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“Uncertain futures” refers to a set of policy problems that possess some combination of the following characteristics: (i) they potentially cause irreversible changes; (ii) they are widespread, so that policy responses may make sense only on a global scale; (iii) network effects are difficult to understand and may amplify (or moderate) consequences; (iv) time horizons are long; and (v) the likelihood of catastrophic outcomes is unknown or even unknowable. These characteristics tend to make uncertain futures intractable to market solutions because property rights are not clearly defined and essential information is unavailable. These same factors also pose challenges for benefit-cost analysis (BCA) and other traditional decision analysis tools. The diverse policy decisions confronting decision-makers today demand “dynamic BCA,” analytic frameworks that incorporate uncertainties and trade-offs across policy areas, recognizing that: perceptions of risks can be uninformed, misinformed, or inaccurate; risk characterization can suffer from ambiguity; and experts’ tendency to focus on one risk at a time may blind policymakers to important trade-offs. Dynamic BCA – which recognizes trade-offs, anticipates the need to learn from experience, and encourages learning – is essential for lowering the likelihoods and mitigating the consequences of uncertain futures while encouraging economic growth, reducing fragility, and increasing resilience.
Solar geoengineering holds the potential for both benefit and harm. Actors such as states could ask ex ante for assurances of compensation, possibly as a precondition for not opposing the activity, or demand ex post compensation for actual or claimed harm. Legal rules could indicate that those who conducted or approved an activity would be liable to pay damages. There could be a basis – at least in principle – in customary international law for state liability for transboundary harm caused by solar geoengineering that was contrary to international law. Although space-based solar geoengineering is presently prohibitively expensive, states would be strictly liable for harm arising from it. Compensation for other potential harm would face substantial political, institutional, and theoretical challenges, including what damages to compensate, the injurers’ and victims’ identities, and mechanisms and reasons for securing compensation. While recognizing states’ strong resistance to compensation, the chapter suggests an international compensation fund for harm from large-scale outdoor solar geoengineering research and offers initial thoughts regarding that from deployment.
This paper focuses on systems producing short rotation coppice willows (SRCW) in chickens’ free-range areas. We aim to map chicken farmers’ motivation to implement SRCW, and to assess the economic viability of these systems. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 free-range chicken farmers. Farmers agreed that chickens would prefer SRCW over grassland, which could benefit chicken welfare. They expected establishing an SRCW system would be labor intensive, and doubted if it would be a profitable investment. Some concerns of farmers might be taken away by exchanging information with farmers with SRCW experience. A partial budget analysis was performed to calculate the net present value (NPV) of six different scenarios, differing in the type of chickens, in whether the produced biomass was sold or valorized on-farm and in harvest pattern, all over a 23-yr period. The NPV was positive but low for all scenarios. A sensitivity analysis showed that changes in biomass yield, wood chip price, a price premium for poultry products and current fuel price were most likely to influence the NPV. A risk analysis revealed that NPVs were positive in the majority of the modeled cases. Scenarios in which biomass was used for on-farm heat production showed the highest risk of a negative NPV. A price premium for poultry products may be most effective at increasing profitability, but may only be feasible for farms selling directly to consumers. Establishing a solid market for biomass energy, including guaranteed demand and availability of appropriate machinery for cultivation, may mitigate farmers’ concerns.
Many public transport authorities have a great interest in introducing zero-emission electric buses. However, the transformation process from diesel to electric bus systems opens up a vast design space which seems prohibitive for a systematic decision making process. We present a holistic design methodology to identify the ‘most suitable system solution’ under given strategic and operational requirements. The relevant vehicle technologies and charging systems are analysed and structured using a morphological matrix. A modular simulation model is introduced which takes technical and operational aspects into account. The model can be used to determine a feasible electric bus system. The technology selection is based on a detailed economic analysis which is conducted by means of a total cost of ownership (TCO) model. To cope with uncertainties in forecasting, a stochastic modelling of critical input parameters is applied and three different future scenarios are evaluated. The applicability of the model was verified in a pilot project in Berlin and the methodology was applied to a realistic operational scenario. Our results indicate that electric bus systems are technically feasible and can become economically competitive from the year 2025 under the conditions examined.
Regulatory impact analyses (RIAs) weigh the benefits of regulations against the burdens they impose and are invaluable tools for informing decision makers. We offer 10 tips for nonspecialist policymakers and interested stakeholders who will be reading RIAs as consumers.
