Bioethanol can reduce CO2 emissions and improve domestic production by replacing gasoline consumption. However, bioethanol competes with food consumption, if it is produced from the edible parts of agricultural products. This study aims to evaluate the pros and cons of bioethanol in the Vietnamese economy by the computable general equilibrium （CGE） model.
The simulation results demonstrate the following points. First, a policy that replaces the fixed rate of bioethanol in gasoline brings about reductions in long-run electricity production in addition to direct reduction of petroleum consumption. Moreover, the import of petroleum products, highly dependent on imports at present, can be reduced, and a decrease in imports transfers to domestic production and consequently the self-sufficient rate of energy is raised. Hence, this policy can cut CO2 emissions by 0.7-3.0% more than without the policy. Second, the introduction of bioethanol, produced by first generation technology or by second-generation technology with technological progress, increases total income and raises GDP by 0.19% at most. The effects of second-generation bio-ethanol production are higher than for first generation technology because of the high added value of second generation technology. However, second-generation production with the present technology may decrease gross domestic products, because production costs are too high to produce a profit. A government subsidy for bio-ethanol production may cause domestic savings to decline and decrease private investment through crowding-out effects. Although first-generation bio-ethanol production increases competition with food consumption, second-generation bio-ethanol production can avoid competition with food consumption. Hence, policy makers should consider different pathways to affect the national economy and should support technological improvements. Third, the environmental effects of the bio-ethanol introduction policy are lower than the direct effects of CO2 emissions from gasoline consumption reduced by this policy, because this policy stimulates domestic production. In addition to the economic effects, situations in which the economic growth accelerates CO2 emissions can be avoided, as long as a policy that replaces the fixed rate of gasoline consumption is continued., The CGE model is a useful policy tool to show the above complicated effects.
WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) prohibit the trade of foods beneath safety standards. In this paper, we call such food, false food. However, concrete standards differ among countries. To make matters worse, checking the safety of foods produced abroad is difficult. If standards don’t satisfy safety concerns, health damage can occur. Problems include the underestimation of risks due to demands that stem from preferences and time lags. In such cases, health damage can spread. On one hand, contamination of false food can occur in spite of a foreign industry’s efforts. On the other hand, reducing the extent of efforts to prevent contaminations can cut production costs for foreign industries, and provide an incentive for an industry to allow the mix rate to rise. This paper shows that the mix rate can not only be manipulated by a foreign industry but fluctuates because of exogenous causes. Considering this, we discuss how a fine policy or equivalent policy for importing countries can protect domestic consumers and domestic industries in the context of food trade under quality differences. In conclusion, under a manipulated mix rate, when the importing government switches the fine policy to an optimal policy, it must pay attention to sudden complications in a relationship between qualities and mix rates. The results also suggest that the extent of an increase in the level of the fine policy depends on whether the mix rate is manipulated or not, when the extent of the health damage deteriorates. In addition, with respect to imported food that is less attractive but less hazardous, it is desirable that the importing government implements a fine policy and an inspection policy at the same time. However, with respect to attractive but more harmful imported food, one policy should be regarded as an alternative policy. Accordingly, the more the imported food becomes unsafe and problematic, the more appropriate it becomes to depart from the complementary and multiple policies and place emphasis on a policy between the fine policy and the inspection policy.
The economic growth of China over the decades has brought major changes to the country’s supply and demand structure for food. In recent years, China has remarkably witnessed not only becoming a food supply source for foreign countries, but also a huge market for food consumption from other countries. In this paper, we firstly analyze the present situation of the food system in China and clarify its influence on the agriculture industry and the entire food system before and after accession to the WTO. Secondly, we analyze the influence of China’s accession to the WTO on the agriculture and food industries of Asia with an international input-output table. Finally, we draw policy implications for building international cooperative relationships among Asian countries based on the above analysis.
In this paper, we seek to verify the hypothesis that expanding production of the bio-fuel industry is geographically concentrated in Thailand will cause the income of farm households producing raw materials for bio-fuels to increase and cause a disparity in income for such raw materials-producing farm households and farm households producing agricultural products other than raw materials for bio-fuels to decline. In order to verify this hypothesis, we used the CGE model developed for the purpose of analyzing the bio-fuel industry. However, the CGE model is configured to divide the production activities of agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry into only three types of production activities, and hence is not capable of determining impacts on production activities for individual items such as paddy rice, corn, cassava, oil palm fruit, sugarcane, rubber, livestock, etc. For this reason, we focus on the impacts of changes in such individual production activities on the income of farmers and farm households by a multiplier analysis applying a SAM-IO linked model. Our results show that implementing tax breaks for bio-fuel product expansion increases the overall income of farmers in Thailand, and decreases income disparity between farmer households and non-farmer households. However, enforcing tax breaks for bio-fuel does not necessarily achieve a minimization of income disparity between farmers. If enforced too aggressively, the income disparity between farmers may rather be enlarged. Therefore, we conclude that setting the rate of a tax break requires carefully considered policies.
