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An Analysis of the Effects of Uncertainty and Irreversibility on Farmer Participation in the Conservation Reserve Program


  • Isik, Murat
  • Yang, Wanhong


A real options model is developed to examine the determinants of farmer participation in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This study contributes to the literature by developing a framework for ex post analysis of uncertainty and irreversibility. It extends the applications of real options models to analyze farmer participation in the CRP. The model incorporates land and owner attributes, and determines whether uncertainty and irreversibility affect the probability of participation. Option values play a significant role in farmer decisions to retire land by reducing the probability of participation. These results have implications for the design and implementation of conservation programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Isik, Murat & Yang, Wanhong, 2004. "An Analysis of the Effects of Uncertainty and Irreversibility on Farmer Participation in the Conservation Reserve Program," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(02), August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:31113

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Parks P. J. & Kramer R. A., 1995. "A Policy Simulation of the Wetlands Reserve Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 223-240, March.
    2. Christopher D. Carroll, 1991. "Buffer stock saving and the permanent income hypothesis," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 114, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Isik, Murat & Coble, Keith H. & Hudson, Darren & House, Lisa O., 2003. "A model of entry-exit decisions and capacity choice under demand uncertainty," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 28(3), May.
    4. Joseph C. Cooper & C. Tim Osborn, 1998. "The Effect of Rental Rates on the Extension of Conservation Reserve Program Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 184-194.
    5. Capozza, Dennis & Li, Yuming, 1994. "The Intensity and Timing of Investment: The Case of Land," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 889-904, September.
    6. Claassen, Roger & Hansen, LeRoy T. & Peters, Mark & Breneman, Vincent E. & Weinberg, Marca & Cattaneo, Andrea & Feather, Peter & Gadsby, Dwight M. & Hellerstein, Daniel & Hopkins, Jeffrey W. & Johnsto, 2001. "Agri-Environmental Policy at the Crossroads: Guideposts on a Changing Landscape," Agricultural Economics Reports 33983, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Isik, Murat & Khanna, Madhu & Winter-Nelson, Alex, 2001. "Sequential Investment In Site-Specific Crop Management Under Output Price Uncertainty," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(01), July.
    8. Murat Isik, 2004. "Incentives for Technology Adoption Under Environmental Policy Uncertainty: Implications for Green Payment Programs," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(3), pages 247-263, March.
    9. Feather, Peter & Hellerstein, Daniel & Hansen, LeRoy T., 1999. "Economic Valuation of Environmental Benefits and the Targeting of Conservation Programs: The Case of the CRP," Agricultural Economics Reports 34027, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    10. Margaret Forsyth, 2000. "On estimating the option value of preserving a wilderness area," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 413-434, May.
    11. Stavins, Robert N & Jaffe, Adam B, 1990. "Unintended Impacts of Public Investments on Private Decisions: The Depletion of Forested Wetlands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 337-352, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yemshanov, Denys & McCarney, Geoffrey R. & Hauer, Grant & Luckert, M.K. (Marty) & Unterschultz, Jim & McKenney, Daniel W., 2015. "A real options-net present value approach to assessing land use change: A case study of afforestation in Canada," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 327-336.
    2. Lavee, Doron, 2010. "The effect of water supply uncertainty on farmers' choice of crop portfolio," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(11), pages 1847-1854, November.
    3. Engel, Stefanie & Palmer, Charles & Taschini, Luca & Urech, Simon, 2012. "Cost-effective payments for reducing emissions from deforestation under uncertainty," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 44837, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Flower, Todd & Valdivia, Corinne & Dorr, Hilary, 2005. "Habitus and Interest in Agroforestry Practices in Missouri," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19279, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. repec:eee:agisys:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:216-229 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Wu, Feng & Guan, Zhengfei & Yu, Fan & Myers, Robert J., 2013. "The spillover effects of biofuel policy on participation in the conservation reserve program," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1755-1770.
    7. Erik Nelson & Virginia Matzek, 2016. "Carbon Credits Compete Poorly With Agricultural Commodities In An Optimized Model Of Land Use In Northern California," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(04), pages 1-24, November.
    8. Di Corato, Luca, 2012. "Optimal conservation policy under imperfect intergenerational altruism," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 194-206.
    9. Luca Corato & Michele Moretto & Sergio Vergalli, 2013. "Land conversion pace under uncertainty and irreversibility: too fast or too slow?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 45-82, September.
    10. Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver, 2011. "Optimal Timing of Farmland Investment - An Experimental Study on Farmers' Decision Behavior -," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103693, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Di Corato, Luca & Gazheli, Ardjan & Lagerkvist, Carl-Johan, 2013. "Investing in energy forestry under uncertainty," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 56-64.
    12. Mitchell, Paul D. & Rejesus, Roderick M. & Coble, Keith H. & Knight, Thomas O., 2010. "A Real Options Framework for Analyzing Program Participation as Human Capital Investments: The Case of the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program," Staff Paper Series 547, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    13. Canales, Elizabeth & Bergtold, Jason S. & Williams, Jeffery & Peterson, Jeffrey, 2015. "Estimating farmers’ risk attitudes and risk premiums for the adoption of conservation practices under different contractual arrangements: A stated choice experiment," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205640, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    14. Chang, Hung-Hao & Boisvert, Richard N., 2009. "Does Participation in the Conservation Reserve Program and/or Off-Farm Work Affect the Level and Distribution of Farm Household Income?," Working Papers 57035, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    15. repec:eee:eneeco:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:300-314 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Chang, Hung-Hao & Boisvert, Richard N., 2009. "The Conservation Reserve Program, Off-Farm Work, and Farm Household Technical Efficiencies," Working Papers 57034, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    17. Dumortier, Jerome & Kauffman, Nathan & Hayes, Dermot J., 2017. "Production and spatial distribution of switchgrass and miscanthus in the United States under uncertainty and sunk cost," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 300-314.
    18. Michael J. Roberts & Ruben N. Lubowski, 2007. "Enduring Impacts of Land Retirement Policies: Evidence from the Conservation Reserve Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 516-538.
    19. Hung-Hao Chang & Richard N. Boisvert, 2009. "Distinguishing between Whole-Farm vs. Partial-Farm Participation in the Conservation Reserve Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(1), pages 144-161.


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