Alessandro Olper

Alessandro Olper
University of Milan | UNIMI · Department of Environmental Science and Policy

PhD

About

102
Publications
17,337
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Alessandro Olper is Professor in Agricultural Economics at the Department of Environmental Science and Policy of the University of Milan. His main research interests focus on the following topics: International agri-food Trade, Political economy of trade policy; Climate econometrics.
Additional affiliations
March 2016 - April 2016
University of Milan
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2012 - March 2016
University of Milan
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
April 2007 - July 2007
KU Leuven
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (102)
Article
This article exploits the sequences of the European Union (EU) enlargements to investigate their impact on the incoming countries' agricultural policy. We use a quasi‐experimental approach—the Synthetic Control method—to identify changes in the level of agricultural protection of the new members, in comparison with a counterfactual scenario. Our re...
Article
The economic analysis of climate change requires estimates at both aggregate and local level. Although there are numerous studies that estimate the global impact of climate change, country-level studies are still rare, particularly as far as Italy is concerned. By exploiting a panel of 110 provinces observed between 1980 and 2014, this paper invest...
Article
This article analyzes how value chains play a role in the political economy of agricultural and food policy by (1) discussing historical insights; (2) reviewing an emerging literature on political economy of trade policy and value chains and drawing implications for agricultural and food policy; (3) discussing market power issues with increasing co...
Article
Climate change and obesity are two major concerns for policy makers globally, but can climate change be a driver of obesity? This is what our analysis tries to establish. To this purpose, we exploit inter-annual variations of the Body Mass Index (BMI) for children and adults in 134 countries over 39 years, to study to what extent changes in air tem...
Article
This article investigates the influence of lobbying, electoral incentives, and US state governors’ party affiliation on environmental expenditures. A theoretical framework is presented, emphasizing the potential impact of lobbying from interest groups on environmental policies. The major causal link for environmental expenditures depends on the gov...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates the capitalization of farm subsidies in Italy by relying on a novel approach based on the Grouped Fixed Effect (GFE) estimator. This methodology allows us to account for the regional unobserved time-varying determinants of the Italian land values. Results show that the elasticity of land price with respect to coupled and d...
Article
This paper assesses the relationship between import competition and firm‐level markups by examining the imports of intermediate and final goods. Using a rich firm‐level dataset of French food companies from 2001 to 2013, we find that, on average, increased final goods import competition (intermediate inputs) is negatively (positively) associated wi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper assesses how crosscountry differences in public mandatory food standards affect trade, prices and product quality upgrading in the agri-food sector. We estimate different gravity-type models that exploit the bilateral difference in maximum residue limits (MRLs) over the period from 2005 to 2014 for 145 products across 59 countries. Our f...
Article
Full-text available
Our study investigates the determinants of renewable energy consumption in Sub-Sahara Africa. We explore the driving factors of renewable energy consumption in the context of carbon intensity for 32 Sub-Saharan African countries from 1990 to 2015. Using carbon emission intensity to identify group-specific heterogeneity, we recognize carbon-efficien...
Article
This article investigates the influence of lobbying, electoral incentives, and US state governors’ party affiliation on environmental expenditures. A theoretical framework is presented, emphasizing the potential impact of lobbying from interest groups on environmental policies. The major causal link for environmental expenditures depends on the gov...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our study investigates the determinants of renewable energy consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa. We explore the driving factors of renewable energy consumption in the context of carbon intensity for 32 Sub-Saharan African countries from 1990 to 2015. Using carbon emission intensity to identify group-specific heterogeneity, we recognize carbon-efficie...
Article
The ongoing debate on whether agri-food (public) regulatory standards are barriers or catalysts to trade is particularly pertinent for developing countries who are often standard-takers. Current evidence on the trade effects of regulatory standards is ambiguous. Given the case of Peru, our analysis focuses on the heterogeneous trade effects, at the...
Article
This paper studies the effect of agri-environmental measures (AEMs) in improving greener farming practices. We focus on the quantification of the effectiveness of AEMs implemented in the Rural Development Programme of the Lombardy Region, during the 2007–2013 programming period. Our work attempts to address the wellknown potential failures of these...
Article
Migration and climate change are two of the most important challenges the world currently faces. They are connected as climate change may stimulate or hinder migration. One of the sectors strongly affected by climate change is agriculture, which is the source of income for most of the world's poor. Climate change may affect agricultural productivit...
