A Survey of Agricultural Economics Literature, Volume 2

A Survey of Agricultural Economics Literature, Volume 2: Quantative Methods in Agricultural Economics, 1940s to 1970s

George G. Judge
Richard H. Day
S. R. Johnson
Gordon C. Rausser
Lee R. Martin
Copyright Date: 1977
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 498
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  • Book Info
    A Survey of Agricultural Economics Literature, Volume 2
    Book Description:

    A Survey of Agricultural Economics Literature, Volume 2: Quantative Methods in Agricultural Economics, 1940s to 1970s was first published in 1977. This is the second volume in the comprehensive three-volume work A Survey of Agricultural Economics Literature, published for the American Agricultural Economics Association. The general editor, Lee R. Martin, was a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota. The work will have wide use for reference, review, or study by students, agricultural economists, general economists, and other social scientists.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-5513-7
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xiv)

    In March 1968 C. E. Bishop, president of the American Agricultural Economics Association, appointed a committee to investigate the need for a major survey of the agricultural economics literature published from the 1940s to the 1970s. The committee found that an extensive assessment of this body of literature would indeed be of value to research workers, teachers, extension workers, and graduate students in agricultural economics; teachers, research workers, and graduate students in economics and economic statistics, sociology, geography, political science, and anthropology; and teachers, research workers, and graduate students in technical agriculture. In the end the committee was assigned the...

  4. Introduction
    (pp. xv-xxii)

    In the evolution of modern economics from nineteenth-century political economy many have expressed the ideas that “(1) mathematics, however useful it may have proved in the physical sciences, can play no essential role in the development of the social sciences because the phenomena studied are somehow different—‘human beings are not amenable to mathematical law’— and (2) the judgment and intuition of the skilled investigator are fundamentally more useful in the social sciences than mathematical formulas based on quantitative observation” (Arrow [1951]). In a letter in 1906 Alfred Marshall advised A. L. Bowley to “use mathematics as a shorthand language...

  5. PART I. Estimation and Statistical Inference in Economics

    • Estimation and Statistical Inference in Economics
      (pp. 3-49)
      George G. Judge

      This essay is focused on attempts over the last three decades to cope with the problem of measurement in economics. In particular, it is directed to a review of analytical methods developed and employed in analyzing and learning from economic data. To some extent, it is a report of an experiment—an experiment in nonexperimental model building. The achievements realized through systematic use of economic and statistical models, methods, and data give empirical content to economic theory and practice and bring out clearly the complementarity between theory and measurement, and these achievements have made economics a leader of the nonexperimental...

    • Discussion of George G. Judge’s Estimation and Statistical Inference in Economics
      (pp. 50-54)
      Richard J. Foote

      My first knowledge of this field was obtained at Iowa State in 1936 when, as a graduate assistant, I was asked by Professor Geoffrey Shepherd to work with J. Russell Ives in an attempt to show the relation between graphic and mathematical regression analysis. After much work, and a transfer to the old Bureau of Agricultural Economics in the USDA in Washington, we developed a paper which we submitted to theJournal of Farm Economics.The editors of theJournalreplied that it was an excellent paper but that they felt it should be submitted to theJournal of the...

  6. PART II. Economic Optimization in Agricultural and Resource Economics

    • On Economic Optimization: A Nontechnical Survey
      (pp. 57-92)
      Richard H. Day

      For at least two centuries economic principles have involved three fundamental concepts. First, individual or group behavior can be explained—at least in part—as the result of pursuing one’s advantage. Second, a given system of individuals or nations may possess a kind of harmony or equilibrium when each individual or nation pursues its own advantage. Third, if the environment is properly structured, the working of an economy may bring about individual optima and group equilibria. As early as Cournot [1838] , these ideas began to receive an explicit mathematical treatment. It was Cournot who first used calculus to analyze...

    • Optimization Models in Agricultural and Resource Economics
      (pp. 93-127)
      Richard H. Day and Edward Sparling

      The application of optimization concepts to the economics of agriculture and resource use has a history as long as mathematical economics itself. It was in the context of agriculture in an “isolated state” that von Thünen [1966] in 1826 developed his own concept of gain and loss at the “margin” and used it to develop a theory of relative economic value and spatial diversity in the use of land, labor, and capital. Indeed, we have it on the good authority of Marshall [1890] that von Thünen, the first agricultural economist among economists, along with Cournot, provided the initial inspiration for...

