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Crop Yield Skewness and the Normal Distribution

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  • Hennessy, David A.

Abstract

Empirical studies point to negative crop yield skewness, but the literature provides few clear insights as to why. This paper formalizes three points on the matter. Statistical laws on aggregates do not imply a normal distribution. Whenever the weather-conditioned mean yield has diminishing marginal product with respect to a weather-conditioning index, then there is a disposition toward negative yield skewness. This is because high marginal product in bad weather stretches out the yield distribution's left tail relative to that for weather. For disaggregated yields, unconditional skewness is decomposed into weather-conditioned skewness plus two other terms and each is studied in turn.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Agricultural Economics Association in its journal Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:50084

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Web page: http://waeaonline.org/
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Related research

Keywords: conditional distribution; crop insurance; negative skewness; normal distribution; statistical laws; Crop Production/Industries; Risk and Uncertainty;

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  1. Ozaki, Vitor Augusto & Ghosh, Sujit K. & Goodwin, Barry K. & Shirota, Ricardo, 2005. "Spatio-Temporal Modeling Of Agricultural Yield Data With An Application To Pricing Crop Insurance Contracts," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19142, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  2. Olivier Gergaud & Victor Ginsburgh, 2008. "Natural Endowments, Production Technologies and the Quality of Wines in Bordeaux. Does Terroir Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages F142-F157, 06.
  3. David A. Hennessy, 2009. "Crop Yield Skewness Under Law of the Minimum Technology," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 197-208.
  4. Bruce J. Sherrick & Fabio C. Zanini & Gary D. Schnitkey & Scott H. Irwin, 2004. "Crop Insurance Valuation under Alternative Yield Distributions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 406-419.
  5. Barry K. Goodwin, 2001. "Problems with Market Insurance in Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 643-649.
  6. Joseph Atwood & Saleem Shaik & Myles Watts, 2003. "Are Crop Yields Normally Distributed? A Reexamination," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 888-901.
  7. Octavio A. Ramirez & Sukant Misra & James Field, 2003. "Crop-Yield Distributions Revisited," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 108-120.
  8. Wolfram Schlenker & Michael J. Roberts, 2006. "Nonlinear Effects of Weather on Corn Yields ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(3), pages 391-398.
  9. Richard E. Just & Quinn Weninger, 1999. "Are Crop Yields Normally Distributed?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(2), pages 287-304.
  10. Tannura, Michael A. & Irwin, Scott H. & Good, Darrel L., 2008. "Weather, Technology, and Corn and Soybean Yields in the U.S. Corn Belt," Marketing and Outlook Research Reports 37501, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
  11. LeRoy,Stephen F. & Werner,Jan, 2001. "Principles of Financial Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521586054, October.
  12. Wolfram Schlenker & W. Michael Hanemann & Anthony C. Fisher, 2006. "The Impact of Global Warming on U.S. Agriculture: An Econometric Analysis of Optimal Growing Conditions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 113-125, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Tack, Jesse, 2013. "A Nested Test for Common Yield Distributions with Applications to U.S. Corn," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 38(1), April.
  2. Phoebe Koundouri & Nikolaos Kourogenis, . "On the Distribution of Crop Yields: Does the Central Limit Theorem Apply?," DEOS Working Papers 1007, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  3. Hennessy, David A., 2012. "Modeling Stochastic Crop Yield Expectations with a Limiting Beta Distribution," Staff General Research Papers 35020, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Tack, Jesse B. & Ubilava, David, 2012. "The Effect of the El Nino Southern Oscillation on U.S. Corn Production and Downside Risk," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119785, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

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