Article
JEL classifications: Q12 Q18 O13 J21 J43 J60 A B S T R A C T This paper investigates the relationship between EU agricultural subsidies and the outflow of labor from agriculture. We use more representative subsidy indicators and a wider coverage (panel data from 210 EU regions over the period 2004-2014) than has been used before. The data allow to...
Article
This paper investigates the relationship between EU agricultural subsidies and agricultural labor productivity growth by estimating a conditional convergence growth model. We use more representative subsidy indicators and a wider coverage (panel data from 213 EU regions over the period 2004–2014) than have been used before. We find that, on average...
Conference Paper
This paper investigates the relationship between EU agricultural subsidies, including agri-environmental subsidies, and the outflow of labor from agriculture. We use more representative subsidy indicators and a wider coverage (panel data from 210 EU regions over the period 2004-2014) than has been used before. The data allow to better correct for s...
Article
Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between EU agricultural subsidies and the outflow of labor from agriculture. We use more representative subsidy indicators and a wider coverage (panel data from 210 EU regions over the period 2004-2014) than has been used before. The data allow to better correct for sample selection bias than previ...
Article
Using a new detailed dataset on country‐product information on European Union (EU) Geographical Indications (GIs), we study the impact of this food quality policy on trade margins over the 1996–2014 period. We consider the effect of GIs on both intra‐ and extra‐EU trade margins (extensive and intensive), as well as on export (and import) unit value...
Article
The agro‐food sector has experienced a profound transformation of contractual arrangements along the value chain, coinciding with important technological innovations and product quality upgrading. Our understanding of the impact that this transformation has had on trade flows in the agricultural sector is very limited. In particular, we have limite...
Article
We study the effect of trade liberalization on child mortality using data from emerging and developing countries over the 1960-2010 period. To capture possible heterogeneity of effects, we use the Synthetic Control Method (SCM) for comparative case studies. The SCM allows to compare the trajectory of post-reform health outcomes of treated countries...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to provide an assessment of the application of the reciprocity principle in EU agri-food trade at global level. The report provides substantial evidence for progresses occurring at worldwide level in regulatory rapprochement. Scientific cooperation, collaboration between risk assessment bodies, harmonization of control proc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a selective review of the classical economics-based literature on climate change and migration, focusing on the extent to which agriculture might be considered a key mediating channel linking climate change to migration. Overall, climate change is expected to have large and negative effects on the global economy. These effects a...
Book
Full-text available
The European Union (EU) Regular Economic Report (RER), is an annual publication of the World Bank Group and covers economic developments, prospects, and economic policies in the European Union. The report finds that while growth is back on track, the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution is lagging behind in the EU’s recovery. This is likely...
Article
This article studies the effect of the lack of international harmonization in agri-food standards on international trade flows focusing on the European Union (EU). The EU is characterized by high level of protectionism, which makes it an ideal case study. We measure the differences in countries’ level of ‘protectionism’ by applying an index of aggr...
Article
In this article, we study the trade creation effects of EU preferential trade agreements (PTAs) in the agriculture and food sectors for a large sample of developing countries in the period 1990–2006. We investigate the extent to which the PTAs affect trade through the extensive margin—number of exported products—or the intensive margin—volume of ex...
Book
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to provide an assessment of the application of the reciprocity principle in EU agri-food trade at global level. The report provides substantial evidence for progresses occurring at worldwide level in regulatory rapprochement. Scientific cooperation, collaboration between risk assessment bodies, harmonization of control proc...
Preprint
This article investigates the influence of lobbying, electoral incentives, and the ideology of U.S. state governors on environmental expenditures. A theoretical framework is presented, emphasizing that the potential impact of lobbying and messaging from interest groups on environmental policies depends on the ideology of governors. Implementing a R...
Article
Full-text available
The growing demand of maize silage for biogas production in Northern Italy has triggered an intense debate concerning land rents, maize prices and their possible negative consequences on important agri-food chains. The aim of this work is to quantify the extent to which the rapid spread of biogas raised the maize price at regional level, increasing...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The effects of political regimes on health are unclear because empirical evidence is neither strong nor robust. Traditional econometric tools do not allow the direction of causality to be established clearly. We used a new method to investigate whether political transition into democracy affected child mortality. Methods: We used a synt...
Article
Imported goods play a central role in determining the gains from trade. Using detailed trade and firm-level data for Italy and France, we investigate the relationship between trade integration, imported intermediate inputs and firm performance in the food industry. Our main findings show that an increase in import competition spurs firm-level produ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a selective review of the political and economics literature on non-tariff measures (NTMs), with special emphasis on the so-called behind-the-border measures, such as environmental and food standards. We focus on both theory and existing empirical evidence. The complex issue of international trading rules over domestic regulator...