1.Core problem: Determine whether the RIA identifies the core problem (compelling public need) the regulation is intended to address.
2.Alternatives: Look for an objective, policy-neutral evaluation of the relative merits of reasonable alternatives.
3.Baseline: Check whether the RIA presents a reasonable “counterfactual” against which benefits and costs are measured.
4.Increments: Evaluate whether totals and averages obscure relevant distinctions and trade-offs.
5.Uncertainty: Recognize that all estimates involve uncertainty, and ask what effect key assumptions, data, and models have on those estimates.
6.Transparency: Look for transparency and objectivity of analytical inputs.
7.Benefits: Examine how projected benefits relate to stated objectives.
8.Costs: Understand what costs are included.
9.Distribution: Consider how benefits and costs are distributed.
10.Symmetrical treatment: Ensure that benefits and costs are presented symmetrically.
Site-specific management provides the ability to align the production intensity to demand and thus adjust the expenses to the necessary level. So it is possible to increase the proportion of marketable commodity in the normal sort–size of 40 mm to 60 mm. Planting distances adapted to the soil properties seem to achieve this objective. It is possible to further optimize the proportion of marketable commodity especially in the potato regions where irrigation and fertilization already contribute to a consistently high yield. Different planting distances on the soil sites by EM38 were tested in field trials. Planting distances of 31.50 cm in the row on the light (sandy) soil, 24.50 cm on middle and 27.50 cm on the heavy soil sites seems the best for these three years. There is a yield impact in total, as well as in the proportion of marketable commodity. Depending on the planting strategy, increases in income up to €153 per hectare can be obtained.
Grassland silage management is generally ad hoc resulting in soil compaction damage. Literature suggests grass yield reductions of 5 to 74% through compaction (UK mean 13%), while a 2015 study, reported here, comparing grass dry matter (DM) yield between controlled traffic farming (CTF) and normal management (N), found a 13.5% (0.80 t ha−1) increase for CTF. Commercially available grass forage equipment with widths of 3 to 12 m set up for CTF reduced trafficked areas from 80%–90% for N to 40%–13%. Economic analysis based on 13% increase in DM for 2 and 3 cut systems, gave an increased grass value between £38 ha−1 and £98 ha−1. CTF for multi-cut grass silage effectively increases yields by reducing compaction and sward damage.
Rearing quality dairy heifers is essential to maintain herds by replacing culled cows. Information on the key factors influencing the cost of rearing under different management systems is, however, limited and many farmers are unaware of their true costs. This study determined the cost of rearing heifers from birth to first calving in Great Britain including the cost of mortality, investigated the main factors influencing these costs across differing farming systems and estimated how long it took heifers to repay the cost of rearing on individual farms. Primary data on heifer management from birth to calving was collected through a survey of 101 dairy farms during 2013. Univariate followed by multivariable linear regression was used to analyse the influence of farm factors and key rearing events on costs. An Excel spreadsheet model was developed to determine the time it took for heifers to repay the rearing cost. The mean±SD ages at weaning, conception and calving were 62±13, 509±60 and 784±60 days. The mean total cost of rearing was £1819±387/heifer with a mean daily cost of £2.31±0.41. This included the opportunity cost of the heifer and the mean cost of mortality, which ranged from £103.49 to £146.19/surviving heifer. The multivariable model predicted an increase in mean cost of rearing of £2.87 for each extra day of age at first calving and a decrease in mean cost of £6.06 for each percentile increase in time spent at grass. The model also predicted a decrease in the mean cost of rearing in autumn and spring calving herds of £273.20 and £288.56, respectively, compared with that in all-year-round calving herds. Farms with herd sizes⩾100 had lower mean costs of between £301.75 and £407.83 compared with farms with <100 milking cows. The mean gross margin per heifer was £441.66±304.56 (range £367.63 to £1120.08), with 11 farms experiencing negative gross margins. Most farms repaid the cost of heifer rearing in the first two lactations (range 1 to 6 lactations) with a mean time from first calving until breaking even of 530±293 days. The results of the economic analysis suggest that management decisions on key reproduction events and grazing policy significantly influence the cost of rearing and the time it takes for heifers to start making a profit for the farm.
