This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Three Essays on Agribusiness and Food Economics




Anand, Mohit

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


Energy security and food security are global challenges for people across the world. Research examining land use for bioenergy crops is critical because it pertains to issues of food-fuel competition. This dissertation is composed of three chapters; first two chapters focusing on problems of both energy security and food security by doing an economic analysis of scenario where farmers are converting their land from producing conventional crops to adopt bioenergy crops as a new agribusiness opportunity, whereas third chapter focuses on only food security problem by analyzing the impact of smoking on family’s food security status. Chapter 1 does a descriptive analysis and an economic analysis for adoption of switchgrass as a bioenergy crop. This study uses real yield data for switchgrass comprising of 21 years of observations from a long-term experiment in Alabama. The results show that adoption of switchgrass as a bioenergy crop can be a viable addition to the crop-mix which can both improve profitability as well as reducing the variability of returns in addition to other important agronomical and environmental benefits. Chapter 2 investigates the economic incentives for loss-averse and present-biased farmers to divert a share of their land to bioenergy crops (namely, miscanthus and switchgrass) by employing an economic model based on prospect theory. Numerical simulation is conducted for 1,919 U.S. counties under a range of behavioral preferences to identify the impact of loss aversion on bioenergy crop adoption and how this impact is influenced by various biomass prices, discount rates, credit constraint scenarios, and policy instruments. Results show that all else equal; if researchers ignore farmer’s loss aversion then they will over-estimate miscanthus production and under-estimate switchgrass production. We have also expanded our numerical simulation to cover two policy instruments. The aim of Chapter 3 is to see the impact of cigarette smoking on food security. The study has used survey data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The study finds that cigarette smoking is associated with decreased food security and food insecurity worsens due to more smoking.