Abstract: Terms-of-trade policies between agriculture and industry are analysed in a two-sector Sraffian model. If both sectors use only produced means of production and labor, it can be shown that an improvement in agriculture's terms of trade always leads to higher profits in agriculture. However, when non-produced means of production are introduced an exogenous increase in the relative price of agricultural commodities may cause the rate of profit in agriculture to increase, remain constant, or even decrease. Two preconditions are identified for the case in which a favorable movement in agriculture's terms of trade decreases that sector's profit rate. First at least one quality of competitively priced land must be scarce relative to the total output required. Second, the initial, economy-wide rate of profit must be positive. Finally, the effect of an input subsidy used in conjunction with terms-of-trade policy is considered. It is shown that under certain conditions reducing the price of production inputs can also cause profits to fall and rents to rise in agriculture.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).