Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Policy Challenges and Priorities for Internalizing the Externalities of Modern Agriculture


Author Info

  • Jules Pretty
  • Craig Brett
  • David Gee
  • Rachel Hine
  • Chris Mason
  • James Morison
  • Matthew Rayment
  • Gert Van Der Bijl
  • Thomas Dobbs


Agriculture is inherently multifunctional. It jointly produces more than food, fibre or oil, having a profound impact on many elements of economies and ecosystems. A comprehensive framework is used to present new data on annual external costs in Germany ( 1.2 billion; US$2 billion), in the UK ( 2.3 billion; US$3.8 billion) and in the USA ( 21 billion; US$34.7 billion). These costs are equivalent to 49-208/ha (US$81-343/ha) of arable and grassland. Agriculture also produces positive externalities, and though there is no comprehensive valuation framework, the public benefits in the UK appear to be in the range of 10-30 (US$16-49) per household, or some 20-60/ha (US$32-100/ha) of arable and pasture land. These external costs and benefits raise important policy questions. In particular, should farmers receive public support for the multiple public benefits they produce? Should those that pollute have to pay for restoring the environment and human health? Policy options available for encouraging behavioural changes are of three types: advisory and institutional measures; regulatory and legal measures; and economic instruments. Three of the most promising options for discouraging negative externalities and encouraging positive ones are: (1) environmental taxes; (2) subsidy and incentive reform; and (3) institutional and participatory mechanisms. The greatest challenge, however, will be to find ways to integrate such policy tools into effective packages that will increase the supply of desired environmental and social goods whilst ensuring farmers' livelihoods remain sustainable.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

Volume (Year): 44 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 263-283

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:44:y:2001:i:2:p:263-283

Contact details of provider:
Web page:

Order Information:

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Zuniga Gonzalez, Carlos Alberto, 2012. "Total factor productivity and Bio Economy effects," MPRA Paper 49355, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Nov 2012.
  2. Finger, Robert, 2011. "Reductions of Agricultural Nitrogen Use Under Consideration of Production and Price Risks," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114356, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Lobley, Matt & Turner, Martin M. & MacQueen, Greg & Wakefield, Dawn, 2005. ""Born out of Crisis": an analysis of moorland management agreements on Exmoor; final report," Research Reports 31750, University of Exeter, Centre for Rural Policy Research.
  4. Posthumus, H. & Rouquette, J.R. & Morris, J. & Gowing, D.J.G. & Hess, T.M., 2010. "A framework for the assessment of ecosystem goods and services; a case study on lowland floodplains in England," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1510-1523, May.
  5. Grovermann, Christian & Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Berger, Thomas, 2012. "Private and Social Levels of Pesticide Overuse in Rapidly Intensifying Upland Agriculture in Thailand," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126341, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  6. Josep Mª Argilés & Néstor Duch Brown, 2007. "A comparison of the economic and environmental performances of conventional and organic farming: Evidence from financial statements," Working Papers 2007/8, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  7. Kusiima, Jamil M. & Powers, Susan E., 2010. "Monetary value of the environmental and health externalities associated with production of ethanol from biomass feedstocks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2785-2796, June.
  8. Finger, Robert, 2012. "Nitrogen use and the effects of nitrogen taxation under consideration of production and price risks," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 13-20.
  9. Deckers, Jan, 2010. "Should the consumption of farmed animal products be restricted, and if so, by how much?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 497-503, December.
  10. Viet-Ngu Hoang & Tim Coelli, 2009. "Measurement Of Agricultural Total Factor Productivity Growth Incorporating Environmental Factors- A Nutrients Balance Approach," CEPA Working Papers Series WP032009, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  11. Mercedes Beltrán & Ernest Reig, 2014. "Comparing conventional and organic citrus grower efficiency in Spain," Working Papers 1406, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  12. Mercedes Beltrán-Esteve & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Ernest Reig-Martínez, 2012. "What makes a citrus farmer go organic? Empirical evidence from Spanish citrus farming," Working Papers 1205, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  13. Nikolinka Shakhramanyan & Uwe Schneider & Bruce McCarl, 2013. "US agricultural sector analysis on pesticide externalities – the impact of climate change and a Pigovian tax," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(4), pages 711-723, April.
  14. Szucs, Istvan & Fekete-Farkas, Maria & Vinogradov, Szergey A., 2008. "A New Methodology For The Estimation Of Land Value," Bulletin of the Szent Istvan University 43403, Szent Istvan University, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  15. Lodovichi, Mariela V. & Blanco, Aníbal M. & Chantre, Guillermo R. & Bandoni, J. Alberto & Sabbatini, Mario R. & Vigna, Mario & López, Ricardo & Gigón, Ramón, 2013. "Operational planning of herbicide-based weed management," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 117-129.
  16. Baylis, Kathy & Peplow, Stephen & Rausser, Gordon & Simon, Leo, 2008. "Agri-environmental policies in the EU and United States: A comparison," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 753-764, May.
  17. Hounsome, Barry & Edwards, Rhiannon T. & Edwards-Jones, Gareth, 2006. "A note on the effect of farmer mental health on adoption: The case of agri-environment schemes," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 229-241, December.
  18. Caroline Ignell & Peter Davies & Cecilia Lundholm, 2013. "Swedish Upper Secondary School Students’ Conceptions of Negative Environmental Impact and Pricing," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 982-996, March.
  19. Alinsato, Alastaire Sèna, 2008. "An analytical framework toward the use of emission taxes: The Study case of Cotonou (Rep of Benin)," MPRA Paper 20952, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Feb 2010.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:44:y:2001:i:2:p:263-283. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.