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Author:Scott, Francisco 

Journal Article
How Mergers in the Farm Credit System Have Affected Ag Banks

Commercial banks and the Farm Credit System (FCS) have been the most important sources of agricultural loans in the United States in recent decades. Since the 1990s, however, mergers and acquisitions have increasingly concentrated both the FCS and commercial banks, raising concerns about potential effects on the agricultural credit market. Starting in the 2000s, the FCS gained a substantial market share of total agricultural debt, lending credibility to these concerns. Thus far, however, how the FCS’s evolving size and scope affect agricultural bank operations, particularly through mergers, ...
Economic Review , Volume vol. 108 , Issue no. 3 , Pages 23

Journal Article
Tight Labor Markets Have Been a Key Contributor to High Food Inflation

Food inflation remains higher than measures of overall inflation, and labor markets have been tight. We find that processed food products have driven recent increases in grocery prices, and we argue that labor market tightness affects the prices of these labor-intensive products in particular through increases in production and distribution costs. Food inflation at grocery stores could remain elevated if price pressures on the supply side persist and demand for food at home remains strong.
Economic Bulletin

Working Paper
The Supply and Demand of Agricultural Loans

Credit plays a critical role in the agricultural sector, but many studies suggest that farmers are credit constrained. We examine the degree to which changes in non-real-estate agricultural loans at commercial banks are driven by changes in supply and demand, using information provided by agricultural lending surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Kansas City, and Minneapolis. Building on recent studies of loan officer opinion surveys, we estimate the changes in agricultural loan supply and demand using an unbalanced panel of 1,024 banks across 191 quarters ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 22-06

Journal Article
Commodity Prices Have Limited Influence on U.S. Food Inflation

Food prices increased at the fastest pace in more than two decades from July 2021 to July 2022. We show that this increase has not been driven by commodity prices but by an increase in consumer spending on food at home and increases in costs along the supply chain. Our results suggest that food inflation could ease if consumers shift more purchases back to food service establishments and if costs in food processing and marketing abate. Conversely, food inflation could remain high if broader measures of inflation persist.
Economic Bulletin , Issue September 23, 2022 , Pages 4

Journal Article
Labor Constraints and Strong Demand Are Driving Robust Food Services Inflation

Although headline inflation has slowed in recent months, inflation for core services has remained elevated since the first half of 2021. Inflation for food services in particular has been significantly higher than inflation for goods and other services. We argue that food services inflation has been elevated by the sector’s fast rebound in expenditures and its high dependency on labor amid labor shortages and elevated labor costs.
Economic Bulletin

Journal Article
Increased Loan Demand and Higher Interest Rates May Benefit Ag Banks

Extreme weather, geopolitical conflicts, supply chain disruptions, and rising interest rates all directly affectU.S. agriculture, which may in turn affect banks that make agricultural loans. Demand for loans from agbanks could rise following events that reduce net farm income or increase banks’ ability to reprice loans,such as supply chain disruptions or higher interest rates. But competition with other banks and nonbankfinancial institutions may offset some of these benefits.
Economic Bulletin , Issue July 13, 2022 , Pages 4

Working Paper
An Experimental Analysis of Quality Misperception in Food Labels

The size and distribution of surplus in markets where credence quality attributes of food (e.g., organic, non-GMO) are conveyed through some informational mechanism (typically labels) crucially depend on 1) how information changes consumers’ perception of quality and 2) producers’ strategic choice of quality provision in response to changes in consumers’ perception of quality. This paper examines the hypothesis that consumers’ misperception of quality information can provide incentives to sellers to increase quality and offset the lower quality that exists in markets where firms ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 23-11

Journal Article
Not Bullish: U.S. Cattle Herds Hung Up on Higher Interest Expenses

Cattle inventories declined to historically low levels at the start of 2024. Cattle producers may facechallenges maintaining or restocking herds, as higher interest expenses on cattle and input purchases in2022–23 have constrained profit margins. Although feed costs have decreased slightly, higher costs forfinancing and other operating expenses could continue to put pressure on cattle production andprofitability.
Economic Bulletin



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