Levies For Sustainable Agriculture? A Meta-Analytic Exploration of Different Pesticide Price Elasticities in Agriculture

Peter Nijkamp
Gerard Pepping



This article addresses the analytical potential of meta-analysis. Meta-analysis originated as a statistical procedure for combining and comparing research findings from different studies focusing on similar phenomena. For the social sciences, meta-analysis is particularly suitable in cases where research outcomes on similar phenomena are to be judged or even transferred to other situations. However, social science research is characterized by a low level of controllability. Moreover, in many cases the sample size of case studies of applied research on a given phenomenon is rather small. the main aim of the present article is to demonstrate that a new methodology based on a recently developed multidimensional classification method, coined rough set analysis, may be very suitable, as this method is able to deal with pattern recognition in categorical variables and to derive logical binary statements from a given data set. This method will be illustrated empirically in this article by exploring the potential impact of pesticide price regulation in agriculture on the basis of a comparative analysis of price elasticities collected from a limited set of studies. First, we carry out a conventional meta-analytic literary search, and collect and compare data on price elasticities by searching through the existing literature. Second, we apply rough set analysis in order to investigate the determinants of the price elasticity of the demand for pesticides, and end with some conclusions.

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