Macroeconomic Uncertainty and Sectoral Output

Performance: Empirical Evidence from Greece



Constantinos P. Katrakilidis and Nikolaos Tabakis




This paper provides an empirical investigation of the links between macroeconomic uncertainty and sectoral output using Greek data. Uncertainty is considered in three distinct components, namely the inflation uncertainty, the exchange rate uncertainty and the output uncertainty. The results highlight the differences in sectoral responsiveness and the importance of a stable macroeconomic environment.


Key Words: sectoral growth, macroeconomic uncertainty, VAR, Granger-causality,

                     variance decompositions


JEL classification: C32, C53, O52, E32




A Panel Data Approach to the Measurement of Technical Efficiency and its Determinants: Some Evidence from the Tunisian Agro-Food Industry



Lassaad Lachaal, Ali Chebil and Boubaker Dhehibi




This study investigates firm level technical efficiency of production and its determinants in the Tunisian agro-food industry. To this end, a stochastic production frontier model, in which technical efficiency effects are assumed to be a function of firm-specific variables and time, is estimated using panel data on 46 agro-food firms observed over a period of 14 years. Results indicate that technical efficiency in the sample of firms investigated ranges from a minimum of 45% to a maximum of 90% with an average technical efficiency estimate of 67%. Further, investigation of the sources of technical inefficiency in the sample reveals that the age of capital stock and firm size are negatively associated with efficiency, the share of skilled labour is positively associated with efficiency and, on average, technical efficiency tendes to decline during the period of investigation.


Keywords: Technical efficiency, panel data, stochastic frontier production function,

                    food industry, Tunisia






Evaluation and Ranking of the Financial Status of the Greek Rural

Cooperatives Unions by a Decision Support System



L. Iliadis, T. Koutroumanidis and G. Arabatzis




The Rural Cooperatives Unions (RCUs) play a significant role in the development of the Greek rural sector, but they are facing significant organizing and administrative problems. The use of methods and techniques of the operational research by the RCUs may contribute significantly in making and supporting rational decisions.

A Decision Support System (DSS) was developed that can provide very important services in the direction of evaluating the existing RCUs and forecasting their future financial performance. The system uses multicriteria analysis based on actual financial data and applies fundamental principles of fuzzy logic in order to achieve the forecasting of the future performance of the eight RCUs that are located in the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (in North-Eastern Greece).


Keywords: Multicriteria Analysis, Rural Cooperatives Unions, Decision Support

                   Systems, Fuzzy logic, Computer Program





The impact of the EU Water Framework Directive on irrigated

agriculture in Italy: the case of the North-East fruit district



G.M. Bazzani, S. Di Pasquale, V. Gallerani, S. Morganti, M. Raggi and D. Viaggi




The objective of the paper is to evaluate the sustainability of irrigated agriculture under Water Framework Directive (60/2000) and Agenda 2000. The methodology relies on scenario analysis combined to farm level multicriteria mathematical programming. The methodology is applied to the case study of fruit farming in Northern Italy.

The research shows that water pricing can improve irrigation efficiency, but the impact of water policy is strongly affected by agricultural policy scenarios. In order to make water policies more socially sound, it is necessary to consider a broader range of impacts and to provide a higher co-ordination between policy goals.


Keywords: irrigation, water policy, multicriteria programming, decision support

                   system, scenarios, sustainability




Pervasiveness and Patterns of Non-tariff Measures

Affecting EU Agri-food Exports



Peter Walkenhorst




Evaluating the importance of non-tariff measures (NTMs) remains a major challenge.  This paper reports evidence on the prevalence of NTMs in the agri-food sector based on an EU inventory of business complaints.  This data source has the advantage of drawing on experiences of economic agents that are directly involved in trading activities, of containing information on domestic governance issues, and of covering procedural aspects of NTMs.  The results suggest that business complaints about price control measures, quantitative import controls, monopolistic measures, technical measures, and certification are particularly frequent. 


Keywords:  Market access, non-tariff measures, complaints inventory.


JEL Classification:  Commercial policy; protection; promotion; trade negotiations

                                    (F130); Country and industry studies of trade (F140)




Carbon sequestration through the planting of multi-annual

energy crops: A dynamic and spatial assessment



Stéphane De Cara and Stelios Rozakis




In this study, we examine the spatial and dynamic implications of policies aimed at increasing carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. We consider incentive mechanisms designed to encourage the planting of energy multi-annual crops that allow higher carbon sequestration rates for a longer period of time. By using a dynamic micro-economic model, we simulate the sequence of crop plantings over a given time horizon and investigate different payment mechanisms (per-ton or per-hectare). We discuss their implications in terms of regulation policy and efficiency. This model is then applied to the Central Plains of Thessaly, Greece, to assess the marginal costs of carbon sequestration and the optimal timing of switching to multi-annual energy crops. To do so, we combine the dynamic microeconomic model with a carbon accounting model and a geophysical database. We assess the efficiency loss of constant per-hectare payments compared to per-ton mechanisms. The dynamic and spatial implications of these mechanisms are compared and discussed.


Keywords: Carbon sequestration,climate change, Greece, energy crops, dynamic

                    mathematical programming


JEL Classification : Q25, Q15