Industrial Organization and Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
Many previous studies of rail market power in bulk transportation either focus the analysis at a national level or apply methods to analyze railway market behavior that are not always reliable. While railroads often appear competitive over bulk movements when evaluated on a national level, we offer that any exertion of market or duopoly power by a railway—if present—would be most likely to occur in local or regional markets where there is limited to no intramodal or intermodal competition. In addition, much of the prior research on rail market behavior relies on estimated railroad (marginal) costs, which are themselves unreliable and in turn generate questionable assessments of actual railway market power. To help shed light on this issue with respect to U.S. wheat transportation, this research evaluates regional-level market structure changes in two separate, high-volume wheat transportation corridors served by a rail duopoly. These are: (1) wheat moving from North Dakota to Minnesota; and (2) wheat moving from Kansas/Oklahoma to Texas. By assessing the nature of duopoly market power in these particular rail markets, the analysis helps support and inform policies designed to improve transportation markets for more captive wheat and grain shippers.
59th Annual Conference, Braunschweig, Germany, September 25-27, 2019, 2019.
Industrial Organization, Livestock Production/Industries, and Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
A realized strategy can be understood as the sum of a company’s strategic actions over time. This concept of strategy is difficult to grasp empirically. However, the content analysis enables a systematic, dynamic, and theoretically sound recording of realized strategies. To demonstrate the potential of the method in capturing strategies, we encode 4,158 pieces of information about strategic actions of ten European dairy companies in the German market for over 11 years. Based on this, we suggest a mixed methods approach to learn more about the individual companies’ competitive moves and their realized strategies. The companies investigated differ in their adaptation to changing environmental conditions and in particular in their brand policy. Our approach can be applied to many questions in strategy research and promises new insights into the strategies of companies in the food industry.
Ore Barrios, Christine, Mäurer, Eva, and Lippert, Christian
59th Annual Conference, Braunschweig, Germany, September 25-27, 2019, 2019.
Land Economics/Use, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, and Resource /Energy Economics and Policy
The spatial distribution of grain legumes can be explained by combining the analysis of traditional location factors with the concept of spatial dependence. We present an in-depth literature review and derive hypotheses about the conditions that make a certain location attractive for grain legume cultivation. These hypotheses are then tested via three different approaches: a fractional logit generalized linear regression model, a zero-one inflated beta regression model and spatial econometric models. We use secondary data for the EU-28 at the NUTS2 level. Location factors that contribute to the incidence of grain legume cultivation are the frequency of organic farming and irrigable area, a farther distance to the next main port, a prominent role of legumes in regional diets, and policy measures such as support coupled to protein crops and restrictions on the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Our results suggest that agglomeration effects also matter in the cultivation of dry pulses. Corresponding external economies of scale and positive spill-over effects could be further exploited by specifically supporting investments in regional supply chains, local extension services and training.
Environmental Economics and Policy and Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
We revisit three recently-published papers that apply discrete-choice experiment methods to coastal and marine ecosystem goods and services, in light of attribute non-attendance (AN-A). We find that accounting for AN-A does not always improve model fit, but when it does, the improvement can be substantial. Estimated price and attribute coefficients change, but these changes do not follow a consistent pattern, either in direction or magnitude. Mean attribute increment value (i.e., willingness to pay, WTP) estimates change, but also with no discernible pattern. However, in several cases, generally in those cases where accounting for AN-A improves model fit, we observe substantial improvements in the confidence intervals on WTP, i.e., accounting for AN-A appears to produce much more precise WTP estimates. In short, we find that accounting for AN-A is not always warranted, but when it is, the key payoff appears to be more precise WTP estimates.
In this note, I study the roles of value heterogeneity - i.e., agents are heterogeneous in terms of values of nonrival information thay they possessed - in determining the shapes of two-way flow Strict Nash networks when small amount of decay is present. I do so by extending the two-way flow network with small decay of De Jaegher and Kamphorst (J ECON BEHAV ORGAN, 2015). Results of this extension shows that the effects of value heterogeneity on Strict Nash networks, when small decay is present, largely resemble the effects of heterogeneity in link formation cost - without decay - found in the literature. Another surprising finding is that value heterogeneity can extend the diameters of Strict Nash networks without changing any other properties. In the discussion section of this note, I relate this finding to two well-known concepts in the studies of social networks - small world and preferential attachment.
There is a large consensus that low levels of carbon price cannot provide adequate incentives to invest in cleaner technologies and abate emissions. Since carbon demand and price tend to decrease during recessions, economists and policy makers have proposed different types of price stabilizing mechanisms (PSM) for emissions markets to prevent carbon price from falling too low. We investigate the effects of a PSM on investments and emissions and show that when unfavorable macroeconomic conditions reduce emissions, adjusting the supply of allowances to sustain their price may inhibit investments. Moreover, when firms invest in an integrated abatement technology, not only can emissions increase - an effect previously examined in the literature - but a PSM can exacerbate this effect when an exogenous negative shock curbs the demand of carbon.
Carlson, Andrea C., Page, Elina Tselepidakis, Zimmerman, Thea Palmer, Tornow, Carina E., and Hermansen, Sigurd
Technical Bulletins, 2019.
Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, and Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
Americans spend about half of their food budgets to purchase about two-thirds of their food from stores. USDA purchases retail and household scanner data for food and economic research covering a broad range of Federal food and nutrition topics that relate to these foodat- home purchases. Although the data contain some nutrient data, they are not sufficient to measure how well Americans follow dietary advice or what may motivate them to do so. USDA compiles extensive nutrient and food group databases to support dietary intake studies including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). In this study, we use probabilistic and semantic matching techniques to merge the scanner data with the USDA nutrient and food composition databases. As an illustration, we use the new purchase-to-plate “crosswalk”—consisting of matches and conversion factors—to estimate the overall nutritional quality of Americans’ food-at-home purchases. The 2015 Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2015) score for 2013 retail scanner sales is 55 out of 100, indicating that Americans need to substantially improve the healthfulness of their grocery purchases if they wish to follow the Federal Government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.