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Principles of Agricultural Economics: Markets and Prices in by David Colman

By David Colman

Colman and younger tackle the most monetary ideas required through agricultural economists curious about rural improvement. They draw upon the features of agricultural and nutrition structures in much less built nations to spotlight the significance of monetary rules. simply because argriculture provides particular difficulties to economists, this e-book equips the reader with the analytical instruments that agricultural economists want for the examine of offer, call for, and agricultural markets in constructing international locations. The ebook considers the 3 major strands within the theoretical research of agricultural product markets--production, intake, and alternate. furthermore, later chapters determine the benefits of other financial events.

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Additional resources for Principles of Agricultural Economics: Markets and Prices in Less Developed Countries (Wye Studies in Agricultural and Rural Development)

Sample text

It follows therefore that an industry, such as agriculture, composed of a large number of such firms would also have an upward sloping supply curve, since the industry supply curve will be the summation of all the individual firm curves. In reality, especially in the short-run, not all firms will operate at the profit-maximising level. Some may even behave in ways which to others appear to be economically irrational. But, provided that the majority of firms in an industry react to change by moving towards the theoretical optimum, the supply curve at the market level will have the upward sloping properties expected on the basis of the theory of the firm.

The formal definition is: proportionate change in quantity supplied, Qt proportionate change in own price, Pt AQt/Qt APt/Pt = AQt Pt dQ{ Pt where, as before, A denotes a small change, and 6, the partial derivative, an infinitesimal change (see footnote 4, Chapter 2). The supply elasticity is defined for a specific point on the supply curve and so for most curves the size of the elasticity will vary along the curve. The larger the value of the elasticity, the more responsive supply is to changes in price.

A higher price induces a lower output. In the simplest form of this argument, it is proposed that farmers in developing countries have a 'target' cash income and, if offered a higher price for their product, they can attain this income level with a reduced supply. More complex behavioural models which incorporate notions of risk and uncertainty have also been developed and again under certain theoretical conditions a 'perverse' response to price changes would be predicted (see Chapter 4). We do not have the space here3 to elaborate on what Levi and Havinden (1982) have termed' this rather empty controversy'.

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