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Agriculture in crisis: policy analysis and cow-calf producer behaviour in the aftermath of the Canadian BSE events Open Access


Other title
bovine spongiform encephalopathy
agricultural economics
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Schaufele, Brandon
Supervisor and department
Unterschultz, James (Rural Economy)
Examining committee member and department
Adamowicz, Wiktor (Rural Economy)
Gray, Richard (Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, University of Saskatchewan)
Jeffrey, Scott (Rural Economy)
Leech, Andrew (School of Business)
Nilsson, Tomas (Rural Economy)
Department of Rural Economy

Date accepted
Graduation date
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Degree level
The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis was a significant shock to the Canadian agricultural sector. On May 20, 2003, it was announced that an animal infected with BSE had been identified. The economic aftermath of this discovery was described as “horrendous” (AGO, 2004). Economic crises, such as the Canadian BSE agricultural crisis, are rare events. The rarity of these episodes supplies a unique opportunity for analysis. According to a policy review by the Alberta Auditor General (AGO, 2004), the agricultural economics discipline appeared to be of little assistance in the crisis policy design process. This research addresses this problem by exploring economic theory and policy via detailed empirical investigation. Specifically, this study evaluates agricultural support policies and producer risk preferences in the aftermath of the Canadian BSE crisis. Three research chapters address questions related to cow-calf producer behaviour and government policy. Chapter 2 focuses on designing emergency aid programs and calculating short-run quantitative benchmarks for crisis relief at the farm-level. Chapter 3 estimates observed risk preferences for a sample of Albertan cow-calf producers. Differential risk preferences help to explain diverse production responses following agricultural crises. The final research chapter, chapter 4, examines Canada’s primary risk management program when there is potential for catastrophic price risk. In particular, vertical and horizontal equity criteria are used to scrutinize the distribution of net AgriStability benefits across a heterogeneous sample of cow-calf producers.
License granted by Brandon Schaufele ( on 2010-03-26T17:15:25Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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