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Optimal Control of Locusts in Subsistence Farming Areas

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Abstract

Locust swarms hit subsistence-staple-crop-growing households at random and are not privately controllable. An aerial-spraying optimal control model that supports the said households’ liveli-hood at least expected cost is therefore developed. The qualitative properties of the model are analysed under economically plausible but mild assumptions. The steady state comparative stat-ics reveal that the locust swarm size and the probability of a household’s crop being destroyed by a swarm decrease with the number of households, yield per household, and the staple crop’s replacement price, and increase with the marginal cost of spraying and the planner’s discount rate. A local comparative dynamics analysis is also conducted, as it provides the necessary eco-nomic intuition behind other ostensibly anomalous steady state comparative statics results.

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File URL: http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/doc/uow038554.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp07-10.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp07-10

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Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
Web page: http://business.uow.edu.au/econ/index.html
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Keywords: Optimal control; local stability; steady state comparative statics; local comparative dynamics;

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  1. Caputo,Michael R., 2005. "Foundations of Dynamic Economic Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521603683, December.
  2. Carlson, Gerald A. & Zilberman, David & Miranowski, John, 1993. "Agricultural and Resource Economics," Staff General Research Papers 11104, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Cowan, Robin & Gunby, Philip, 1996. "Sprayed to Death: Path Dependence, Lock-In and Pest Control Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 521-42, May.
  4. Jean-Daniel M. Saphores, 2000. "The Economic Threshold with a Stochastic Pest Population: A Real Options Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(3), pages 541-555.
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