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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - Department of Agricultural Economics

Current Research Projects


more research projects: research data base of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Price Formation and Agricultural Land Markets

Land is a crucial production factor in agriculture. In developed countries this input factor is usually in short supply and its overall availability shrinks permanently. On the contrary, the increasing demand of growing farms and more recently of non-agricultural investors causes price pressure on the land market. Thus, it is not surprising that land prices increased in recent years. Though the analysis of land markets is a core topic in agricultural economics, many questions are still unanswered. For example, do land prices reflect the price boom for agricultural commodities and bio-energy? Can land prices be fully explained by fundamental factors or are they also driven by speculative bubbles? What is the role of non-agricultural investors? Should land markets be regulated and if so, what are the most efficient instruments?

Against this background the project aims at understanding the recent developments on land markets, particularly in Germany and the EU. The focus will be on quantitative modelling and empirical (econometric) analyses.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Martin Odening, m.odening(at)agrar.hu-berlin.de
Cooperation: Prof. Dr. Silke Hüttel, S.Huettel(at)ilr.uni-bonn.de, Universität Bonn

Index-based insurance and data scarcity

Most markets are exposed to risk. Agricultural production is particularly affected because many crops are produced on arable land, which is susceptible and exposed to different types of risk. This makes the production very vulnerable and highly dependent on variables such as the weather and other natural factors. Most of the world’s poorest populations live in rural areas where they rely heavily on agriculture. These groups are also considered the most vulnerable to risk. At the same time, these groups have the lowest protection against risk. Although these populations would profit immensely from risk management strategies, such as insurance, the data situation often prevents insurance companies from developing and offering crop insurances. Especially developing countries are prone to lacking data, which plays a central role in the permeation and design of agricultural insurance. Low quantity and quality data potentially lead to ineffective and expensive insurance products. Hence, the objective of this study is to employ econometric tools and strategies for dealing with data scarcity against the background of agricultural insurance.

Contact: Katarina von Witzke, witzkevk(at)hu-berlin.de

Liquidity and the Role of Information in Agricultural Commodity Markets

In general, liquidity in agricultural commodity markets is comparatively low. Amongst other factors, it is the asymmetric distribution of information between market participants which is considered to influence the liquidity in a marketplace. The asymmetry of information ultimately becomes apparent through the order arrival process in the order book, which is also providing further insights into the price formation process. Thus, we place the order book and the order arrival process in the focus of these investigations, to understand liquidity and effects of policy measures such as the European Commission’s Directive on markets in financial instruments (MiFID 2) on liquidity in agricultural commodity markets.

Contact: Steffen Volkenand, steffen.volkenand(at)agrar.hu-berlin.de