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Auctions for conservation contracts: an empirical examination of Victoria’s BushTender trial

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  • Stoneham, Gary
  • Chaudhri, Vivek
  • Ha, Arthur
  • Strappazzon, Loris
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    Abstract

    The present paper proposes that markets for nature conservation on private land are missing because of the problem of asymmetric information. An auction of conservation contracts was designed to reveal hidden information needed to facilitate meaningful transactions between landholders and government. The present paper describes the key elements of auction and contract design employed and the results obtained from a pilot auction of conservation contracts run in two regions of Victoria. The pilot demonstrated that it was possible to create at least the supply side of a market for nature conservation and in conjunction with a defined budget, prices were discovered and resources allocated through contracts with landholders. The present paper compares a discriminative price auction with a hypothetical fixed-price scheme showing that an auction could offer large cost savings to governments interested in nature conservation on private land. The paper identifies some important design problems that would need to be solved before auctions could be applied more broadly including: multiple complementary outcomes, reserve prices, sequential auction design and contract design. Nevertheless, the paper does show that auctioning conservation contracts for environmental outcomes is an important new policy mechanism that deserves closer examination.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its journal Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 47 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:118151

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    Keywords: Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    References

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    1. Elmar WOLFSTETTER, 1994. "Auctions: An Introduction," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1994,13, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    2. Uwe Latacz-Lohmann & Carel P. C. M. Hamsvoort, 1998. "Auctions as a Means of Creating a Market for Public Goods from Agriculture," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 334-345.
    3. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata & Duke, Charlotte, 2003. "A laboratory study of auctions for reducing non-point source pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 446-471, November.
    4. Cooper, Joseph C., 1997. "Combining Actual And Contingent Behavior Data To Model Farmer Adoption Of Water Quality Protection Practices," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 22(01), July.
    5. Uwe Latacz-Lohmann & Carel Van der Hamsvoort, 1997. "Auctioning Conservation Contracts: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 407-418.
    6. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Jonah Busch, 2013. "Supplementing REDD+ with Biodiversity Payments: The Paradox of Paying for Multiple Ecosystem Services - Working Paper 347," Working Papers 347, Center for Global Development.
    2. Valle, Haydn & Capon, Timothy & Harris, Michael & Reeson, Andrew, 2012. "Coordination and Strategic Behaviour in Landscape Auctions," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124466, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    3. Schilizzi, Steven, 2012. "How can we evaluate conservation auctions? Three Possible methods," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124442, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    4. Avitia, Jessica & Costa-Font, Montserrat & Gil, Jose Maria & Lusk, Jayson L. & Echeverria, Gemma, 2012. "The Role of sensory experience on Spanish consumer’s willingness to pay for sustainable produced food," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126545, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John & Whitten, Stuart M. & McCosker, Juliana, 2005. "A competitive bidding process with landholder cooperation for landscape linkage," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 139301, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    6. Ward, John & Bryan, Brett & Gale, Glenn & Hobbs, Trevor, 2006. "Market-Based Instrument approaches to implementing priority revegetation in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 139924, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    7. Cole, Anne & Harris, Jane, 2005. "Rising interest in credence qualities in agricultural products and the role for government," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 137828, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Andrew Reeson & John Tisdell, 2010. "The Market Instinct: The Demise of Social Preferences for Self-Interest," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(3), pages 439-453, November.
    9. Comerford, Emma & Binney, Jim, 2006. "Lessons learned from the Queensland Vegetation Incentives Program - applying auction theory to vegetation protection," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 174101, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    10. Espinola-Arredondo, Ana, 2008. "Green auctions: A biodiversity study of mechanism design with externalities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 175-183, September.

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