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Managing increasing environmental risks through agro-biodiversity and agri-environmental policies

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Author Info

  • Stefan Baumgärtner

    ()
    (Centre for Sustainability, Leuphana University of Lüneburg)

  • Martin F. Quaas

    ()
    (Department of Ecological Modelling, UFZ-Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle)

Abstract

Agro-biodiversity can provide natural insurance to risk-averse farmers by reducing the variance of crop yield, and to society at large by reducing the uncertainty in the provision of public-good ecosystem services such as e.g. CO2 storage. We analyze the choice of agro-biodiversity by risk-averse farmers who have access to financial insurance, and study the implications for agri-environmental policy design when on-farm agro-biodiversity generates a positive risk externality. While increasing environmental risk leads private farmers to increase their level of on-farm agro-biodiversity, the level of agro-biodiversity in the laissez-faire equilibrium remains ineciently low. We show how either one of two agri-environmental policy instruments can cure this risk-related market failure: an ex-ante Pigouvian subsidy on on-farm agro-biodiversity and an ex-post compensation payment for the actual provision of public environmental benefits. In the absence of regulation, welfare may increase rather than decrease with increasing environmental risk, if the agroecosystems is characterized by a high natural insurance function, low costs and large external benefits of agro-biodiversity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 80.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:80

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Web page: http://leuphana.de/institute/ivwl.html

Related research

Keywords: agro-biodiversity; ecosystem services; agri-environmental policy; insurance; risk-aversion; uncertainty;

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References

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  1. Salvatore Di Falco & Charles Perrings, 2003. "Crop Genetic Diversity, Productivity and Stability of Agroecosystems. A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(2), pages 207-216, 05.
  2. Sandler, Todd & Sternbenz, Frederic P., 1990. "Harvest uncertainty and the tragedy of the commons," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 155-167, March.
  3. Melinda Smale & Jason Hartell & Paul W. Heisey & Ben Senauer, 1998. "The Contribution of Genetic Resources and Diversity to Wheat Production in the Punjab of Pakistan," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(3), pages 482-493.
  4. Yann Bramoullé & Nicolas Treich, 2009. "Can Uncertainty Alleviate the Commons Problem?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 1042-1067, 09.
  5. Heal, Geoffrey & Walker, Brian & Levin, Simon & Arrow, Kenneth & Dasgupta, Partha & Daily, Gretchen & Ehrlich, Paul & Maler, Karl-Goran & Kautsky, Nils & Lubchenco, Jane, 2004. "Genetic diversity and interdependent crop choices in agriculture," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 175-184, June.
  6. Di Falco, Salvatore & Perrings, Charles, 2005. "Crop biodiversity, risk management and the implications of agricultural assistance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 459-466, December.
  7. Olivier Mahul, 2001. "Optimal Insurance Against Climatic Experience," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 593-604.
  8. J. K. Horowitz & E. Lichtenberg, 1994. "Risk-Reducing And Risk-Increasing Effects Of Pesticides," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 82-89.
  9. Nick Hanley & David Oglethorpe, 1999. "Emerging Policies on Externalities from Agriculture: An Analysis for the European Union," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1222-1227.
  10. Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgärtner, Stefan, 2008. "Natural vs. financial insurance in the management of public-good ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 397-406, April.
  11. Heal, Geoffrey M. & Small, Arthur A., 2002. "Agriculture and ecosystem services," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 25, pages 1341-1341 Elsevier.
  12. Di Falco, Salvatore & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia," EPTD discussion papers 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. World Bank, 2005. "Managing Agricultural Production Risk : Innovations in Developing Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14434, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lauriane MOUYSSET (CERSP, UMR 7204, CNRS-MNHN-UPMC, SADAPT, INRA, UMR 1048) & Luc DOYEN (CERSP, UMR 7204, CNRS-MNHN-UPMC, GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Fréderic JIGUET (CERSP, UMR 7204, CNRS-MNHN-UPMC), 2012. "How does the economic risk aversion affect biodiversity?," Cahiers du GREThA 2012-03, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  2. Di Falco, Salvatore & Bezabih, Mintewab & Yesuf, Mahmud, 2010. "Seeds for livelihood: Crop biodiversity and food production in Ethiopia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1695-1702, June.
  3. Elisa Gatto & Alba Marino & Guido Signorino, 2013. "Biodiversity and risk management in agriculture:what do we learn from CAP reforms? A farm-level analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa13p805, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Chibwana, Christopher & Fisher, Monica & Shively, Gerald, 2012. "Cropland Allocation Effects of Agricultural Input Subsidies in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 124-133.
  5. Elisa Gatto & Guido Signorino, 2011. "Long-run relationship between crop-biodiversity and cereal production under the CAP reform: evidence from Italian regions," ERSA conference papers ersa11p964, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Mintewab Bezabih & Mare Sarr, 2012. "Risk Preferences and Environmental Uncertainty: Implications for Crop Diversification Decisions in Ethiopia," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(4), pages 483-505, December.
  7. Krishna, Vijesh & Qaim, Matin & Zilberman, David, 2014. "Transgenic Crops, Production Risk, and Agrobiodiversity," Discussion Papers 164678, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  8. Knoke, Thomas & Steinbeis, Otto-Emmanuel & Bösch, Matthias & Román-Cuesta, Rosa María & Burkhardt, Thomas, 2011. "Cost-effective compensation to avoid carbon emissions from forest loss: An approach to consider price-quantity effects and risk-aversion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1139-1153, April.

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