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Crop Yield Skewness and the Normal Distribution

  • Hennessy, David A.

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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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/50084
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://waeaonline.org/

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  1. Vitor A. Ozaki & Sujit K. Ghosh & Barry K. Goodwin & Ricardo Shirota, 2008. "Spatio-Temporal Modeling of Agricultural Yield Data with an Application to Pricing Crop Insurance Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(4), pages 951-961.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521586054 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. 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.
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