Historical perspectives on exotic pests and diseases in California
AbstractIn the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, California agriculture underwent a fundamental transformation as the state's farmers shifted from the production of wheat to a rich variety of tree, vine, and row crops. This transformation required a wholesale shift in the production processes, with new farming practices, new labor systems, and new marketing structures. But success also required new legal, scientific, and institutional structures to overcome the serious threat that diseases and pests posed to the state's new intensive fruit and nut culture. This paper examines a number of case studies, showing how specific pests and diseases nearly destroyed commercial production of grapes, and several tree crops and how farmers responded to these threats. One response was to demand government help to overcome the free rider problem and other sources of market failure. The result was to strengthen the scientific infrastructure within the University of California and the USDA and to enact quarantine legislation to limit the free movement of plants and fruit. We argue that these instances the private and social returns to collective actions far exceeded the costs.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 14-2000.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alessandra Calosso).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.