the net farm income in 2007?

In 2007 and 2008, U.S. net farm income equaled $87 billion and $89 billion, respectively, with each year establishing a new nominal record. Even when adjusted for inflation, these amounts reflect the highest net farm incomes since the early 1970s.


How much was the U.S. farm income in 2008?

agriculture than for many other sectors of the U.S. economy. In 2007 and 2008, U.S. net farm income equaled $87 billion and $89 billion, respectively, …


Will the decline in farm income in 2009 affect land values?

The projected decline in farm income in 2009 is not expected to have much effect on national agricultural land values. Land value trends that emerged in 2008 could continue in states that showed the largest declines in rural housing values and abate in states that enjoyed double-digit increases in land values due to strong crop receipts.


What is agricultural economics?

Agricultural Economics, as its title implies is that branch of economics which deals with all aspects of problems related to agriculture. According to Snodgrass and Wallace, “Agricultural economics is an applied phase of the social science of economics in which attention is given to all aspects of problems related to agriculture.”.


Is agriculture homogeneous or homogeneous?

So far as agriculture is concerned, it is presumed that as the number of farms is very large and at the same time, their size is relatively small and the crops produced are undifferentiated (homogeneous), perfect competition is likely to prevail is the agricultural produce market.


Is agricultural economics different from general economics?

That way, agricultural economics is not different from the general economics. All the tools of analysis used in general economics are employed in agricultural economics as well.


Does agricultural economics study only farmers?

Agricultural economics does not study only the behavior of a farmer at the farm level. That is, in a way, the micro analysis. Agricultural problems have a macro aspect as well. Instability of agriculture and agricultural unemployment are the problems which have to be dealt with, mainly at the macro level.


Is agriculture a sector?

The scope of agricultural economics is larger than ‘mere economizing of resources’. Agriculture is, as we know an important sector, of the overall economy. The mutual dependence of the various sectors of the economy on each other is well established. Growth of one sector is necessary for the growth of the other sector.


Is agricultural economics a pure science?

According to Black principles of agricultural economics can be compared to mechanics and not physics. If mechanics deserves to be called a specialised form of pure science, we can use the same term for agricultural economics i.e., specialized form of pure science, rather than an applied science.


Abstract

Are agricultural economists losing their relevance and significance in research on sustainable food systems? Could the world thrive without the contribution of agricultural economists? How could agricultural economists have more impact in addressing the grand challenges of our time? In this paper we address these questions by reflecting on the field of agricultural economics and re-examining the role and impact of agricultural economists.


1. Introduction

Thousands of research articles have been published on sustainable food systems in the past 5 years. But is it clear where agricultural economists stand? The lack of pronounced views by agricultural economists on a subject so closely knit with their field suggests a problem that needs urgent attention.


2. A world without agricultural economists

A key theme in economic analysis is the evaluation of alternatives and trade-offs ( Buchanan, 1964 ). This often involves the use of counterfactuals, i.e. ‘what ifs’.


3. Grand challenges call for a food systems approach

The world faces several grand challenges related to food production and consumption. Most of the SDGs relate to food and farming. These challenges are extensively documented ( Arora, 2018; De Schutter, 2017; Fresco and Poppe, 2016; HLPE, 2017; Moreddu, 2013) and can be summarised as follows:


4. Economics in a food systems approach

The complexity of redesigning the food system asks for a multidisciplinary 1 approach that requires concerted efforts between disciplines and new institutions that facilitate this collaboration. Economists are well-placed to play a role in this.


5. Raising the impact of food systems economists

A food systems perspective shows us that we are facing wicked problems which cannot be resolved by sole forms of basic or applied research.


6. Conclusions

The philosopher of science Karl Popper ( 1963) wrote: ‘We are not students of some subject matter, but students of problems. And problems may cut right across the borders of any subject matter or discipline.’ With the current climate and other sustainability issues related to our food and rural areas, the problems are challenging.


What do agricultural economists do?

Agricultural economists advise the agricultural sector on issues such as financing, marketing, agricultural development, policy, research and production.


What is the primary objective of agricultural economists?

The primary objective of agricultural economists is to maximize profitability in agriculture to the benefit of society. They pursue this aim through studying and analysing the aspects that influence the agricultural economy and distribution of resources, such as land, raw materials, labour and machinery.


