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Economics Behind a 5,000 Percent Price hike

Conventional pharmaceutical companies have a specific business strategy. They usually stay unprofitable for decades until their drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to enter the market. Then they start to raise their drug price gradually at a rate above inflation every year. For instance, according to Deutsche Bank, Merck and Pfizer raised […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 3: Reasonableness of the Interpretation

Today’s article completes the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Parts one and two in this series provided background on the RFS, a general review of the final rule and questioned EPA’s definition of the word ‘supply.’ This article delves into whether EPA’s interpretation in general can be considered reasonable […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 2: the Meaning of the Word “Supply”

This article continues the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The previous article in this series provided background on the RFS and a general review of the final rule. This article looks specifically at EPA’s interpretation of the word “supply” in the waiver provision “inadequate domestic supply” and what Congress […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 1: the Rule and Background

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published the final rule that establishes the volume requirements for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Previous discussions about EPA’s arguments for use of the general waiver authority in the RFS statute reviewed a leaked version of the proposed rule and the proposed […]

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Livestock program breaks the cycle of hunger in Zambia’s Copperbelt

International livestock donation is a popular way for people in prosperous countries to support families in need in developing regions. By giving farm animals, donors might provide access to foods like milk and eggs and also provide a source of regular income to reduce poverty and further improve nutrition. While recipients of donated animals often […]

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Redirected flood waters lead to unintended consequences

An intricate system of basins, channels, and levees called the Headwaters Diversion carries water from the eastern Missouri Ozark Plateau to the Mississippi River south of Cape Girardeau. The system protects 1.2 million acres of agricultural lands in southeast Missouri from both overflow from the Mississippi River during flooding events and from Ozark Plateau runoff. […]

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Holiday Spirits: Notes from the Bourbon Trail

Good fortune recently provided me a brief, pre-holiday detour on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail with my dad and brothers. The amber of the value-added agricultural products and the informative tours included a few interesting bits of farm policy and history – starting with the fact that our visit (unintentionally) coincided with the 82nd anniversary of the […]

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Can peers help improve crop revenues in villages in India?

Why do some farmers earn more than others? Scholars have worked to explain the large observed differences in economic outcomes across firms, households, and industries. In developing countries, where small farmers often face limited access to agricultural markets, their agricultural revenues can vary dramatically within the same region, even after accounting for differences in capital […]

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Whose Loss is it Anyway? Incentives to Reduce Grain Losses in Southern Brazil

Global food security and environmental sustainability should not be conflicting goals, but too often they seem to be. Tackling food security purely by increasing production requires additional use of land, water, pesticides, and fertilizers. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations reports that one-third of all food is lost or wasted worldwide. Decreasing […]

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Wetter Wet Seasons, Drier Dry Seasons Harm Agriculture and Fuel Conflict in Asia

Climate change is set to disrupt weather patterns in many parts of the world. Many places will become hotter on average, some will see more rainfall than they used to, others less. But changes to average temperatures and precipitation are not the only thing we should worry about. Recent evidence shows that, over the past […]

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