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Alternative policy measures and farmers' participation to improve rural landscapes and water quality: A conceptual framework

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  • Werner Hediger
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    Abstract

    The challenge of rural landscape and water quality improvement is investigated as a problem of positive and negative externalities. Based on this analytical background, alternative policy measures are evaluated, and a charge-subsidy scheme with balanced budget is proposed as a cost-effective instrument of pollution control. It earmarks the revenue of a combined land use and fertilizer tax to subsidize farmers for land retirement. In combination with a subsidy for the social benefits of the rural landscape, the charge-subsidy scheme provides a conceptual framework for the design of a voluntary environmental agreement between farmers and the regulator. Moreover, while contributing to an environmental quality improvement in rural areas, it leaves the property right on the land resources with the farmers, gives consumers the right to enjoy water quality at a sufficient and socially agreed level and farmers the right to pollute up to this level.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 139 (2003)
    Issue (Month): III (September)
    Pages: 333-350

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    Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2003-iii-5

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    Related research

    Keywords: Agriculture; environment; externalities; internalization; nonpoint-source pollution; property rights; charge-subsidy; voluntary agreements;

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    References

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    1. Anastasia Lintner & Alfons Weersink, 1999. "Endogenous Transport Coefficients: Implications for Improving Water Quality from Multi-Contaminants in an Agricultural Watershed," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(2), pages 269-296, September.
    2. Marc O. Ribaudo & C. Tim Osborn & Kazim Konyar, 1994. "Land Retirement as a Tool for Reducing Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(1), pages 77-87.
    3. Brunstad, R.J. & Gaasland, I. & Vardal, E., 1999. "Agricultural Production and the Optimal Level of Landscape Preservation," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 205, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
    4. Bystrom, Olof & Andersson, Hans & Gren, Ing-Marie, 2000. "Economic criteria for using wetlands as nitrogen sinks under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 35-45, October.
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    6. Wossink, Ada, et al, 1999. "Co-ordinating Economic, Behavioural and Spatial Aspects of Wildlife Preservation in Agriculture," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 443-60, December.
    7. Babcock, Bruce A. & Lakshminarayan, P. G. & Wu, JunJie & Zilberman, David, 1996. "Economics of a Public Fund for Environmental Amenities (The)," Staff General Research Papers 1065, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
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    10. McConnell, Kenneth E., 1989. "The Optimal Quantity Of Land In Agriculture," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 18(2), October.
    11. Anna Alberini & Kathleen Segerson, 2002. "Assessing Voluntary Programs to Improve Environmental Quality," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 157-184, June.
    12. Cabe, Richard & Herriges, Joseph A., 1992. "The regulation of non-point-source pollution under imperfect and asymmetric information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 134-146, March.
    13. Qiu, Zeyuan & Prato, Anthony A., 1999. "Accounting For Spatial Characteristics Of Watersheds In Evaluating Water Pollution Abatement Policies," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 31(01), April.
    14. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
    15. David Zilberman, 1996. "The Economics of a Public Fund for Environmental Amenities: A Study of CRP Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 961-971.
    16. Hediger, Werner, 2003. "Sustainable farm income in the presence of soil erosion: an agricultural Hartwick rule," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 221-236, June.
    17. Wu, JunJie & Babcock, Bruce A., 1999. "The Relative Efficiency of Voluntary vs Mandatory Environmental Regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 158-175, September.
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