What is agricultural environmental economics?

Agricultural environmental economics: the economic evaluation of the interaction between agricultural production processes and the natural environment. Agricultural economists work both indoors, in offices and such places as conference venues, and outdoors, doing research and consultations on farms. They often need to travel to perform research on …


What are the components of agricultural economics?

The field of study of agricultural economics can be divided into seven components, namely: Production economy: the relationship between the inputs, production and profit as well as labour utilisation. Financial management: aspects such as the management process itself, agricultural planning and the principles of financing.


What is the role of agriculture in the development of the economy?

Agricultural development: the role which agriculture plays in the development of the economy as well as the role of the government and private initiative. Operational research: the application of economic simulation and optimisation techniques on agricultural problems.


How long does it take to get a BSc in agriculture?

The BSc (Agric) degree takes four years to complete and it prepares candidates for careers in which not only knowledge of economical principles is necessary but also biological / agricultural knowledge. Besides careers in marketing and financing, the BSc (Agric) degree is especially suitable for persons in farming, input and processing industries.


Why is it so hard to meet the demand for accelerated agricultural productivity?

The reasons for this have to do with ecological factors. Global climate change is destabilizing many of the natural processes that make modern agriculture possible.


How do cattle damage soil?

Cattle and other large grazing animals can even damage soil by trampling on it. Bare, compacted land can bring about soil erosion and destruction of topsoil quality due to the runoff of nutrients. These and other impacts can destabilize a variety of fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitats. Chemical Fertilizer.


What is the effect of nitrogen on soil?

In addition, fertilizer application in soil leads to the formation and release of nitrous oxide, one of the most harmful greenhouse gases.


How does irrigation affect water?

Irrigation causes increases in water evaporation, impacting both surface air temperature and pressure as well as atmospheric moisture conditions . Recent studies have confirmed that cropland irrigation can influence rainfall patterns not only over the irrigated area but even thousands of miles away.


What causes algae blooms in China?

Nutrient pollution is a causal factor in toxic algae blooms affecting lakes in China, the United States, and elsewhere. As excessive amounts of organic matter decompose in aquatic environments, they can bring about oxygen depletion and create “dead zones” within bodies of water, where nothing can survive.


What are the consequences of irrigation?

One of the most obvious consequences is the depletion of aquifers, river systems, and downstream ground water. However, there are a number of other negative effects related to irrigation.


What will happen to the world population as the population continues to skyrocket?

With the global population continuing to skyrocket, the tension will continue to grow between continued agricultural growth and the ecological health of the land upon which humans depend. More than half the planet’s suitable land has been cultivated for crops, like these terraced rice fields in Bali, Indonesia.


Overview


Major topics in agricultural economics

In the field of environmental economics, agricultural economists have contributed in three main areas: designing incentives to control environmental externalities (such as water pollution due to agricultural production), estimating the value of non-market benefits from natural resources and environmental amenities (such as an appealing rural landscape), and the complex interrelationship between economic activities and environmental consequences. With regard to …


Origins

Economics has been defined as the study of resource allocation under scarcity. Agricultural economics, or the application of economic methods to optimizing the decisions made by agricultural producers, grew to prominence around the turn of the 20th century. The field of agricultural economics can be traced back to works on land economics. Henry Charles Taylor was the greatest contributo…


Professional associations

The International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) is a worldwide professional association, which holds its major conference every three years. The association publishes the journal Agricultural Economics. There also is a European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE), an African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) and an Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. Substantial work in agricultural economics internationally is c…


Careers in agricultural economics

Graduates from agricultural and applied economics departments find jobs in many sectors of the economy: agricultural management, agribusiness, commodities markets, education, financial sector, government, natural resource and environmental management, real estate, and public relations. Careers in agricultural economics require at least a bachelor’s degree, and research careers in the field require graduate-level training; see Masters in Agricultural Economics. A 2011 study by the …


Literature

• Evenson, Robert E. and Prabhu Pingali (eds.) (2007). Handbook of Agricultural Economics. Amsterdam, NL: Elsevier.


See also

• Agrarian law
• Agrarian reform
• Agribusiness
• Agricultural value chain
• Development economics


External links

• Independent research institutions
• Academic and professional associations
• Government agencies
• Academic journals

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