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Pests and Agricultural Commodity Losses: Evaluating Alternative Approaches to Damage Function Estimation

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  • Cobourn, Kelly M.
  • Goodhue, Rachael E.
  • Williams, Jeffrey C.
  • Zalom, Frank

Abstract

Estimating the economic impact of a pest requires linking biological and economic systems via a damage function. The most common damage function approach links exogenous pest populations to cumulative commodity yield losses at harvest. This type of representation is a reduced form because is not pest population levels per se that drive damage, but the underlying factors that affect pest populations and the susceptibility of the host. We specify and estimate a structural damage function and compare the results with those of the reduced form. We do so using two alternative models, one that explains the level of crop damage from a pest, and one that explains the timing of that damage during the host’s growing season. We address our objectives within an empirical application to the olive fruit fly in California. In formulating the structural damage function, we draw from current scientific literature on olive fly and olive fruit phenology. The structural damage function takes into account the feedback between climate, host susceptibility, and pest populations. Moreover, the structural approach disaggregates damage rates across space and time, unlike the typical reduced form. The estimation results indicate that endogeneity is a salient concern in both the timing of initial crop damage, and in the levels of damage evidenced in some cultivars. The structural damage function dominates the trapping-based reduced form in terms of explanatory power in every model estimated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida with number 6530.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6530

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Keywords: Crop Production/Industries;

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  1. Kim, C.S. & Lee, Donna J. & Schaible, Glenn D. & Vasavada, Utpal, 2007. "Multiregional Invasive Species Management: Theory and an Application to Florida's Exotic Plants," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(October), October.
  2. Christiaans, Thomas & Eichner, Thomas & Pethig, Rudiger, 2007. "Optimal pest control in agriculture," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3965-3985, December.
  3. Lee, Donna J. & Adams, Damian C. & Rossi, Frederick J., 2007. "Optimal Management of a Potential Invader: The Case of Zebra Mussels in Florida," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(October), October.
  4. Pendell, Dustin L. & Leatherman, John C. & Schroeder, Ted C. & Alward, Gregory S., 2007. "The Economic Impacts Of A Foot-And-Mouth Disease Outbreak: A Regional Analysis," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon 10252, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
  5. Atanu Saha & C. Richard Shumway & Arthur Havenner, 1997. "The Economics and Econometrics of Damage Control," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 773-785.
  6. Babcock, Bruce A. & Lichtenberg, E. & Zilberman, David, 1992. "Impact of Damage Control and Quality of Output: Estimating Pest Control Effectiveness," Staff General Research Papers 10589, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Alamo, Carmen I. & Evans, Edward A. & Brugueras, Alba & Nalampang, Sikavas, 2007. "Economic Impact and Trade Implications of the Introduction of Black Sigatoka (Mycosphaerella figiensis) into Puerto Rico," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(October), October.
  8. Michael E. Gray & Kevin L. Steffey, 2004. "A Composed-Error Model for Estimating Pest-Damage Functions and the Impact of the Western Corn Rootworm Soybean Variant in Illinois," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 332-344.
  9. Burnett, Kimberly M. & Kaiser, Brooks A. & Roumasset, James A., 2007. "Invasive Species Control over Space and Time: Miconia calvescens on Oahu, Hawaii," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(October), October.
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Cited by:
  1. Cobourn, Kelly M. & Goodhue, Rachael E. & Williams, Jeffrey C., 2009. "The Role of Harvest Timing in Pest Management: Grower Response to Infestation by the California Olive Fruit Fly," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49475, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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