Risk Preferences as Determinants of Soil Conservation Decisions in Ethiopia
AbstractSoil degradation is one of the most serious environmental problems in the highlands of Ethiopia. The prevalence of traditional agricultural land use and the absence of appropriate resource management often result in the degradation of natural soil fertility. This has important implications for soil productivity, household food security, and poverty. Given the extreme vulnerability of farmers in this area, we hypothesized that farmers’ risk preferences might affect the sustainability of resource use. This study presents experimental results on the willingness of farmers to take risks and relates the subjective risk preferences to actual soil conservation decisions. The study looks at a random sample of 143 households with 597 farming plots. We found that a high degree of risk aversion significantly decreases the probability of adopting soil conservation. This implies that reducing farmers’ risk exposure could promote soil conservation practices and thus more sustainable natural resource management. This might be achieved by improving tenure security, promoting access to extension services and education, and developing off-farm activities that generate income.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-10-19-efd.
Date of creation: 23 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
adoption; Ethiopia; risk preference; soil conservation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
- Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
- Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2010-09-03 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2010-09-03 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2010-09-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2010-09-03 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-RES-2010-09-03 (Resource Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mette Wik & Tewodros Aragie Kebede & Olvar Bergland & Stein Holden, 2004. "On the measurement of risk aversion from experimental data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(21), pages 2443-2451.
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