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Heterogeneous returns to chemical fertilizer at the intensive margins: Insights from Nepal

Hiroyuki Takeshima (), Rajendra Prasad Adhikari, Sabnam Shivakoti, Basu Dev Kaphle and Anjani Kumar ()

Food Policy, 2017, vol. 69, issue C, 97-109

Abstract: Increased fertilizer use is considered important for agricultural development in low-income countries. Promoting increased use of chemical fertilizer by lowering its price may be ineffective if demand is price inelastic. In theory, the price elasticity of demand depends on the returns to its use, but the evidence is scarce. Furthermore, while returns are often estimated for small changes in chemical fertilizer use, returns to larger changes in its use (intensive margins) are less understood. Through the inter-zonal comparisons in Nepal, we provide indicative evidence that greater returns to chemical fertilizer are associated with greater price elasticities of demand. Moreover, the evidence suggests that returns at the intensive margins, rather than returns to small changes, may largely account for inter-zonal differences in returns to chemical fertilizer within Nepal. The results suggest that better understanding the returns at the intensive margins is critical for effective agricultural inputs policies in developing countries.

Keywords: Returns to chemical fertilizer; Intensive margins; Generalized Double-Hurdle model; Generalized propensity score; Inverse probability weighting; Nepal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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