Upcoming Seminars

Cook Office Building 55 Dudley Rd, room 118

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 · 12:00 pm
Food Science Building, Room 120, 65 Dudley Road, SEBS
"April is National Social Security Month:
What Everyone Needs to Know About Social Security
Mr. Everett Lo, Deputy Regional Communication Director, Social Security Administration

Abstract: An overview of the Social Security Program, including retirement, disabil-ity, and survivor benefits, as well as a brief discussion about enrolling in traditional Medicare, Parts A (Hospital) and B (Medical), Supplemental Se-curity Income, a program based on need, and what you can do online to prepare for retirement.
About the Speaker: Everett Lo is Deputy Regional Communication Director, Social Security Administration (SSA) – New York Region, responsible for community, intergovernmental, and media en-gagement. Throughout his 25-year career with Social Security, Mr. Lo has worked closely with the staff of federal, state, and local elected officials and agencies, community-based or-ganizations, advocacy and affinity groups, employers, attorneys, and media outlets to pro-mote public awareness of Social Security’s programs, benefits, and services. He was ap-pointed SSA’s designee to the Interagency Working Group of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and chair of WHIAAPI’s New York/New Jersey Regional Network, leading the outreach and engagement efforts of 32 partici-pating federal agencies. Mr. Lo is a long time member of the regional chapter of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and other federal interagency working groups, as well as the Organization of Chinese Americans, and the Asian American Journalists Associa-tion.

Location: Alampi Room, Marine Sciences Building, SEBS
Wednesday at 12:30pm on April 24th.
Tom Daniels, Professor, City and Regional Planning University of Pennsylvania
"Different Ways of Measuring Success in Farmland Preservation."

Abstract: Preserving large farming landscapes is one of the main goals of farmland preservation programs. Creating large blocks of preserved farmland take time, however, because of the hefty funding requirements and the detailed process of preserving farmland through the acquisition of conservation easements by purchase or donation. The standard measures of dollars spent and farmland acres preserved do not give an accurate picture of the spatial outcomes of preservation and preservation effectiveness. Three other measures better reflect the spatial effectiveness of farmland preservation: the acreage and percentage of preserved farm parcels located in agricultural zones, the number and acreage of preserved farm parcels in large contiguous blocks, and the number and acreage of preserved farm parcels along growth boundaries. Scattered preserved farms and preserved farms not located in agricultural zones are likely to face more non-farm development nearby as well as problems with non-farm neighbors. The farmland preservation effort in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, provides an important case study of the pattern of farmland preservation over time. Other counties and land trusts can employ the geographic information systems (GIS) methods in this study to monitor and evaluate the progress of their farmland preservation efforts.

Past Seminars

Friday, February 22, 2019 · 12:30 pm

Investigating the Grape Wine Industry of Ningxia, China: Impacts, Competitiveness, Marketing Strategies, Technology,
and Policy Support

Dr. Carl Pray, Distinguished Professor, DAFRE
Dr. Yanhong Jin, Associate Professor, DAFRE

Ningxia Hui autonomous region was poverty-stricken and in a danger of desertifica-tion in the recent history. The Chinse government began to invest heavily in its infra-structure, in particularly the irrigating system connecting the Yellow River and the Helan Mountains in the 1900s. A few years ago, Ningxia received the government support to build a “wine route” through the region, similar to Bordeaux’s Route des Vins. Now Ningxia has more than 40,000 hectares of vineyards and has been expand-ing its wine industry in an unprecedented pace. It also gradually gains international recognition winning tasting contests in London and Paris. Ningxia’s emergence as a wine region is a source of regional and national pride.
Based on the field interviews in Ningxia in August 2018 and January 2019 with the local government officials, vinery owners and wine makers, and industry experts, this talk will present some preliminary findings on 1) the impacts of the wine industry to Ningxia’s economy and environment; 2) supply chain and marketing strategies used to promote awareness and consumption of Ningxia wine; 3) competitiveness of Ning-xia wine compared with wine from other regions in China as well as those imported from other countries; and 4) the importance of government research and technology support.
The talk and feedback that we receive will go into a proposal to the Ningxia govern-ment for funding to conduct more in depth research on these issues.

Nov. 30th @3:30pm

Fair Trade Wide Prices: Premium, Dispersion and Markups
Karl Storchmann, NYU

Similar to bananas, coffee, or sugar, Fairtrade standards for wine are designed to improve employment conditions and protect the rights of workers on wine grape plantations and to support small wine grape farmers. South Africa is the largest producer of Fairtrade wine globally, accounting for approximately two-third of all sales (others come from Chile, Argentina, and Lebanon).

