NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by David Zilberman

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Working Papers

January 2011How Agricultural Biotechnology Boosts Food Supply and Accomodates Biofuels
with Steven Sexton: w16699
Increased global demand for biofuels is placing increased pressure on agricultural systems at a time when traditional sources of yield improvements have been mostly exhausted, generating concerns about the future of food prices. This paper estimates the impact of global adoption of genetically engineered (GE) seeds on food supply by exploiting the spatial and temporal variation in the adoption of GE crops to identify the average yield effect due to GE technologies among adopters. The yield gains range from 65% for GE cotton to 12.4% for soybeans and appear to be higher in the developing world than in developed countries. The authors simulate food prices during the 2008 food crisis without GE-seed-induced yield gains. Genetically engineered crops appear to play an important role in arbitra...
May 2003Risk Aversion, Liability Rules, and Safety
with Joshua Graff Zivin, Richard Just: w9678
This paper investigates the performance of liability rules in two-party stochastic externality problems where negotiations are feasible and side payments are based on the realized level of externalities. Results show that an increase in polluter liability does not necessarily increase safety or efficiency in cases where the polluter is risk neutral. Complete polluter liability is found to yield Pareto optimality. When either party is risk averse, an increase in polluter liability may sometimes reduce safety and efficiency. If the polluter is risk neutral and the victim is risk averse, Pareto optimality is only achieved by assigning full liability on the polluter, i.e. giving the victim complete property rights to a clean environment. If the polluter is risk averse and the victim is risk ne...

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