    • Agricultural Production Function Studies
      (pp. 128-154)
      Roger C. Woodworth

      Following World War II, agricultural economists made a sustained effort to improve methodology and develop applications in quantifying agricultural production relationships mathematically and in using this knowledge to determine economic attributes of the production process. These studies involved calculus and incorporated such recent developments in statistics as more efficient design of experiments, multiple regression, and tests of significance. Perhaps more important from the standpoint of applied economics, the work used production principles based on marginal analysis and equilibrium conditions.

      In 1939 Sune Carlson in his classic book,A Study on the Pure Theory of Production,defined the production function as...

  7. PART III. Systems Analysis and Simulation in Agricultural and Resource Economics

    • Systems Analysis and Simulation: A Survey of Applications in Agricultural and Resource Economics
      (pp. 157-302)
      S. R. Johnson and Gordon C. Rausser

      Systems analysis and simulation have had a recent but marked influence on teaching and research in agricultural economics. See, for example, the surveys by J. R. Anderson [1974a], Armstrong and Hepp [1970], and Charlton and Thompson [1970] and the expository treatments by Babb and French [1963], Dent and Anderson [1971] , Eidman [1971] , Eisgruber and Nielson [1963], Hesselbach and Eisgruber [1967], B. Johnson and Eisgruber [1969] , Shruben [1968], Snyder and Swackhamer [1966], Suttor and Crom [1964], and Tyner and Tweeten [1968]. Surveys, expository treatments, and bibliographies on the subject outside of agricultural economics are numerous. Useful examples may...

  8. PART IV. Agricultural Economic Information Systems

    • Developments in Agricultural Economic Data
      (pp. 305-372)
      M. L. Upchurch

      Data are the raw materials of economic analysis. They lend substance to description. Properly ordered, they reveal problems and solutions to problems. It would be hard to imagine the subject of agricultural economics without data. Indeed, agricultural economists pioneered the use of quantitative analysis in the social sciences. Despite the variety and quantity of data readily available to every agricultural economist, probably no economist ever had all the data he wanted, in exactly the form or at the time that he desired.

      Much of the development of present systems of agricultural economic data occurred before World War II. Beginning with...

    • Technical Developments in Agricultural Estimates Methodology
      (pp. 373-385)
      Harry C. Trelogan, C. E. Caudill, Harold F. Huddleston, Willian E. Kibler and Emerson Brooks

      It is only in recent years that farm data, although found in ancient records (for example, in Egyptian scrolls), have been developed to represent large areas or nations in quantitative terms. Even in the United States, now in the forefront in applying farm data to economic and political problems, the development of an information system for the collection, processing, dissemination, and interpretation of agricultural statistics has been a slow process. Here we will characterize briefly the period before World War II, noting the progress in crop and livestock estimates that did occur, before dealing more comprehensively with the postwar period...

    • Assessment of the Current Agricultural Data Base: An Information System Approach
      (pp. 386-407)
      James T. Bonnen

      In 1969 the American Agricultural Economics Association established the Committee on Economic Statistics to evaluate questions that were being raised about the quality and reliability of certain types of agricultural data. In cooperation with the Statistical Reporting Service (SRS) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the Department of Agriculture different elements of the agricultural data base were examined (AAEA [1972] , Hildreth [1975] , Bonnen [1975], Brandow [1976]). The committee worked with many government, university, business, professional, and foundation groups in contributing to a widening sense of the current deficiencies and future needs of the agricultural data base. Instability...

    • Rural Economic and Social Statistics
      (pp. 408-420)
      W. Keith Bryant

      Elsewhere in this volume Upchurch [1977] deals with post-World War II developments in the data systems for the food and fiber sector of the economy, and Bonnen [1977] makes an assessment of the data base of the food and fiber sector from the standpoint of its status as a modern information system. In this chapter the state of the economic and social data for rural people and areas is discussed and the causes of the state of the data are pursued somewhat further. Some modest suggestions for improvement arise from the analysis. The bulk of the material used in the...

  9. Appendix (Part IV). A Brief Review of the Literature by Subject Category
    (pp. 421-427)
  10. References (Part IV)
    (pp. 428-464)
  11. Epilogue
    (pp. 465-473)

    The chapters in this volume emphasize the importance of more fully integrating the array of various quantitative approaches to problem solving and to the testing of theoretical constructs. Whether approached from an econometric, optimization, systems and simulation standpoint, or from a more pragmatic data-dredging standpoint, the applied problems of agricultural economics require specialized analysis if they are to be handled effectively. Accordingly, the authors of each of the chapters look toward the day when the apparently separate tasks associated with problem-oriented research will be more fully and effectively integrated. The compartmentalization typical in the profession and emphasized by the organization...