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Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2020)
This dissertation uses individual-level data from Thailand’s Labor Force Survey to explain labor migration, with special attention to the effect of wage rates. By using the nested logit model, and dividing the provinces into four regions, the model fits well with regard to the flexibility of independent irrelevant alternatives for migrants who move to a province to look for a job. The results show that wage rates have the largest effect of all factors on labor migration decisions. A 1% increase in wages in a province leads to an average increase of 3% in the probability of single male migrants in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors moving to such a province to find a new job. Nonetheless, in a struggling economy, food and housing expenses become dominant factors. For single male migrants in the agricultural sector moving to a province, the effect of rice prices on that decision is statistically insignificant. The effect of the non-agriculture sector wage on labor migration was significant, positive, and relatively large. If there is a 1% increase in non-agriculture sector wages of a province, it raises the probability of single male migrants migrating to that province by 4.63%, an impressively elastic response. This research also found that agricultural workers had zero benefit in terms of their wage rate from raising rice prices, and thus raising prices of agricultural products did not induce workers to move to the agricultural sector.
This thesis concerns the economic and political relationship between the English tenant farmer, his landowner, and his Member of Parliament during the period between 1830 and 1865. Profound social and economic changes took place in agriculture during this time, notably the enfranchisement of the tenant farmer (1832), the Repeal of the Corn Laws (1846), and the development of the railways from 1832 onwards. The tenant farmer was an important actor in all three changes, but his role has been overlooked. This thesis brings him into focus in three chapters, each dealing with the tenant-farmer within the rural economy. Chapter 1 introduces the research project, makes a clear statement of the goals of the research, and reviews some of the recent literature. Chapter 2 deals with the ways in which agricultural rents were set in the 1830s and estimates agricultural rents from two centuries ago, using observations for nearly six hundred parishes in the southwest of England. The finding is that rents were set closely with Ricardian Rent Theory. Chapter 3 measures the impact on agricultural rents of railway development. The railways were laid from 1832 onwards, and farmers used the railways to take their stock to market. This saved large amounts of money, primarily from reduced loss of condition compared to droving to market. The social savings were approximately 1.1 per cent of GDP, a considerable sum. The chapter shows that about one fifth of the wealth transfer resulted from cheaper transportation, while the other four-fifths resulted from productivity gains as farmers rearranged their output to take advantage of the railways. Chapter 4 measures the impact of the agricultural interest on the voting decisions of Member of Parliament during the Corn Laws crisis in 1846. This chapter shows that tenant farmers had a small but measureable influence on voting decisions.
In post-Soviet Tajikistan, a heavy concentration on collective cotton production is argued to be based upon vested interests, a cash short economy, historical and political economy reasons. Given challenges in the set up of a functional land cadastral system, access to rural credit can be facilitated through the currency that raw cotton provides as collateral against production loans. While there are other relatively more profitable options for agricultural production, a certain amount of land is placed under cotton, in order to secure financing for non-cotton production. The lender advances credit for cotton production, but a portion of this credit is diverted out of cotton and into non-cotton production. Non-cotton production is not collateralized and results in a private gain for individual members within the “collective”. The lender has full knowledge of this diversion and compensates by pushing a higher level of in kind credit than is needed for the amount of land dedicated to cotton. Accumulating “debt” has become a defining feature of the cotton sector, but I argue that an appropriate definition is non conventional. This is particularly important given that loans are extended over consecutive seasons despite accumulating “debt”. “Debt” can more accurately be defined as the cost of doing business for the lender, who ties together the services of loan provision with that of marketing cotton. Using original copies of farm invoices, state statistics, key informant accounts, as well as secondary survey data, I argue that there is ostensibly little difference in the standard of living between farmers engaged in diversified cropping systems (cotton and non-cotton) and those engaged solely in non-cotton production. In an economy where markets for credit and productive inputs are thin and erratic, the manner in which credit is advanced plays a large role in fostering this indifference. This argument is somewhat different than the prevailing view, which takes the position that cotton “debt” is a constraining factor in the development of the agricultural sector in Tajikistan. One explanation for why Tajik farmers collectively produce cotton at a loss is that it is privately profitable to do so.
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
In 1990, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans implemented the Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQ) system to achieve its management goals. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of this system. It aims to determine whether and how the ITQ system creates an economically viable industry; what problems the ITQ system has generated and what factors should be considered in addressing them; and what the risk of holding these quotas is to the fisher. To this end, I will focus on efficiency as a critical dimension of economic viability and the fisher’s competitiveness. I will begin by comparing the ITQ to the Limited Entry system which preceded it and explore claims regarding the impact of ITQs on the sustainability and viability of fishing firms and the sablefish fishery. Next, I will conduct a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the industry’s cost structure that highlights the value/purchase price of the quota, which is widely considered to be a crude measure of industry profitability. This analysis will examine Barichello’s (1996) model in order to calculate the risk associated with holding sablefish quotes and Monk and Pearson’s (1989) Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) in order to determine whether the sablefish industry is efficient. I will then source industry information to compute the costs of fishing by conducting a financial analysis of firms that are representative of the sablefish fishery. The cost structure presented in the financial analysis will be utilized to apply the PAM to the sablefish fishery, which will determine whether it is efficient and if the ITQ system has created a highly subsidized industry. My analyses will demonstrate that the industry is economically viable under the ITQ system and that if the ITQ system was meant to correct market failures in the sablefish industry, it has partially succeeded in doing so. Key findings will be related to criticisms of ITQs and the implications of these findings will be considered. Lastly, I will detail the questions that the research has raised and make recommendations for future research.