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Grazing fees versus stewardship on federal lands

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Author Info

  • Watts, Myles J.
  • Shimshack, Jay P.
  • LaFrance, Jeffrey T

    (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics and policy)

Abstract

Livestock grazing on public lands continues to be a source of intense conflict and debate. We analyze this problem using a dynamic game. Low grazing fees let ranchers capture more rent from grazing. This increases the incentive to comply with federally mandated regulations. Optimal grazing contracts therefore include grazing fees that are lower than competitive private rates. The optimal policy also includes random monitoring to prevent strategic learning by cheating ranchers and avoid wasteful efforts to disguise noncompliant behavior. Finally, an optimal policy includes a penalty for cheating beyond terminating the lease. This penalty must be large enough that the rancher who would profit the most from cheating experiences a negative expected net return.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy in its series CUDARE Working Paper Series with number 1022.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:are:cudare:1022

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Related research

Keywords: economic analysis; grazing livestock; mathematical models; public land rents;

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References

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  1. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Srinivasan, T. N., 1973. "Tax evasion: A model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 339-346.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. LaFrance, Jeffrey T. & Barney, L. Dwayne, 1991. "The envelope theorem in dynamic optimization," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 355-385, April.
  5. Jeffrey T. LaFrance & Myles J. Watts, 1995. "Public Grazing in the West and "Rangeland Reform '94"," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-46, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  6. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-91, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Tigran Melkonyan & Michael H. Taylor, 2013. "Regulatory Policy Design for Agroecosystem Management on Public Rangelands," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(3), pages 606-627.

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