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Measuring soil quality dynamics A role for economists, and implications for economic analysis

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  • Kim, Kwansoo
  • Barham, Bradford L.
  • Coxhead, Ian

Abstract

Measuring soil quality is extremely difficult, yet it has clear economic importance. In particular, there is a great deal of empirical interest in the dynamics of soil quality evolution when land managers respond to policies and other incentives. Yet current methodologies for measuring changes in agricultural land quality are largely static and rely heavily either on incomplete measures such as proxy variables, or ad hoc indexes of selected soil characteristics. Moreover, much empirical work relies on static econometric techniques or simulation models. In this paper, we develop a means to infer soil quality changes from input and output data using a dynamic production function model. Using data from field experiments, we estimate the model in a way that allows the recovery of a dynamic measure of soil quality whose evolution depends on variations in management practices. Our methodology and findings will help provide firmer empirical foundations for analyses of the economic implications of land degradation and the soil quality implications of agricultural policies. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim, Kwansoo & Barham, Bradford L. & Coxhead, Ian, 2001. "Measuring soil quality dynamics A role for economists, and implications for economic analysis," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 25(1), June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaaeaj:176928
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kim, Kwansoo & Barham, Bradford L. & Coxhead, Ian A., 1998. "The Evolution Of Agricultural Soil Quality: A Methodology For Measurement And Some Land Market Implications," 1998 Annual meeting, August 2-5, Salt Lake City, UT 20889, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Coxhead, Ian A., 1997. "Induced innovation and land degradation in developing country agriculture," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 41(3), September.
    3. Edward C. Jaenicke & Laura L. Lengnick, 1999. "A Soil-Quality Index and Its Relationship to Efficiency and Productivity Growth Measures: Two Decompositions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 881-893.
    4. G. C. Van Kooten & Ward P. Weisensel & Duangdao Chinthammit, 1990. "Valuing Trade-Offs between Net Returns and Stewardship Practices: The Case of Soil Conservation in Saskatchewan," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 72(1), pages 104-113.
    5. Swamy, P A V B, 1970. "Efficient Inference in a Random Coefficient Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 311-323, March.
    6. Krueger, Anne O & Schiff, Maurice & Valdes, Alberto, 1988. "Agricultural Incentives in Developing Countries: Measuring the Effect of Sectoral and Economywide Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(3), pages 255-271, September.
    7. Hertel, Thomas W. & Preckel, Paul V., 1988. "Commodity-Specific Effects of the Conservation Reserve Program," Journal of Agricultural Economics Research, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, issue 3.
    8. Ali, Mubarik & Byerlee, Derek, 2000. "Productivity growth and resource degradation in Pakistan's Punjab - a decomposition analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2480, The World Bank.
    9. Hansen, LeRoy T., 1991. "Farmer Response to Changes in Climate: The Case of Corn Production," Journal of Agricultural Economics Research, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, issue 4.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alice Issanchou, 2016. "Soil resource, at the core of competitiveness and sustainability issues in agriculture: an economic approach," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 16-01, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    2. Bond, Craig A. & Farzin, Y. Hossein, 2004. "A Portfolio Of Nutrients: Soil And Sustainability," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20035, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Turner, Katrine Grace & Anderson, Sharolyn & Gonzales-Chang, Mauricio & Costanza, Robert & Courville, Sasha & Dalgaard, Tommy & Dominati, Estelle & Kubiszewski, Ida & Ogilvy, Sue & Porfirio, Luciana &, 2016. "A review of methods, data, and models to assess changes in the value of ecosystem services from land degradation and restoration," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 319(C), pages 190-207.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Soil quality dynamics; Crop rotations; Crop Production/Industries; Production Economics; Q24; C33;

    JEL classification:

    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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