This review provides a comparative analysis on the unenriched and alternative cage systems used in commercial egg production as required by the directive (99/74/EC) of the EU Council on animal welfare in terms of technical performance indicators, distribution of cost items, egg sales revenue, and profitability. Unenriched (conventional) cages are commonly used in Turkey. However these cages don't provide for the laying hens natural needs. The comparison was taken from data regarding Lohmann Brown Classic and Lohmann LSL Classic laying hybrids kept in two caging systems. The rearing period was composed of 399 days starting when 16-week-old commercial pullets were put into unenriched and alternative cage systems and ending at the end of their 73rd weeks of age when laying hens were removed from production. The average shares of the some important cost items in the total cost in the production period were calculated to be as follows for unenriched and alternative cage systems, respectively: pullet 22.17% and 21.17%; feed 61.31% and 58.29%; labour 2.67% and 2.55%; veterinary and health 0.74% and 0.98%; egg packaging 3.23% and 3.48%; maintenance and repair expenses 1.50% and 2.29%; and depreciation costs 5.48% and 8.35%. The average cost of producing one egg was found to be 0.094 US$ and 0.097 US$, respectively. It was determined that investment costs in alternative cage systems was 14.93% higher and the production cost per hen was 2.03% higher than that in unenriched cage systems. In Turkey, on January 1, 2023, all systems will be converted to alternative cages. Investment amounts and production costs for the alternative cage systems are very important in this transformation process. Therefore the present review is to examine the available information on the production data of laying hens reared in the unenriched and alternative cages and to make economic feasibility conclusions under Turkey conditions.
Objectives: Long-term follow-up of the Caries Management System (CMS) protocol demonstrated that regular monitoring and noninvasive management of dental caries is effective in reducing the number of caries-related events over a 7-year period. This analysis complements the authors’ original economic evaluation of the CMS by re-evaluating the per-protocol cost-effectiveness of the CMS approach.
Methods: An individual patient-simulation Markov model was developed previously, based on 3-year randomized-controlled trial (RCT) data, to simulate the incidence and progression of dental caries, and resultant interventions, and to evaluate the lifetime cost-effectiveness of the CMS versus standard dental care from the Australian private dental practitioner perspective (in which the baseline age distribution was similar to that of the Australian population). The 4-year posttrial follow-up data are used to re-evaluate the long-term cost-effectiveness of the CMS in a more real-life setting.
Results: The reduction in caries risk was maintained among those practices within which the CMS protocols were adhered to. The per-protocol model appears to be reasonably accurate at predicting the risk of restorative events in the posttrial follow-up period. The per-protocol lifetime cost per restorative event avoided is AUD1,980 (USD1,409; 1 AUD = 0.71 USD).
Conclusions: The current analysis confirms that the CMS approach is both effective, when the protocols are adhered to appropriately, and cost-effective compared with standard care in the Australian private practice setting.
Recent genomic evaluation studies using real data and predicting genetic gain by modeling breeding programs have reported moderate expected benefits from the replacement of classic selection schemes by genomic selection (GS) in small ruminants. The objectives of this study were to compare the cost, monetary genetic gain and economic efficiency of classic selection and GS schemes in the meat sheep industry. Deterministic methods were used to model selection based on multi-trait indices from a sheep meat breeding program. Decisional variables related to male selection candidates and progeny testing were optimized to maximize the annual monetary genetic gain (AMGG), that is, a weighted sum of meat and maternal traits annual genetic gains. For GS, a reference population of 2000 individuals was assumed and genomic information was available for evaluation of male candidates only. In the classic selection scheme, males breeding values were estimated from own and offspring phenotypes. In GS, different scenarios were considered, differing by the information used to select males (genomic only, genomic+own performance, genomic+offspring phenotypes). The results showed that all GS scenarios were associated with higher total variable costs than classic selection (if the cost of genotyping was 123 euros/animal). In terms of AMGG and economic returns, GS scenarios were found to be superior to classic selection only if genomic information was combined with their own meat phenotypes (GS-Pheno) or with their progeny test information. The predicted economic efficiency, defined as returns (proportional to number of expressions of AMGG in the nucleus and commercial flocks) minus total variable costs, showed that the best GS scenario (GS-Pheno) was up to 15% more efficient than classic selection. For all selection scenarios, optimization increased the overall AMGG, returns and economic efficiency. As a conclusion, our study shows that some forms of GS strategies are more advantageous than classic selection, provided that GS is already initiated (i.e. the initial reference population is available). Optimizing decisional variables of the classic selection scheme could be of greater benefit than including genomic information in optimized designs.