It is a central idea of all Fairtrade products that the higher production costs are passed on along the supply chain and that the final consumer is willing to pay a price premium to support the noble cause.

This paper will analyze three related issues.

First, drawing on Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade retail wine prices of South-African wine in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and a few other European countries, I examine the size of the Fairtrade price premium. I will compare the results of an Instrumental variable (IV) model and a Propensity Score Matching approach.

Second, I analyze the price dispersion of Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade wines in the UK and in Germany. If consumers add social value to the Fairtrade logo, one may assume that, due to less intensive searching (for the lowest price), Fairtrade wines exhibit greater price dispersion than comparable non-Fairtrade wines.

Third, drawing on import, wholesale, and retail prices of selected South African (Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade) wines in the U.S., I am particularly interested in the question if the Fairtrade price premium is profit-neutral and passed on along the entire supply chain to the final consumer.

Substitutability of Freshwater and Non-Freshwater Sources in Irrigation: An Economic Analysis
Friday, October 5, 2018 3:30 PM
We develop a structural econometric framework to assess whether the pros or cons of non-freshwater sources dominate from the farmers perspective. Cook Office Building

Genetically Modified Maize Adoption in Southern Vietnam
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 12:30 PM
This paper compares costs and returns between GM and non-GM maize production and identify determinants of GM maize adoption in Southern Vietnam. Cook Office Building

Monday June 4, 2018
12:00 PM, 55 Dudley Rd, room 118

"Exploring Further Avenues for Collaboration Between the World Vegetable Center and Rutgers University "
Victor Afari-Sefa, World Vegetable Center, Cotonou, Benin Republic

Abstract: Vegetables are high value compared to staple crops and generate significant incomes from a range of fresh and processed products. Production in developing countries is often mediated by women from small plots of rural and urban land and during relatively short growing seasons. However, vegetable production is knowledge intensive and technology dependent. Further, value chains are often informal, involving several actors along the value chain resulting in persistent post harvest losses that affect both the quantity and quality of produce vegetables. Technological solutions include selection of vegetable varieties adapted to environments and markets, availability of high quality seed, sustainable production across sites and seasons, efficient storage and transport, plus novel processing methods. These offer opportunities for engagement of agri-business entrepreneurs and youth. Perpetual linkage of producers to markets requires support from breeding programs, community and commercial seed production, grafting enterprises, protected cultivation and postharvest technologies. Market demand is facilitated through awareness of the benefit of nutritious vegetables and recipes to ensure nutrient availability in order to mitigate malnutrition. This is where an R4D Center such as the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) plays a critical role in conducting research to realize the potential of vegetables for healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods.

WorldVeg (www.avrdc.org) is a unique International Agricultural Research Center, headquartered in Shanhua, Taiwan with 5 regional research centers located in Thailand, India, Mali and Tanzania and more recently Benin. WorldVeg has been collaborating with Rutgers University over several years in implementing bilateral projects. The most recent project is the 5-year (2015-2020) “Improving Nutrition and Income of Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Africa using a Market Driven Approach to Enhance Value Chain Production of African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs)” led by Rutgers and funded by USAID via the horticultural innovation Labs and implemented in Kenya and Zambia. The goals of this project is to improve the production and increase consumption of AIVs. Activities implemented in this project so far include: baseline surveys on production and consumption of AIVs, cross country multi-location trials to help assess the stability of breeding lines and accessions, establishment and management of breeding trials with genetic materials from Rutgers and WorldVeg, capacity of famers and extension officers through training and field assessments of the status of AIV production, consumption, marketing and awareness using socio-economic tools.

Bio:Victor, a citizen of Ghana holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany and has been managing the World Vegetable Center’s operations in West and Central Africa – Coastal and Humid Regions from his base in Cotonou, Benin since early 2017. From 2011 to 2016, he was the Center’s Global Theme Leader for its defunct Consumption R&D Theme that comprised of produce postharvest, marketing, nutrition and M&E. He is a successful author and co-author of several grant proposals and has extensive experience in performance monitoring and impact assessment of horticultural value chains on smallholder livelihoods. He also has expertise in managing multi-country projects in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia where he emphasizes on proactive planning processes to attain set deliverables. His current research and project management experiences focuses on assessing opportunities and challenges in vegetable production systems, analysing constraints in the value chain, and policy in interdisciplinary context. He also has international experience in integrated economic-biophysical optimization modeling of agricultural water use in Africa and Nova scotia, Canada. Prior to joining the Center in 2010, he worked as the Monitoring, Evaluation (M&E) and Impact Specialist for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ghana, where he implemented the M&E framework of the closed Sustainable Tree Crops Program in 5 West African countries. Victor transitioned into his research career position from an academic background where he taught and researched diverse courses in agricultural and economic development thinking and practice. He remains connected to academia as an adjunct Professor at the University of Applied Management in Ghana where teaches courses in International Cooperation & Development and Project Management. Victor has published over 50 peer reviewed articles in international scholarly journals.

