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More than Mean Effects: Modeling the Effect of Climate on the Higher Order Moments of Crop Yields

Jesse Tack (), Ardian Harri and Keith Coble ()

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2012, vol. 94, issue 5, 1037-1054

Abstract: This article proposes the use of moment functions and maximum entropy techniques as a flexible approach for estimating conditional crop yield distributions. We present a moment-based model that extends previous approaches, and is easily estimated using standard econometric estimators. Predicted moments under alternative regimes are used as constraints in a maximum entropy framework to analyze the distributional impacts of switching regimes. An empirical application for Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas upland cotton demonstrates how climate and irrigation affect the shape of the yield distribution, and allows us to illustrate several advantages of our moment-based maximum entropy approach. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2012
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