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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The University of California, Berkeley offers the premier graduate program in Agricultural and Resource Economics.* Graduate studies in this department emphasize a firm foundation in economic analysis and quantitative methods and their application to agricultural economics, environmental and resource economics, international agricultural trade and development, intellectual property rights and biotechnology, agribusiness/marketing/finance, and applied econometrics. The faculty have a distinguished research and public service record, having received numerous research awards, and played a major advisory role in shaping agricultural, resource and environmental policies. Fourteen faculty members of ARE have been elected Fellows of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) and three are currently Fellows of the Econometric Society.

The papers below are part of the CUDARE (California, University. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics) working paper series, which began in 1976. The series has over 1000 papers, many of which have been digitized by the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics Library Staff.

*Perry, Gregory M. 1994. "Ranking M.S. and Ph.D. Graduate Programs in Agricultural Economics." Review of Agricultural Economics 16:333-40.

Photo of Giannini Hall by Grace Dote

Papers are uploaded to this site by the Giannini Foundation Library staff.

Cover page of The Low but Uncertain Measured Benefits of US Water Quality Policy

The Low but Uncertain Measured Benefits of US Water Quality Policy


U.S. investment to decrease pollution in rivers, lakes, and other surface waters has exceeded $1.9 trillion since 1960, and has also exceeded the cost of most other U.S. environmental initiatives. These investments come both from the 1972 Clean Water Act and the largely voluntary efforts to control pollution from agriculture and urban runoff. This paper reviews the methods and conclusions of about 20 recent evaluations of these policies. Surprisingly, most analyses estimate that these policies’ benefits are much smaller than their costs; the benefit/cost ratio from the median study is 0.37. Yet existing evidence is limited and undercounts many types of benefits. We conclude that it is unclear whether many of these regulations truly fail a benefit/cost test or whether existing evidence understates their net benefits; we also describe specific questions that when answered would help eliminate this uncertainty.

Cover page of Micro-Climate Engineering for Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture

Micro-Climate Engineering for Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture


Can farmers adapt to climate change by altering weather conditions on their fields? We define the concept of ``Micro-Climate Engineering'' (MCE), where farmers change the effective temperatures on their crops by means of shading or heating, and document such implementation by California pistachio growers. With rising winter temperatures and declining winter chill portions, pistachio growers in California could face adverse climatic conditions within 20 years. Treating dormant trees with a chemical mix, acting as a shading technology, has shown to increase winter chill count to acceptable levels. Modeling a market with heterogeneous sub-climates, we run simulations to estimate potential gains from MCE in the year 2030 for California pistachio. Our results show an expected yearly welfare gain ranging between $1-4 billion. While positive in total, profits gains are highly heterogeneous given the differences in baseline climates. Market power drives gains up, pointing to a less explored intersection of IO, agriculture, and climate change.

Cover page of Asset prices and climate policy

Asset prices and climate policy


Currently living people might reduce carbon emissions to protect themselves, their wealth, or future generations from climate damage. An overlapping generations climate model with endogenous asset priceand investment levels disentangles these incentives. Asset markets capitalize the future e¤ects of policy, regardless of people�s concern for future generations. These markets can lead self-interested agents to undertake signi�cant abatement. A small climate policy that raises the price of capital increases welfare of old agents and also increases welfare of young agents with a high intertemporal elasticity of sub-stitution. Climate policy can also have subtle distributional e¤ects across the currently living generations.