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Friday Roundup: New Working Papers on food prices, India rainfall insurance, mega farms and Brazil ethanol

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Food price spikes, price insulation, and poverty
This paper looks into the impact of changes in restrictions on staple foods trade during the 2008 food price crisis on global food prices and also analyzes the impact of such insulating behavior on poverty in various developing countries and globally.

How does risk management influence production decisions? evidence from a field experiment
The paper finds that the provision of insurance induces farmers to shift production toward higher-return but higher-risk cash crops, particularly among more educated farmers in India.

Are mega-farms the future of global agriculture ? Exploring the farm size-productivity relationship
The paper explores relationship between farm-size and higher yields using data from Ukraine’s farms. Using panel data analysis for all the country’s farms with more than 200 hectares in 2001-2011, the paper suggests that higher yields and profits are driven by the exit of unproductive farms and entry of more efficient farms.

An economic model of Brazil's ethanol-sugar markets and impacts of fuel policies
The lack of growth in the Brazilian sugarcane-ethanol complex since the 2008 financial crisis has been blamed on policies. The paper analyzes the impacts of these policies by developing an empirical model of the Brazilian fuel-ethanol-sugar complex.