Article
Full-text available
We study the political economy of instrument choice in agricultural and food policies. After a review of the historical evolution of European agricultural price and trade policy instruments since 1880, we develop a political economy model of instrument choice. The key predictions of the model suggest a rational explanation of instrument choice patt...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The growing demand of green maize for biogas production in Northern Italy has triggered an intense debate concerning land rents, maize prices and their possible negative consequences on important agri-food chains. The aim of this work is to quantify the extent to which the rapid spread of biogas raised the maize price at regional level, increasing...
Article
This paper analyses the extent to which the reduction of import tariffs as a measure of import competition affects the quality upgrading of the food products exported to the European Union (EU). This relationship is studied using a ‘distance to the frontier’ model which is based on a non-monotonic relationship between competition and innovation. Qu...
Research
Full-text available
2015 ASSA Meeting, AAEA Invited Section "Heterogeneity and Trade: Application to the Food and Agricultural Sector"
Article
Full-text available
An increasing set of evidence has been reported on how countries set standards on genetically modified food and their subsequent economic effects. Studies typically contain some empirical evidence and some theoretical explanations of the data. However, to date, limited effort has been posed on systematically reviewing the existing evidence and its...
Article
This paper deals with the determinants of out-farm migration across the European Union (EU) regions focusing on the role played by CAP payments. We add to the existing literature in three main directions. First, our analysis has broad coverage (150 EU regions over the 1990–2009 period); second, we work on the entire portfolio of CAP instruments; th...
Book
Full-text available
This study evaluates how the most recent CAP reform was affected by the enhanced role of the EP; assesses the extent to which maximum influence was exercised by the EP negotiators and provides insights to assist the EP in its approach to future reform negotiations.
Article
This paper provides evidence on private standards on genetically modified (GM) organisms for 44 retailers operating in 54 countries, distinguishing between retailers not using GM ingredients, and retailers using ingredients which are potentially GM in private label products. Using this information, we empirically investigate the drivers that induce...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This evaluation assesses the impact of EU preferential trade agreements and arrangements (PTAs) on the development of agricultural trade in the ACP region countries for the period 1990-2012. The study reviews the historical evolution of EU preferential arrangements with ACP countries, including Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), several of whi...
Article
Melitz and Ottaviano’s (2008) firm-heterogeneity model predicts that trade liberalization induces a selection process from low to high productivity firms, which translates to an industry productivity growth. A similar firms’ selection effect is induced by market size. In this paper, these predictions are tested across 25 European countries and 9 fo...
Article
This article investigates whether political competition plays an important role in determining the level of agricultural protection. In order to do so, we exploit variation in political and economic data from 74 developing and developed countries for the post-war period. We use two measures of political competition: one that captures the extent to...
Article
This paper investigates the relationship between the diffusion of EU standards and product quality upgrading using highly disaggregated import data to the EU in the food industry. Results show that, on average, the diffusion of EU voluntary standards boosts the rate of quality upgrading. However, the results are heterogeneous when moving from prima...
Article
This article revisits the so-called ‘Collapse in Quality’ hypothesis, according to which, during the 2008–2009 crisis, higher quality goods experienced a stronger export reduction compared to low-quality ones. Using disaggregated trade data from three European countries that traditionally export high-quality food products – France, Italy and Spain...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper examines the effect of the decoupling of farm direct payments upon the off-farm labour supply decisions of farmers in both Ireland and Italy. We use panel data from the Farm Business Survey (REA) and FADN database covering the period from 2002 to 2009 to model these decisions. Drawing from the conceptual agricultural household model, we...
Patent
Full-text available
The present invention relates to an electrolytic process for producing metallic lead starting from desulfurized lead pastel comprising the following operative phases: a) leaching the desulfurized pastel by putting it in contact with a solution comprising ammonium chloride, with the formation of a leach liquor and evolution of gaseous CO2; b) separa...
Article
Full-text available
The inter-sectoral migration of agricultural labour is a complex but fundamental process of economic development largely affected by the growth of agricultural productivity and the evolution of the agricultural relative income gap. Theory and some recent anecdotal evidence suggest that as an effect of large fixed and sunk costs of out-farm migratio...
Article
We investigate the effect of electoral rules and forms of government on public policy outcomes using a new dataset on agriculture and food policies from 74 countries over the 1960–2005 period. Using both cross-sectional and panel data analyses we find robust evidence that the specific nature of democratic institutions has important consequences for...
