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Estimates Of Public Sector Transaction Costs In Nrcs Programs


  • McCann, Laura M.J.
  • Easter, K. William


When evaluating the economic efficiency of policies to reduce nonpoint source pollution, administrative or transaction costs are usually not taken into account. While the importance of transaction costs has been recognized in the theoretical literature, the fact that they are not incorporated in empirical analyses means that, in effect, these costs are given a zero value. This issue is examined quantitatively using data collected by the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Transaction costs are found to be a significant portion (38 percent) of overall conservation costs. This provides strong support for including these costs in economic evaluations of alternative policy instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • McCann, Laura M.J. & Easter, K. William, 2000. "Estimates Of Public Sector Transaction Costs In Nrcs Programs," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:joaaec:15313

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Laura McCann & K. William Easter, 1999. "Transaction Costs of Policies to Reduce Agricultural Phosphorous Pollution in the Minnesota River," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(3), pages 402-414.
    2. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. McCann, Laura & Colby, Bonnie & Easter, K. William & Kasterine, Alexander & Kuperan, K.V., 2005. "Transaction cost measurement for evaluating environmental policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 527-542, March.
    2. Nilsson, Fredrik O. L., 2007. "Transaction costs of agri-environmental policy measures," Department of Economics publications 3100, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    3. Pannell, David J. & Roberts, Anna M. & Park, Geoff & Alexander, Jennifer, 2013. "Improving environmental decisions: A transaction-costs story," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 244-252.
    4. Coggan, Anthea & Buitelaar, Edwin & Whitten, Stuart & Bennett, Jeff, 2013. "Factors that influence transaction costs in development offsets: Who bears what and why?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 222-231.
    5. Frank A.G. den Butter, 2012. "Managing Transaction Costs in the Era of Globalization," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14748.
    6. Cattaneo, Andrea & Hellerstein, Daniel & Nickerson, Cynthia J. & Myers, Christina, 2006. "Balancing the Multiple Objectives of Conservation Programs," Economic Research Report 7257, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Coggan, Anthea & Whitten, Stuart M. & Bennett, Jeff, 2010. "Influences of transaction costs in environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1777-1784, July.
    8. Metcalfe, Todd & Bosch, Darrell J. & Pease, James W. & Alley, Mark M. & Phillips, Steve B., 2007. "Yield Reserve Program Costs in the Virginia Coastal Plain," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 36(2), October.
    9. Abler, David G., 2004. "Multifunctionality, Agricultural Policy, and Environmental Policy," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 33(1), April.
    10. McCann, Laura M.J., 2001. "Transaction Costs of Agri-Environmental Policies in Vietnam," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125787, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    11. McCann, Laura M.J. & Hafdahl, Adam, 2003. "Agency Perceptions Of Alternative Salinity Policies: The Role Of Fairness," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22097, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    12. DeBoe, Gwendolen & Stephenson, Kurt, 2016. "Transactions costs of expanding nutrient trading to agricultural working lands: A Virginia case study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 176-185.
    13. Yang, Wanhong & Bryan, Brett A. & MacDonald, Darla Hatton & Ward, John R. & