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‘Fair’ policies for the coffee trade – protecting people or biodiversity?

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  • KITTI, MITRI
  • HEIKKILÄ, JAAKKO
  • HUHTALA, ANNI

Abstract

We investigate the role that economic instruments can play in promoting economic sustainability and the preservation of biodiversity in agroforestry management in coffee production. Most of the world's coffee producers live in poverty and manage agro-ecosystems in regions that are culturally and biologically among the most diverse on the globe. Despite the relatively recent finding that bees may augment pollination and boost coffee crop yields, the short-term revenues from intense monoculture drive land-use decisions that destroy the forest strips serving as habitats for pollinating insects. Our study investigates whether farmers specialize in environmentally detrimental (sun-grown) or sustainable (shade-grown) farming, or both practices coexist. We calibrate an empirical model to characterize the equilibria and investigate the ecological and economic impacts of three alternative policy instruments: conservation fees, price premiums, and minimum wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Kitti, Mitri & Heikkilä, Jaakko & Huhtala, Anni, 2009. "‘Fair’ policies for the coffee trade – protecting people or biodiversity?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 739-758, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:14:y:2009:i:06:p:739-758_00
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    1. Pablo C. Benítez & Timo Kuosmanen & Roland Olschewski & G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2006. "Conservation Payments under Risk: A Stochastic Dominance Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-15.
    2. Bulte, Erwin H. & Horan, Richard D., 2003. "Habitat conservation, wildlife extraction and agricultural expansion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 109-127, January.
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    4. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2005. "The effect of minimum wages on actual wages in formal and informal sectors in Costa Rica," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1905-1921, November.
    5. Sedjo, Roger & Swallow, Stephen, 1999. "Eco-Labeling and the Price Premium," Discussion Papers dp-00-04, Resources For the Future.
    6. Perfecto, Ivette & Vandermeer, John & Mas, Alex & Pinto, Lorena Soto, 2005. "Biodiversity, yield, and shade coffee certification," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 435-446, September.
    7. Ninan, K.N. & Sathyapalan, Jyothis, 2005. "The economics of biodiversity conservation: a study of a coffee growing region in the Western Ghats of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 61-72, October.
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    9. Lustig, N. & Mcleod, D., 1996. "Minimum Wages and Poverty in Developing Countries : Some Empirical Evidence," Papers 125, Brookings Institution - Working Papers.
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    12. Paul Ferraro & Toshihiro Uchida & Jon Conrad, 2005. "Price Premiums for Eco-friendly Commodities: Are ‘Green’ Markets the Best Way to Protect Endangered Ecosystems?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(3), pages 419-438, November.
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    14. Alan L. Olmstead & Donald B. Wooten, 1987. "Bee Pollination and Productivity Growth: The Case of Alfalfa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 69(1), pages 56-63.
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    1. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:129-138 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Barham, Bradford L. & Weber, Jeremy G., 2012. "The Economic Sustainability of Certified Coffee: Recent Evidence from Mexico and Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1269-1279.

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