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The role of uncertainty and expectations in modeling (range)land use strategies: An application of dynamic optimization modeling with recursion

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  • Domptail, Stéphanie
  • Nuppenau, Ernst-August
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    Abstract

    This paper presents a bio-economic optimization modeling approach for the simulation of land use decision making by farmers faced with climatic uncertainties. The approach is applied to the study of land use strategies on commercial ranches in Namibia. First, we compare two models differing in their structure: the first one is an inter-temporal optimization model (forward-looking with perfect foresight) while the second is recursive and it explicitly incorporates uncertainty in the decision making process. Second, we point out the structural advantage of the recursive optimization model in its ability to simulate how decision makers' perceptions on the occurrence of stochastic events alter land use strategies and their economic and ecological outcomes. Both models make use of a State-and-Transition conceptual framework to depict the bio-economic feedback. We found that the incorporation of rainfall uncertainty in decision making is crucial when modeling land use strategies in highly variable ecological-economic systems such as ranches in arid rain-fed areas. Where knowledge of rainfall distribution is inaccurate (due to lack of experience or climate change) both, farmers and rangelands, would be better off by precautiously expecting low rainfalls. Finally, our results show that minimizing herd size adjustment costs would support the establishment of sustainable land use strategies.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VDY-50YFC01-2/2/d72372684ac772724f6e91cec0cf21ba
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 12 (October)
    Pages: 2475-2485

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2475-2485

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Bio-economic model Rangelands Stochastic modeling Recursive modeling State-and-Transition Rainfall expectations;

    References

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    1. Batabyal, Amitrajeet A., 1999. "Aspects of the optimal management of cyclical ecological-economic systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 285-292, August.
    2. Higgins, Steven I. & Kantelhardt, Jochen & Scheiter, Simon & Boerner, Jan, 2007. "Sustainable management of extensively managed savanna rangelands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 102-114, April.
    3. Marc Nerlove, 1981. "Expectations, Plans and Realizations: In Theory and Practice," Discussion Papers 511, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. Janssen, Sander & van Ittersum, Martin K., 2007. "Assessing farm innovations and responses to policies: A review of bio-economic farm models," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 622-636, June.
    5. Heidelbach, Olaf, 2007. "Efficiency of selected risk management instruments: An empirical analysis of risk reduction in Kazakhstani crop production," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe, Leib­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), volume 40, number 92323.
    6. Charles Perrings & David Stern, 2000. "Modelling Loss of Resilience in Agroecosystems: Rangelands in Botswana," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(2), pages 185-210, June.
    7. Michael T. Wallace & Joan E. Moss, 2002. "Farmer Decision-Making with Conflicting Goals: A Recursive Strategic Programming Analysis," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 82-100.
    8. Babiker, Mustafa & Gurgel, Angelo & Paltsev, Sergey & Reilly, John, 2009. "Forward-looking versus recursive-dynamic modeling in climate policy analysis: A comparison," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1341-1354, November.
    9. Perrings, Charles & Walker, Brian, 2004. "Conservation in the optimal use of rangelands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 119-128, June.
    10. Janssen, Marco A. & Anderies, John M. & Walker, Brian H., 2004. "Robust strategies for managing rangelands with multiple stable attractors," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 140-162, January.
    11. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
    12. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2007. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Working Paper Series in Economics 67, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    13. Finnoff, David & Shogren, Jason F. & Leung, Brian & Lodge, David, 2005. "The importance of bioeconomic feedback in invasive species management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 367-381, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Briner, Simon & Finger, Robert, 2012. "Bio-economic modelling of decisions under yield and price risk for suckler cow farms," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122547, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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