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Estimating land degradation risk for agriculture in Italy using an indirect approach

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  • Salvati, Luca
  • Carlucci, Margherita
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    Abstract

    This paper illustrates a two-step procedure for measuring land degradation (LD) risk in agriculture. The procedure estimated the potential costs of LD from a standard index of land sensitivity to degradation (ESAI) by calculating, over 784 local districts covering the entire Italian territory, a 'depletion factor' in relation to the agricultural value added. The procedure was based on changes in the ESAI (1990-2000) and ancillary variables (i.e., per capita value added, share of agriculture in the total production, and agricultural profitability). On average, the estimated costs of LD in Italy amounted to nearly 0.5% of the agricultural value added (which corresponded to 12[euro]/ha of cultivated surface). These figures are comparable to those presented in the literature for regions with similar environmental conditions. This paper contains descriptions of the assumptions under which the proposed scheme works and comments on their empirical plausibility.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (January)
    Pages: 511-518

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:3:p:511-518

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

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    Keywords: Land degradation Risk Agriculture Local district Depletion factor Italy;

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    1. Young, Carlos Eduardo Frickmann & da Motta, Ronaldo Seroa, 1995. "Measuring sustainable income from mineral extraction in Brazil," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 113-125, June.
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    4. Bojo, Jan, 1996. "The costs of land degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 161-173, February.
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    6. El Serafy, Salah, 1997. "Green accounting and economic policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 217-229, June.
    7. Melanie Requier-Desjardins, 2006. "The economic costs of desertification: a first survey of some cases in Africa," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 9(2), pages 199-209.
    8. Salvati, Luca & Zitti, Marco, 2008. "Regional convergence of environmental variables: Empirical evidences from land degradation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 162-168, December.
    9. Kjell Arne Brekke, 1997. "Hicksian Income from Resource Extraction in an Open Economy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 516-527.
    10. de Groot, Rudolf S. & Wilson, Matthew A. & Boumans, Roelof M. J., 2002. "A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 393-408, June.
    11. Walpole, Sandra & Sinden, Jack & Yapp, Tim, 1996. "Land Quality as an Input to Production: The Case of Land Degradation and Agricultural Output," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 26(2), pages 185-207, September.
    12. Antonio Giusti & Laura Grassini, 2007. "Local Labor Systems and Agricultural Activities: The Case of Tuscany," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 475-487, November.
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