Friday April 27, 2018

"Managerial Incentives for Environmental Protection in Chinese-Style Federalism"

Yuanyuan Yi, PhD, World Bank’s Development Research Group

Abstract: China's fast economic growth has come at the expense of environmental quality and the degradation of natural resources such as forests. In this paper, we identify career concerns by managers of state-owned enterprises that manage natural resources, and asymmetric information between managers and their superiors regarding the enterprises' environmental performance, as sources of environmental degradation. A manager of such an enterprise is the agent of two principals: national and sub-national governments. As well as needing to meet ecological targets imposed by the national government, a manager wants to be promoted into the ranks of the sub-national government. We develop three hypotheses based on a theoretical model with two principals and one agent. We then empirically test these hypotheses for the case of China's northeastern state-owned forests, combining satellite imagery data on deforestation with economic survey data. Our findings suggest that managers of state forests that have a larger area and volume, and are thus more difficult to monitor with respect to ecological targets, log more timber and are more likely to deforest. The same holds true for managers who share a larger percentage of profits with the local government. In turn, we  find that sharing more revenue with the local government increases the likelihood of getting promoted.

Bio: Yuanyuan Yi currently works at the World Bank’s Development Research Group. She holds her PhD in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research interests include Environmental and Resource Economics, Development Economics, and Applied Econometrics. Her previous and current work include impact evaluation on China’s forest devolution reform in collective forest areas, China’s state-owned forest management, and impact evaluation on Zambia’s Climate Smart Agriculture project. Link to webpage: https://sites.google.com/view/yuanyuanyi

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 (Note the new date.)
12:30- 1:15 pm, 65 Dudley Rd. (Food Science Building)

"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Personal and Professional Implications for Rutgers Faculty and Staff
A Lunch and Learn Seminar"

Barbara O'Neill, Distinguished Professor Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Abstract: With the 2017 income tax filing season coming to a close, it is time to turn our attention to 2018 income tax planning and the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The TCJA is the most comprehensive tax overhaul in 30 years and impacts income tax withholding and workers’ net income, itemized deductions, charitable contributions, housing values, divorce settlements, out-of-pocket business expenses, and more. This webinar will include a basic overview of income taxation followed by an overview of the TCJA, a discussion of its impacts on individuals, tax planning strategies, and resources (e.g., tax law calculators) for personal income tax planning. Please Register here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
12:30, 55 Dudley Rd, room 118

"OPEC members' incentives for abiding or violating quotas"

Hamed Ghoddusi, Assistant Professor of Finance at the School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology

Abstract: Over the last decades quota violations have become a norm for OPEC countries. However, the academic literature on OPEC focuses more on its production behavior than on analyzing the quota allocation process or characterizing quota violation patterns. This paper offers a theoretical model with empirical evidence to explain OPEC members' incentives for abiding or violating quotas. We first offer a cartel model with a quota allocation rule and an endogenous capacity choice. The model highlights the trade-off between building spare capacity to bargain for a higher legitimate quota versus risking quota violation punishment. Using the quarterly data from 1995 to 2007, we empirically support the main results and intuitions for the model. Our empirical evidence is consistent with a theoretical framing in which capacity constraints work as an enforcement mechanism in good times and OPEC's quota system disciplining its members in bad times.

Bio: Hamed Ghoddusi is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology. Before joining Stevens he was a postdoctoral associate at MIT's Engineering Systems Division (ESD). He has received his Ph.D. from the Vienna Graduate School of Finance (VGSF) and holds degrees in Quantitative Economics, Management Science, and Industrial Engineering from the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) and Sharif University of Technology (Tehran).  His research interests include Resource and Energy Economics, Real Options, Sustainability, and Risk Management. He has published more than 10 papers on topics related to energy and resource economics. Hamed has been a visiting scholar/consultant at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), UT Austin, UC Berkeley, UNDP, and UNIDO.

12noon - 2pm Friday, March 23rd

Technology and Innovation in Agriculture

Prof. Pardey at the University of Minnesota and
Prof. Manish Parashar of Rutgers

Thursday, March 22, 2018 • 9:00 am

MahindiMaster: A Virtual Learning Platform to Enable Maize Farmers to UDiscover Soil-Optimized Inputs

Dr. Travis Lybbert, PhD, Professor
Agricultural and Resources Economics
University of California, Davis

Industry Relatedness, FDI Liberalization and the
Indigenous Innovation Process in China

Anthony Howell
School of Economics, Peking University