Experimental studies have been attracting much attention among agricultural and resource economists. Some kinds of application of experimental approaches in the field of regional agricultural and forestry economic studies were provided in this meeting. Critical reviews and future roadmaps of empirical researches were also discussed between panelists and participants.
This paper considers the experimental analysis of the policy evaluation analysis in agricultural and environmental studies. First, the role of experimental analysis in the policy analysis is discussed. Experimental analysis requires randomization. However, for the agricultural policy analysis, it might be difficult to achieve assignment to treatment group randomly due to unfairness. Alternatively, hypothetical policy analysis using the stated choice and laboratory experiments are proposed. Second, the choice experiment study is considered to analyze the avoidance behavior of food risk after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Experimental result shows that the radiation exposure via food consumption does not have an effect on the consumers’ choice behavior. It suggests that an appealing to the food safety aspect has less of an effect on the consumers’ choice behavior. Third, the effect of environmental policy in agriculture on farmers’ conservation behavior is analyzed using a laboratory experiment. Experimental result shows that the non-monetary support system has significant effect on conservation behavior in the early periods of the experiment. However, without compensation, most farmers stop the conservation activities in later periods. Finally, future research topics of the experimental studies for the agricultural and environmental policy analysis are proposed.
In recent years, efficient administrative management is required as the fiscal situation in the public sector has become severer. Attempts to form actual policies based on scientific basis (evidence) of the effect of public policy are spreading in Europe as well as the United States based on such problem consciousness. This practice is also well applied in Japan. This is called the evidence-based policy making (EBPM) approach. In this EBPM approach, it is the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) in the real world that is considered the method that can evaluate the effect of policy most accurately. On the other hand, the RCT in experimental field research is still at a preliminary stage and only a handful of field experiments in the area of agriculture and the environment are being conducted in Japan. This paper hopefully serves as an introductory report on designing field RCT with a case study. After summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of RCT experiment in the field, we introduce an RCT case study using a social intervention project in Manchester, UK.
Contingent valuation methods have been a major tool to measure consumer preference for a variety of goods including private and public goods. However, hypothetical bias and lack of payment obligation always plague precision of estimation. This report argues that an experimental method using auction can be used to measure consumer preference. An empirical case using an experimental auction was introduced based on a previous study on the wakame industry in the Sanriku region in Japan. To contribute to recovery from the damage caused by the huge earthquake and tsunami that hit the eastern part of Japan in 2011, an experimental research was conducted from both the consumer and producer sides. The focus of this case study is on the modification of processing standards. An experimental auction was implemented to compare the values of conventional wakame seaweed with that using a new destemming standard, which is more time-saving to produce. An auction experiment compared different destemming standards. Though consumer preferences were diverse, there was no preference between the conventional 1-mm and 4-mm standards. A production experiment showed introduction of the new destemming standard decreased the cost by 26%. The new standard would increase profit by 13.3% without affecting consumer demand.
In order for the agricultural co-operatives to survive, it is necessary to reconsider the factor of “predominance” and to make adequate use of it. Therefore, this paper aims to theoretically consider the predominance of business developments which agricultural co-operatives can use to demonstrate in their competition with companies. In approaching the task, the predominance of the agricultural co-operative business currently is considered, based on conventional theoretical development regarding predominance. Firstly, the Masuda paper, which conducted an accurate review of the theories on predominance of agricultural co-operatives on business development, in addition, presented some questions to the theories is examined. Secondly, the Kamegai paper and Shibagaki paper, focusing on the comprehensiveness of the agricultural co-operative business, are reviewed. Thirdly, based on the above reviews, as for the current predominance of agricultural co-operative business, the problem is considered in terms of both predominance in common to business and that of each business. As a result, the current predominance of the business needs to incorporate the predominance by the sense of attribution of members, comprehensive business system, co-creation of values with members and co-operatives social responsibility, to consider scope economies and ripple effects in addition to scale economies and organizational strength effects. In addition, not only the predominance common to business but also that of each business should be considered.
The number of foreign tourists in Japan has increased rapidly in recent years. If farm inns in rural areas were to host a significant number of these inbound tourists, it will certainly contribute to rural revitalization. However, individual farm inns are limited in their ability to adapt to inbound tourism, as they find it difficult to respond adequately to tourist demands. In the current study, we examined the operations of Shunran-no-Sato, an association of farm inns in Noto Town in Ishikawa Prefecture, to understand its suitability for inbound tourism. Through a questionnaire survey and interviews, we studied the functioning of the secretariat office, acceptance status of foreign tourists of the respective farm-inn, acceptance intention of owners, and problems currently faced by farm inns. We found that this association can deal more capably with inbound visitors if the coordinating function of the secretariat office is suitably improved. In particular, it is necessary that the secretariat office enhance the intercultural understanding of the owners of farm inns by conducting language and cultural awareness courses.