Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis is recognized nationally and internationally for the quality of its faculty and for the strength of its undergraduate and graduate programs. Eight emeritus faculty are Fellows of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA), and Departmental faculty and graduate students have received more than 38 awards for outstanding research from the AAEA and Western AEA. The Department administers a popular undergraduate major in Agricultural and Managerial Economics (AME). The program was ranked 8th nationally among peer programs in the most recent Gourman Report. The graduate program in Agricultural and Resource Economics emphasizes state-of-the-art training in economic theory and quantitative methods, with specialty fields in agricultural marketing, econometrics, economic development, natural resource economics, production economics, and international policy and trade. The graduate program has consistently ranked as the top or among the top programs in the world in terms of quality of graduate education.

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

There are 93 publications in this collection, published between 1999 and 2014.
Agriculture and Resource Economics Working Papers (93)

Non-pecuniary Work Incentive and Labor Supply

Recognizing that people value employment not only to earn income to satisfy their consumption needs, but also as a means to gain socio-psychological (nonpecuniary) benefits, we show that once nonpecuniary work incentives are incorporated into standard labor supply theory, (i) the wage rate under-estimates (over-estimates) the true value of nonwork/leisure time when work has nonpecuniary benefits (costs), (ii) nonpecuniary benefits can be a substitute for monetary wages as work incentives,(iii) at very low wage rates, work can become a net wource of utiltiy, and (iv) the shape of labor supply curve differs from standard theory. We also indentify conditions under which a greater nonpecuniary work incentive generates a larger individual labor supply, and examine the effects of non-wage income on labor supply both for paid and voluntary work.

The Evolution of China's Rural Labor Markets during the Reforms

This paper contributes to the assessment of China's rural labor markets, while paying attention to whether these markets are developing in a manner conducive to the nation's modernization. According to our household survey, we find that the rapid increase in off-farm activity; has become dominated by young and better educated workers; expanded most rapidly in areas that are relatively well-off; and begun to draw workers from portions of the population, such as women, that earlier had been excluded from participation.

A Primal-Dual Estimator of Production and Cost Functions Within an Errors-in-Variables Context

In 1944, Marschak and Andrews published a seminal paper on how to obtain consistent estimates of a production technology. The original formulation of the econometric model regarded the joint estimation of the production function together with the first-order necessary conditions for profit-maximizing behavior. In the seventies, with the advent of econometric duality, the preference seemed to have shifted to a dual approach. Recently, however, Mundlak resurrected the primal-versus-dual debate with a provocative paper titled "Production Function Estimation: Reviving the Primal." In that paper, the author asserts that the dual estimator, unlike the primal approach, is not efficient because it fails to utilize all the available information. In this paper we propose that efficient estimates of the production technology can be obtained only by jointly estimating all the relevant primal and dual relations. Thus, the primal approach of Mundlak and the dual approach of McElroy become special cases of the general specification. In the process of putting to rest the primal-versus-dual debate, we tackle also the nonlinear errors-in-variables problem when all the variables are measured with error. A Monte Carlo analysis of this problem indicates that the proposed estimator is robust to misspecifications of the ratio between error variances.

90 more worksshow all