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The Impact of Agriculture on Waterfowl Abundance: Evidence from Panel Data


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  • Linda Wong
  • G. Cornelis van Kooten
  • Judith A. Clarke


Agricultural expansion and intensification in Canada’s Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) have contributed to declining waterfowl populations since the 1970s. Although this region represents a mere 10% of North America’s waterfowl breeding habitat, it produces over 50% of the continent’s duck population and roughly 60% of Canada’s agricultural output. Thus, intense competition exists between private economic interests and public benefits in the PPR. To better understand the conflict between agricultural and wildlife uses of land, panel methods are used to examine the spatiotemporal variation of waterfowl populations and agricultural land use intensity in the PPR from 1961-2006. For the main static model, we find that a one percent increase in cropland or pasture decreases duck density by 6%, while a similar increase in summerfallow area decreases duck density by 7%. Estimates based on a dynamic specification are more conservative. For the lagged dependent variable model, a 1% increase in cropland and pasture decreases duck density by 4.6%, while a decline of 4.7% is predicted for increases in summerfallow area. The spatial autoregressive model allows the derivation of measures for assessing direct and indirect impacts. The estimated direct impacts fall between those obtained from the standard and dynamic models, but, when spillover effects are included, the impacts exceed those predicted by the standard model. It would appear that conserving wetlands in one location has the added benefit of increasing productivity of wetlands at other locations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 2011-01.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rep:wpaper:2011-01

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Keywords: wetlands protection; spatial econometrics; GIS; land use conflict; migratory waterfowl;

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  1. G�ran Therborn & K.C. Ho, 2009. "Introduction," City, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 53-62, March.
  2. Richard M. Porter & G. Cornelis Kooten, 1993. "Wetlands Preservation on the Canadian Prairies: The Problem of the Public Duck," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 41(4), pages 401-410, December.
  3. van Kooten, G. Cornelis & Withey, Patrick & Wong, Linda, 2010. "Bioeconomic modeling of wetlands and waterfowl in Western Canada: Accounting for amenity values," Annual Meeting, 2010, Denver Colorado, July 25-27 61308, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.
  4. Nicolas Debarsy & Cem Ertur, 2009. "Testing for Spatial Autocorrelation in a Fixed Effects Panel Data Model," Post-Print halshs-00414133, HAL.
  5. Withey, Patrick & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 2011. "The effect of climate change on optimal wetlands and waterfowl management in Western Canada," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 798-805, February.
  6. Brown, Gardner, Jr & Hammack, Judd, 1973. "Dynamic Economic Management of Migratory Waterfowl," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 73-82, February.
  7. Wong, Linda & van Kooten, G. Cornelis & Clarke, Judith A., 2012. "The Impact of Agriculture on Waterfowl Abundance: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(2), August.
  8. Lee, Lung-fei & Yu, Jihai, 2010. "Estimation of spatial autoregressive panel data models with fixed effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 154(2), pages 165-185, February.
  9. Anselin, Luc & Bera, Anil K. & Florax, Raymond & Yoon, Mann J., 1996. "Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-104, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Wong, Linda & van Kooten, G. Cornelis & Clarke, Judith A., 2012. "The Impact of Agriculture on Waterfowl Abundance: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(2), August.


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