Article
Full-text available
This paper studies the effect of political regime transitions on public policy using a new data set on global agricultural and food policies over a 50-year period (including data from 74 developing and developed countries over the 1955–2005 period). The authors find evidence that democratization leads to a reduction of agricultural taxation, an inc...
Article
This paper provides evidence on private standards on genetically modified (GM) organisms for 44 retailers operating in 54 countries, distinguishing between retailers not using GM ingredients, and retailers using ingredients which are potentially GM in private label products. Using this information, we empirically investigate the drivers that induce...
Article
Using firm-level data we investigate the export behavior of Italian food firms, focusing on the link between total factor productivity (TFP), product quality, and export across heterogeneous destinations. We test the main predictions of an international trade model based on firm heterogeneity in product quality and non-homothetic preferences in con...
Article
Full-text available
COMPETE is a collaborative research project supported by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (Contract No 312029). The project runs over the three-year period 2012-2015. General Objective of COMPETE to gain a comprehensive view of the different elements that contribute to the competitiveness of the European agri-food sector in ord...
Article
Most studies on the impact of WTO agreements on policies are ex ante simulations or focus on trade effects. We estimate ex post the impact of the WTO on agricultural policies, including both the total transfers by the policies and the policy instruments used, in particular their market distortions. We use OECD data on total support and instrument c...
Article
Full-text available
This paper deals with the determinants of labour out-migration from agriculture across 153 EU regions over the 1990-2008 period. The central aim is to shed light on the role played by CAP payments on this important adjustment process. Using static and dynamic panel data methods, we show that standard neo-classic drivers, like the relative income an...
Article
Full-text available
This paper quantifies the effect of GMO regulation on bilateral trade flows of agricultural products. We develop a composite index of GMO regulations and using a gravity model we show that bilateral differences in GMO regulation negatively affect trade flows. This effect is especially driven by labeling, approval process, and traceability. Our resu...
Article
The paper develops a composite index of GMO standards restrictiveness for 60 countries, assigning objective scores to six different regulatory dimensions. Using this index and its components, we empirically investigate the political and economic determinants of GMO regulations. Results show that many of the determinants highlighted in the theoretic...
Article
Full-text available
The paper deals with the determinants of labour out-migration from agriculture across 149 EU regions over the 1990-2008 period. The central aim is to shed light on the role played by CAP payments on this important adjustment process. Using static and dynamic panel data estimators, we show that standard neo-classic drivers, like the relative income...
Article
This paper investigates the determinants of home bias in consumption in the beer and wine markets across 15 'old' member states of the European Union (EU) during the period 2000-2009. Two main results are obtained using a theory-driven gravity equation. Firstly, the home bias in beer consumption is several orders of magnitude higher than that of wi...
Article
We present an econometric investigation of the trade effect produced by the elimination of tariffs in 18 food sectors for a large sample of developing and developed countries. The standard CES monopolistic competition trade model and the gravity equation were used to estimate trade substitution elasticities, exploring their sensitivity to different...
Chapter
The 2003 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy in the rice sector has implied a drastic change of the level and instruments of the border protection. Because the European Union (EU) grants trade preferences to a considerable number of developing countries, the reform of the domestic policy also entailed erosion of preferences. This chapter addre...
Article
We study the political economy of instrument choice in agricultural and food policies. After a review of the historical evolution of European agricultural price and trade policy instruments since 1880, we develop a political economy model of instrument choice. The key predictions of the model suggest a rational explanation of instrument choice patt...
Article
Full-text available
The article uses better policy indicators and improved methodologies to measure the impact of political institutions on government policymaking, taking into consideration recent developments in the political economics literature. The existing literature studying the effect of political institutions on agricultural policy has especially exploited cr...
Article
Full-text available
Since 2004 there has been a sharp decrease in border protection for the EU rice industry. Because the EU grants trade preferences to a considerable number of rice exporting developing countries, the reform implied preference erosion as well. By addressing the impact of preference erosion on developing countries rice exports to the EU, this paper co...
Chapter
Full-text available
Recent reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) increasingly recognize the central role the European agricultural sector plays in environmental management. This acknowledgement has led legislators to partly modify CAP objectives and, consequently, to set-up new policy instruments. Indeed, agrienvironmental measures (AEMs) have progressively...
Article
Full-text available
Using firm-level data we investigate the export behaviour of Italian food firms during 2001-2006, focusing on the link between total factor productivity (TFP), products quality, and export across destinations. Specifically, we test the main propositions of an international trade model based on firm heterogeneity in product quality and non-homotheti...