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What Drives the Adoption of Clean Agricultural Technologies? An Ex Ante Assessment of Sustainable Biofuel Production in Southwestern Wisconsin

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  • Mooney, Daniel F.
  • Barham, Bradford L.
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    Abstract

    This paper explores the farmer’s general decision to adopt a clean agricultural production technology and the particular role of pro-social behavior. We hypothesize that pro-social behavior may influence farmers’ individual valuation of clean technologies through two channels, their beliefs about the technology’s public benefits and their preferences for environmental quality. A linear characteristics model is developed to illustrate how a pro-social preference structure may lead to different adoption outcomes as compared to the standard profitmaximization framework. We test this possibility using mail survey data on ex ante bioenergy crop adoption in southwestern Wisconsin. The contingent valuation empirical strategy estimates farmers’ distribution of willingness-to-accept values (i.e., minimum biomass reservation prices) as a function of expected pro-social behavior, factors that constrain short-run technological change, and other standard adoption influences. We find that the observed heterogeneity in WTA values is partially and significantly explained by expected pro-social behavior.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 150557.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:150557

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    Related research

    Keywords: bioenergy; contingent valuation; corn stover; linear characteristics; switchgrass; technology adoption and diffusion; Agricultural and Food Policy; Environmental Economics and Policy; Land Economics/Use; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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    1. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, October.
    2. Matthew J. Kotchen, 2006. "Green Markets and Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 816-845, August.
    3. Kotchen, Matthew J., 2005. "Impure public goods and the comparative statics of environmentally friendly consumption," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 281-300, March.
    4. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    5. Alexander Pfaff & Shubham Chaudhuri & Howard Nye, 2004. "Household Production and Environmental Kuznets Curves – Examining the Desirability and Feasibility of Substitution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(2), pages 187-200, February.
    6. P. Dupraz & D. Vermersch & B. De Frahan & L. Delvaux, 2003. "The Environmental Supply of Farm Households: A Flexible Willingness to Accept Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(2), pages 171-189, June.
    7. Shan Ma & Scott M. Swinton & Frank Lupi & Christina Jolejole-Foreman, 2012. "Farmers’ Willingness to Participate in Payment-for-Environmental-Services Programmes," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 604-626, 09.
    8. Robert J. Sheeder & Gary D. Lynne, 2011. "Empathy-Conditioned Conservation: “Walking in the Shoes of Others” as a Conservation Farmer," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(3), pages 433-452.
    9. Bradford L. Barham, 1996. "Adoption of a Politicized Technology: bST and Wisconsin Dairy Farmers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1056-1063.
    10. Feng Song & Jinhua Zhao & Scott M. Swinton, 2011. "Switching to Perennial Energy Crops Under Uncertainty and Costly Reversibility," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(3), pages 764-779.
    11. David J. Lewis & Bradford L. Barham & Brian Robinson, 2011. "Are There Spatial Spillovers in the Adoption of Clean Technology? The Case of Organic Dairy Farming," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(2), pages 250-267.
    12. F. Bonnieux & P. Rainelli & D. Vermersch, 1998. "Estimating the Supply of Environmental Benefits by Agriculture: A French Case Study," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(2), pages 135-153, March.
    13. Hayley H. Chouinard & Tobias Paterson & Philip R. Wandschneider & Adrienne M. Ohler, 2008. "Will Farmers Trade Profits for Stewardship? Heterogeneous Motivations for Farm Practice Selection," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(1), pages 66-82.
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