Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Senior Section Track Sessions

The Future of the CGIAR

The early CGIAR (international agricultural research) centers played a key role in the Green Revolution, developing high yielding varieties of rice and wheat that responded well to the post-WWII decline in the price of nitrogen fertilizer. The resulting productivity growth of these and other crops staved off starvation by lowering food prices and raising incomes of small farmers and farm workers. The CGIAR research outputs made major contributions to post-WWII economic development. These successes led funding agencies to the mistaken conclusion that global food security was no longer an issue and by the late 20th century public sector funding in both developing and developed countries began a gradual decline.

The price spikes of the mid and late 2000s reminded the world that food security was not in fact assured. The expected population and income growth in developing countries and the realization that climate change would pose a growing threat to agricultural production caused donor agencies to review their support for agricultural research. They struck a bargain with the CGIAR institutions, promising (and ultimately delivering) a substantial increase in funding if the CGIAR would restructure itself to be more effective in a rapidly changing global agricultural environment. It is now generally accepted that the initial efforts at reform were less than successful and a second round of reform efforts is underway.

This track session, co-sponsored by the AAEA Latin American and Senior Sections, is organized as a panel discussion to provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about the recent history of the CGIAR, its attempts to reform, and the state of the latest reform efforts. The panel, moderated by Gerald Nelson, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois and former senior research fellow at IFPRI, includes Karen Brooks, leader of one of the new CGIAR research programs, Prabhu Pingali, former director of economic research at one of the CGIAR centers, professor at Cornell and head of the newly created Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative, and Philip Pardey, Professor at the University of Minnesota and one of the leading thinkers in the economics of agricultural research investments. Although the final plans for CGIAR reform are still being developed, the panelists will be knowledgeable about the proposed alternatives and the prospects for future international agricultural research.

This session will be a great opportunity to look into the future of a major international agricultural research institution. The session will be held Monday afternoon, July 27, 1:00 PM in room Sierra J.

The Role of the Developing Countries in Shaping the Future of the Global Trade System

The post-war era of leadership of the multilateral trade system by the US, Europe, Japan and Canada has come to an end. The future of the trade system will increasingly depend on the active participation of emerging countries such as China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Korea and South Africa. Moreover, the developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America will also play an important role in building a trade system that meets their needs. Developed countries remain crucial to reaching agreement on new trade rules and up-holding current agreements, but these countries can no longer determine the agenda alone.

The sorry state of the WTO Doha Round underlines the ennui that surrounds the multilateral trade system. The action has moved to mega-regional agreements, and countries that previously had preferential access into the European market now are aggregated into Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU. Developing countries face the dilemma of choosing whether to participate and which Partnership to join. Regions where no such partnerships exist face additional problems of access into major markets.

How the emerging and developing countries respond to these tectonic changes in the world trading system will have major ramifications for agricultural as well as manufactured trade.
  • Will the trend towards open markets, with tariffs bound and reduced and subsidies constrained continue into the future?
  • Or will the need for policy space (for food security and rural development) lead to a weakening of the constraints on agricultural and food policies?
  • Can the mega-regionals deliver open market access and subsidy limitation?
  • Or will they find it necessary to take a pass on sensitive domestic issues relating to agricultural programs?

This track session, co-sponsored by the International and Senior Sections, is designed as a panel discussion to elucidate these questions and provide tentative answers from the viewpoints of each of the major regions of the developing world. These five expert panelists are Will Martin from World Bank, Gopinath Manisamy of the Economic Research Service, Alberto Valdes at Catholic University of Chile, Paul Brenton from the World Bank, and Peter Timmer from the Center for Global Development. The panel discussion will be moderated by Tim Josling with the Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University.

This session is highly relevant to current events in the international community with implications for U.S. trade. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more. This session will held Tuesday, July 28, at 4:30 PM in room Sierra F.

Immigration and Agricultural Labor

Farm labor in the United States is made up of approximately 1.1 million workers and has been relatively stable for at least the past decade. Immigrant labor is an important component of many, if not most, agricultural enterprises. The 2010 Population Survey estimates that 57.2% of the agricultural hired labor force was foreign-born. Approximately 62% of those foreign employees worked in crop production, while the remainder worked in livestock. Moreover during the past decade, approximately half of the farm labor force was made up of undocumented workers. The preponderance of undocumented workers in the farm labor force has made immigration policy a major issue for agriculture.

