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华中农业大学陈轩教授《How to Fight Against Southern Pine Beetle Epidemics: An Insurance Approach》学术报告

     2019年07月15日


题  目:How to Fight Against Southern Pine Beetle Epidemics: An Insurance Approach

报告人:Xuan Chen  教授

        华中农业大学教授、曾任美国缅因大学助理教授

时  间:20197月17日(周三)下午2:00

地  点:第三实验楼713

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报告内容提要:

The southern pine beetle (SPB) is among the leading biological agents killing southern pine species in the eastern U.S. In light of recognized spatio-temporal autocorrelation in SPB outbreaks, we devise a spatio-temporal block bootstrapping method that can be applied to analyze spatio-temporally dependent infestations. We also identify the relevant risk determinants and evaluate their impacts on the frequency of SPB outbreaks. For example, we find forest type, climate, natural disasters like storm and forest management are all significantly associated with SPB risks. Using the results of a statistical model, we design a county-level group index insurance plan that generates estimates of actuarially fair premium rates for timber stands containing southern pine species. Given that no government-provided compensation scheme for SPB epidemics currently exists, application of this new insurance product could reduce forest owners’ losses. Our study offers an approach to analyzing and protecting against risks of other destructive pests affecting the timber sector. 

Without viable financial instruments to hedge against risks brought about by pervasive hazards such as SPB, timberland owners are vulnerable to potentially high-consequence economic losses and limited government assistance in the aftermath. Our study, however, suggests a potential approach to compensate their losses at no cost in terms of overall social welfare. A single-peril index insurance scheme against SPB risks is proposed, and associated actuarially fair premium rates are estimated. Hypothetically, if such an insurance program becomes available, a private market for risk sharing of pest damages and cost sharing of pest control will emerge.  Compared with a direct subsidy from the government which is completely exogenous and usually results in a welfare loss, such a market mechanism should be more efficient in pricing risks. The main subject in this study, unlike previous research, is the broadscale frequency of SPB infestations, i.e., county–level spot finds. Such a choice is dictated by the fact that economic losses caused by this pest are more related to its intensities rather than probabilities. Therefore, this study should aid in the identification of patterns of SPB infestations and in generating precise estimates of their associated costs. The distribution of the SPB outbreak count variable, however, is extremely right skewed, with excessive zeros. In order to better estimate its probability densities, we adopted zero-inflated count models. Particularly, a zero–inflated negative binomial model fit best. As a pest with adequate mobility, SPB is generally viewed as a contagious hazard and their infestations are usually found to be spatially and temporal correlated. To control for spatio–temporal autocorrelation of SPB risks, a non–parametric block bootstrapping method was used. The estimation results suggest some potentially important forest management implications. Most covariates are found to be statistically significant causal factors for SPB risks. For example, drought and high temperatures appear to enhance SPB hazard significantly. Another prominent finding is that different tree species can affect SPB hazard in distinct ways. Thus timber owners and forest agencies may take preventive actions to protect pine properties against SPB by managing forests appropriately, such as to expand the establishments of certain types of tree stands, like long / slash pines.

 

嘉宾介绍:

Xuan Chen

Current institute and position:

Professor, School of Economics and Management, Huazhong Agricultural University

Past institutes and positions:

Research Assistant Professor at Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, USA.  2017/8-2019/6

Farm Credit (endowed) Assistant Professor, School of Economics, University of Maine, USA. 2013/8-2017/8

Instructor / Teaching Assistant / Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 2007/8-2013/7

Offshore Banking Manager and International Trade Specialist, China Merchants Bank, Headquarters, Shenzhen, China, 2005/7-2007/7

Educational background:

§   North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA. Ph.D. in Economics 2009/8-2013/7

§   North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA. Master of Science in Economics          2007/8-2009/7

§   Peking University, Beijing, China.  Bachelor of Science in Statistics &   Bachelor of Science in Economics (double major)          2001/8-2005/7

Scientific research fields:

Agricultural, resource and environmental economics

Representative publications:

§   Chen, X., Goodwin, B., & Prestemon, J. (2014) “Is Timber Insurable? A Study of Wildfire Risks in the U.S. Forest Sector Using Spatio–Temporal Models”, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 96(1), 213–231.

§   Chen, X., Anderson, G., Bouchard, D.*, McGuire, J.*, Criner, G., & Marcinkowski, D. (2016) “Costs of Producing Milk in Maine: Results from the 2013 Cost–of–Production Survey”, Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station Technical Bulletin: 854.

§   Evans, K., Athearn, K., Chen, X. & Bell, K. (2016) “Measuring the Impact of Pollution Closures on Commercial Shellfish Harvest: the Case of Soft–shell Clams in Machias Bay, Maine”, Ocean and Coastal Management 130: 196-204.

§   Asarea, E., Drummond, F., Hoshide, A., Criner, G., & Chen, X. (2017) “Economic Risk of Bee Pollination in Maine Wild Blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton”, Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 110, Issue 5: 1980-1992

§   Chen, X., Yarborough, D., & Cote, J. (2017) “Wild Blueberry Systems Approach: Economic and Risk Analysis”, Acta Horticulturae, 1180:143-150

§   Evans, K., Chen, X. & Robichaud, C. (2017) “A Hedonic Analysis of the Impact of Marine

Aquaculture on Coastal Housing Prices in Maine”, Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 46(2), 242-267

§   Scuderi, B.*, & Chen, X. (2018) “Assessing Price Integration and Trade Policy in the U.S. Catfish Market”, Aquaculture Economics and Management, 22(1): 112-130.

§   Scuderi, B.*, & Chen, X. (2018) “Production Efficiency in New England’s Oyster Aquaculture

Industry”, Aquaculture Economics and Management,DOI: 10.1080/13657305.2018.1449272

§   Chen, X., Bouchard, D.*, & Anderson, G. (2018), “How Effective Is A Dairy Relief Program?

Evaluating Maine’s Tier Payment Program Using A Simulation Approach”, Sustainability, 10(10), 3514

§   Chen, X., Goodwin, B., & Prestemon, J. (2018) “How to Fight Against Southern Pine Beetle Epidemics: An Insurance Approach”, Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, DOI: 10.1111/cjag.12186

§   Chen, X., Chen, J.*, & Huang, C. (2019) “Too Risky to Focus on Agriculture? An Empirical

Study of Chinese Agricultural Households’ Off–Farm Employment Decisions”, Sustainability, 11(3),697

(* indicates graduate advisees)

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