Some prefectural governments introduce a prefectural original tax—the forest tax—to preserve a high common value of forests. On the basis of this point, this paper analyzes the prefectural forest tax as an example of environmental policies. According to the analysis, in the prefectures where the forest tax is levied, the main purpose for the introduction of the tax is considered to be the importance of the symbolic value of cooperation among citizens for preservation of the forest, rather than the prefectural government’s financial support to preserve the prefectural forest area. As a result, the reason for the introduction of a tax does not burden citizens with total responsibility for the deterioration of the forest environment caused by economic activity, the “Polluter Pays Principle”. Instead it includes both the effect of the announcement of protection of the forest on the society and the purpose of awareness-raising activities for the forest, based on assumptions that protection of the forest increases the social benefits for the population as a whole.
Light rail transit （LRT） is a functional urban transportation system. The main benefits of LRT involve reduction of pollution and mitigation of traffic congestion. Many cities have studied the efficacy of implementing this type of a public transportation system. However, few have succeeded in placing LRT into practice because of the complexity of the interests of various parties, such as the local chief executive, other administrative authorities, railroad companies, and individual citizens. The interactions of these entities are a deterrent to building the necessary consensus for a successful outcome. Hence, we focused on the interaction process to build consensus for the introduction of actual LRT based urban planning. We first theoretically studied the time series of interactions of stakeholders by applying the concept of pluralistic power. The concept of pluralistic power is a comprehensive theory including not only influences derived from the political power relationship based on a job or status, but also negotiation strategies in consensus building using advantages, conquest of weaknesses, convictions and compromises. Utilizing this theory, we empirically considered the conflictive and convergence points of a series of arguments. The study area of the analysis was Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture. An interview survey was first conducted in December 2010 with municipal staff involved in the project for introduction of LRT, members of a citizens’ organization and six railroad residents. The project for LRT in this city virtually fell apart in 2009. As a result, the following implications were determined. First, the process of information disclosure by the project promoter （local chief executive and administrative authorities） did not have a functional role as “persuasion” or “muscle” because of unfairness, and became the crucial reason that consensus building did not work in 2003. After 2003, the confidence of the promoters, which could warrant persuasiveness for opponents in the discussions, decreased and introduction of LRT was unavoidably terminated. This is a study not only of the beneficial nature of a public transportation system, but more importantly of a theory that leads to cooperation between various sectors of a community. Future research will evaluate the validity of the pluralistic power concept through field surveys and studies on successful implementation of LRT systems.
Because water and air are basic resources for economic development, deciding how to consume these resources is an urgent issue for sustained economic growth. Since water resources are spatially concentrated in some regions of China, in this paper, we verify whether a balanced environmental burden can be achieved through interregional trade. To this end, we calculate a virtual water matrix among regions in China using a novel interregional input-output model and draw the following six conclusions. First, China’s water resources are unevenly distributed in the south of the country under the Yangtze River Basin. Second, the overconsumption of water resources relative to supply occurs in North China (i.e., Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei) and East China (i.e., Jiangsu and Shanghai). Third, North and East China alleviate the burden of water resources by importing virtual water. Fourth, even water-rich regions such as Guangdong and Sichuan import a considerable amount of virtual water from across China, placing a burden on the country’s water resources. Fifth, regions such as Ningxia and Inner Mongolia that suffer from water shortages export virtual water, also placing a burden on China’s water resources. Finally, because net exports of virtual water across China are large, international trade burdens water resources in the country even further. In summary, interregional trade has contributed to a decrease in the burden of water resources in North and East China, while this burden has become unbalanced in Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Guangdong, and Ningxia. Therefore, the spatial reallocation of agricultural activities that consume the most water resources is required.
The aim of a community development project is to establish an effective and sustainable instrument to improve the living conditions and the economic status of local communities. After starting enforcement of the Omnibus Decentralization Act, the management of local governments has turned to co-production of public services by the public sector and residents. Promoting resident participation improves revitalization of public policies in local communities, as a way to increase efficiency, service quality and residents’ satisfaction. The real issue is how can residents get involved in the management of public services and support their community. Furthermore, another issue is how to evaluate the community development project with a particular focus on a systematic way to improve and account for public services, while enhancing resident satisfaction. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the evaluation of community development projects by residents. We carried out a residents’ consciousness survey of Minato-Machidukurikyogikai and analyzed the survey results using factor analysis and covariance structural analysis. The results of our analyses are summarized as follows. First, the factor analysis identified two effects for projects;effects of event programs and livable effects, and three effects for expectations; regional vitalization effects, existence effects, and effects of health and education promotion. Second, the values of the latent variables that can be inferred from measurements of the observable variables provide corroborative evidence of the relationship between the evaluation of the projects and expectations through the covariance structural analysis of resident consciousness. The residents’ level of satisfaction could be observed in the projects and expectations. In particular, effects of event programs were rated high, and chief hopes for the roles were health and education promotion effects. Third, the evaluation of Minato-Machidukurikyogikai by residents fluctuated according to a differences in the residents’ family structure and preferences for the community, social concerns and recognition of the participatory budget.