Presentations will examine whether or not the recent slowdown in Mexico-US migration to fill farm jobs is likely to persist and how U.S. agriculture is responding to the end of farm labor abundance.
  • Philip Martin, University of California at Davis, will provide an overview of the current border issues and their implications from labor availability.
  • A national survey of U.S. dairy farms will be analyzed by Flynn Adcock, Texas A&M University to determine the importance of hired immigrant labor to U.S. milk production, the effects of immigrant labor losses on U.S. milk production and herd size, and the economic impacts on economic output, income and employment in the U.S. dairy sector and supporting industries.
  • The third presentation by Juan Murguia, North Dakota State University, uses laboratory experiments to better understand the causes of agricultural and non-agricultural labor market discrimination in Hispanics job-seekers.
You will not want to miss this track session focusing on an issue of high interest and relevance to our nation’s food production systems. This session, co-sponsored by the Latin American and Senior Sections, will be held Monday, July 27, at 4:30 PM in room Sierra K.

Measuring Wealth for Developing and Evaluating Rural Development Policy and Strategy

What is the role of wealth in determining the economic health of rural communities? This track session, co-sponsored by the CRENET and the Senior Section, will focus on this recent shift in emphasis from income to wealth in rural research and policy. Creating and sustaining wealth is being emphasized in contemporary rural development policy and strategy. The optimal combination of wealth investments has the potential to improve the long-run prosperity, resiliency, and upward mobility of people in rural places. However, what constitutes wealth and how it should be measured in the 21st century may differ from the wealth assets of the 19th and 20th centuries highlighted by John Pender et al.’s 2014 book, Rural Wealth Creation, and Thomas Piketty’s recent book, Capital. Presenters from Louisiana, Idaho, Colorado, and New York will describe their on-going research efforts to measure wealth in rural regions and understand the place-based implications of these wealth assets:
  • Measuring United States County-Level Economic Resilience to a Recession: What factors contributed to the ability, or resilience, of some communities to resist a recession and to recover more quickly from it?
  • Measuring the Rural Wealth Creation Impacts of Local Food Systems: What progress has been made toward a more formal rural wealth creation approach and developing a set of rural wealth creation metrics associated with local food system initiatives?
  • Measuring the Comprehensive Wealth of Communities: Implications of Spatial Equilibrium vs. Disequilibrium: If the assumptions of mobile labor and a fixed land supply are relaxed, will the estimates of rural wealth per capital be biased?
Don’t miss this opportunity to discuss these critical issues about wealth creation and measurement in rural areas. The session will be held Monday morning, July 27, 9:45 AM in room Sierra K.

Responding Successfully to Funding Opportunities

Three key pieces of advice for successful responses to funding opportunities – Look, Read, Respond – are emphasized in this track session, co-sponsored by the Agribusiness Economics and Management Section and the Senior Section.

When funding opportunities are presented in RFPs, timely responses that demonstrate thoughtful and practical consideration of the request can open the doors for greater cooperative efforts that are mutually beneficial. But first you must understand what the requesting organization is seeking. This session will provide insights from a panel with experience seeking external economic analyses and what they see as key benchmarks for successful responses to RFPs.

The session is organized as a panel discussion to provide opportunities for attendees to interact and raise questions. The panel members include:
  • Sam Funk, United Soybean Board
  • Robbin Shoemaker, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • Nancy Lutz, Program Director, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, National Science Foundation
  • John Lee, former department head and ERS administrator
Who isn’t interested in successfully responding to funding opportunities to support our programs in applied economics? This session will be a great opportunity to interact with representatives of the organizations that provide these opportunities.

We would also like to extend an invitation to those with experience writing RFPs and reviewing proposals and to those who have successfully responded to RFPs and developed cooperative initiatives to add their advice to the discussion. By sharing our individual experiences, we can make this a particularly lively and beneficial session. The session will be held Tuesday morning, July 28 at 9:45 AM in room Sierra K.

No comments:

Post a Comment