Decision making on hazard surveillance in livestock product chains is a multi-hazard, multi-stakeholder, and multi-criteria process that includes a variety of decision alternatives. The multi-hazard aspect means that the allocation of the scarce resource for surveillance should be optimized from the point of view of a surveillance portfolio (SP) rather than a single hazard. In this paper, we present a novel conceptual approach for economic optimization of a SP to address the resource allocation problem for a surveillance organization from a theoretical perspective. This approach uses multi-criteria techniques to evaluate the performances of different settings of a SP, taking cost-benefit aspects of surveillance and stakeholders’ preferences into account. The credibility of the approach has also been checked for conceptual validity, data needs and operational validity; the application potentials of the approach are also discussed.
Gary Becker's theories of marriage were mentioned as one of the reasons why he was awarded the Nobel prize in economics in 1992 and were emphasized by Becker: his first article on the family published in a major journal (Becker 1973) is a theory of marriage and the chapters on marriage in his influential Treatise on the Family (Becker 1981, 1991) come first. Becker's theoretical models of marriage all view marriages as small non-profit firms engaged in household production, thereby featuring one of the basic tenets of the New Home Economics that Becker pioneered with Jacob Mincer while both were at Columbia University in the 1960s (see Becker 1960, 1965; Mincer 1962, 1963).
The development of national and sectoral climate change adaptation strategies is burgeoning in the US and elsewhere in response to damages from extreme events and projected future risks from climate change. Increasingly, decision makers are requesting information on the economic damages of climate change as well as costs, benefits, and tradeoffs of alternative actions to inform climate adaptation decisions. This paper provides a practical view of the applications of economic analysis to aid climate change adaptation decision making, with a focus on benefit-cost analysis (BCA). We review the recent developments and applications of BCA with implications for climate risk management and adaptation decision making, both in the US and other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. We found that BCA is still in early stages of development for evaluating adaptation decisions, and to date is mostly being applied to investment project-based appraisals. Moreover, the best practices of economic analysis are not fully reflected in the BCAs of climate adaptation-relevant decisions. The diversity of adaptation measures and decision-making contexts suggest that evaluation of adaptation measures may require multiple analytical methods. The economic tools and information would need to be transparent, accessible, and match with the decision contexts to be effective in enhancing decision making. Based on the current evidence, a set of analytical considerations is proposed for improving economic analysis of climate adaptation that includes the need to better address uncertainty and to understand the cross-sector and general equilibrium effects of sectoral and national adaptation policy.
Increasingly, governments and police agencies require evidence of effectiveness and efficiency with respect to law enforcement policies. The existing “what works” literature, specifically on drug law enforcement, focuses mainly on the effectiveness question when making complex choices between drug policy alternatives, but fails when it comes to incorporating empirical evidence and the experience of key experts in the decision-making process. In addition, little attempt has been made to employ sophisticated techniques to assist in complex policy decision making with respect to funding competing policing policy alternatives. We use the methamphetamine problem in Australia to illustrate a way of evaluating, using multi-criteria analysis, alternative policy options for developing better drug policy.
This paper discusses an integrated approach to mental health studies on Financing of Illness (FoI) and health accounting, Cost of Illness (CoI) and Burden of Disease (BoD). In order to expand the mental health policies, the following are suggested: (a) an international consensus on the standard scope, methods to collect and to analyse mental health data, as well as to report comparative information; (b) mathematical models are also to be validated and tested in an integrated approach, (c) a better knowledge transfer between clinicians and knowledge engineers, and between researchers and policy makers to translate economic analysis into practice and health planning.
The development of organic protected cultivation taking place in densely populated areas has raised the question whether it is an environmentally friendly production system. The present study investigated energy consumption of organic pear production in two production systems, namely in traditional Chinese solar greenhouses and in the open field. In both production systems, energy output/input ratio and energy productivity were used as indicators to determine the energy efficiency; yield, cost of production, net economic return per land area unit and benefit/cost ratio were used to evaluate economic productivity. The analysis results indicated that energy input and energy output per land area unit in the solar greenhouse were higher than in the open field; whereas energy efficiency in terms of output/input ratio and energy productivity were lower in the solar greenhouse than those in the open field. However, if energy input sequestered in the protected structure was excluded in the solar greenhouse production system, energy efficiency was higher in the greenhouse system than in the open-field system. Our analysis further showed that the economic costs, the yield, cost of production, gross product value and net income per land area unit in the greenhouse were more than twice as high as those in the open field due to a higher tree density and a premium price. However, the production taking place in the open field used a great share of renewable energy and higher energy efficiency, which may comply more with the principles of organic farming than the greenhouse production system.
