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Acceptable reforms of agri-environmental policies

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  • Philippe Bontems
  • Gilles Rotillon
  • Nadine Turpin

Abstract

We consider a model of regulation for nonpoint source water pollution where farmersare heterogenous along two dimensions, their ability to transform inputs into finalproduction and the productive land they possess. Regulation takes place through nonlinear taxation/subsidization of agricultural production and land, in the presence ofasymmetric information about ability to produce. We also introduce a political acceptability constraint implying that the regulation has to be optimally designed taking intoaccount the distribution of incomes in the pre-reform situation. We show that theoptimal reform essentially amounts to reallocate production towards less efficient farmers, who benefit from the reform at the expense of more efficient producers. Importantly, incentive compatibility requirement puts some strong restrictions on the wayproduction should be allocated in the agricultural sector and thereby, contrary to whathappens under perfect information, it allows to get some clear-cut results on who isover-compensated or under-compensated by the optimal regulatory reform. Last, we calibrate the model using data on a french watershed (Don watershed). Simulations indicate that, on our exemple, satisfying a high degree of acceptability may notentail high welfare losses compared to lower degrees of political sustainability. A lowsize farm has a higher probability of being a reform winner than a large farm, eventhough the regulator has no specific redistribution concern towards small farms.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Dalloz in its journal Revue d'économie politique.

Volume (Year): Volume 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 847-883

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Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_186_0847

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Web page: http://www.cairn.info/revue-d-economie-politique.htm

Related research

Keywords: Non Linear Taxation; Asymmetric Information; Non Point Source Pollution; Water Pollution;

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References

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  1. Babcock, Bruce A. & Lakshminarayan, P. G. & Wu, J. & Zilberman, David, 1997. "Targeting Tools for the Purchase of Environmental Amenities," Staff General Research Papers 5220, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  3. Smith, Rodney B.W. & Tomasi, Theodore D., 1995. "Transaction Costs And Agricultural Nonpoint-Source Water Pollution Control Policies," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 20(02), December.
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  8. James Shortle & David Abler & Richard Horan, 1998. "Research Issues in Nonpoint Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 571-585, April.
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  11. Douglas M. Larson & Gloria E. Helfand & Brett W. House, 1996. "Second-Best Tax Policies to Reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1108-1117.
  12. Fleming, R. A. & Adams, R. M., 1997. "The Importance of Site-Specific Information in the Design of Policies to Control Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 347-358, July.
  13. Alfons Weersink & John R. Livernois & Jason F. Shogren & James S. Shortle, 1998. "Economic Instruments and Environmental Policy in Agriculture," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(3), pages 309-327, September.
  14. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
  15. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
  16. Horan, Richard D. & Shortle, James S. & Abler, David G., 1998. "Ambient Taxes When Polluters Have Multiple Choices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 186-199, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Bontems, Philippe, 2008. "On the optimal design of income support and agri-environmental regulation," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6246, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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