To understand the dynamics of the reprint trade, this chapter first considers the issue of copyright and to review how booksellers in Ireland and Scotland took advantage of their distance from London to reprint the titles they wanted. Next, it discusses the cogent economic analysis put forward by members of the trade desperate for clarification of the often murky distinction between piracy and legitimate reprinting. The economic arguments of Home and Foulis were borne out by events in the second half of the long eighteenth century. An earlier mode of bookselling faded away as the accelerating commodification of print gave rise to modern publishing. This change coincided with the conceptual shift described by Trevor Ross: property, once viewed as an 'object of ownership and right', came to be regarded as the 'subject of production and exchange', its worth acquired through 'circulation within a dynamic market economy'.
Introduction. Agricultural cooperatives play an important socio-economic role in European (EU) countries, especially in the fresh fruit and vegetable sector. For this reason, in an economic perspective, the measurement of their efficiency has become an area of investigation which attracts great interest. Given that Spain and Italy are the biggest producers of fresh fruits and vegetables, the aim of this paper was to recognize the evolution of their technical efficiency. Materials and methods. Performance analysis in the economic field is rather controversial. Following Parkan (2002), it is possible to classify three main approaches to measure performance: index numbers; frontier methods and the non-parametric approaches. In this paper, efficiency was evaluated by applying the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) technique considering two separate frontiers. Through the AIDA database for Italian agricultural cooperatives and the SABI database for Spanish cooperatives, two different sets of 81 and 106 firms, respectively belonging to the fruit and vegetable sector, were selected over a five-year period (2001–2005). Results. The analysis of the DEA results underlines the higher ability of Italian cooperatives to calibrate and optimize the inputs, and to maximize the results (technical efficiency), as well as the ability of Spanish cooperatives to exploit scale economies. Conclusions. Over the period taken into consideration, the average value of global technical efficiency decreased for Spanish as well as Italian cooperatives. In the case of Spanish cooperatives, this situation is due to the loss of ability to calibrate and optimize the inputs, even if the considered firms reveal ability to develop scale economies. In the case of Italian cooperatives, the results reveal the substantial firm technical efficiency, even if scale inefficiency undermines the global efficiency.
During the summer fallow period of the sugarcane production cycle, glyphosate in conjunction with frequent tillage is used to destroy sugarcane regrowth and reduce perennial weed infestations. For tillage to be reduced or eliminated in fallowed fields, weed control must be maintained and sugarcane must be completely destroyed so as not to interfere with the subsequent planting operation. Field studies were conducted to evaluate glyphosate rates and formulations for control of sugarcane, bermudagrass, and johnsongrass. Glyphosate (isopropylamine salt) applied in April at 1.68, 2.24, and 2.80 kg ai/ha controlled 15-cm sugarcane at least 95% 42 d after treatment (DAT). Control of 25- and 40-cm sugarcane was maximized at 1.68 kg/ha (91 and 86% control, respectively). In another study, 25-cm sugarcane was controlled equally with isopropyl amine and potassium salt glyphosate formulations. Bermudagrass control 40 d after glyphosate was applied at 1.12 kg/ha was 86% and increased to 98% when the same rate was applied sequentially. In fallowed sugarcane fields, conventional-tillage, reduced-tillage, and no-tillage programs were implemented from mid-April through mid-August to evaluate weed control and economics. When a glyphosate application was substituted for a tillage operation, bermudagrass and johnsongrass control was increased compared with the conventional tillage alone program, but differences in sugarcane and sugar yield among the various programs the following year were not observed. Based on 2006 costs, elimination of a single tillage operation reduced cost $18.49/ha and addition of glyphosate (2.8 kg/ha plus application cost) increased cost $43.47/ha. Total cost for the conventional tillage–alone fallow program was $110.94/ha; where herbicide was used in the reduced-tillage and no-tillage programs, total cost was $19.47 to $77.38/ha more.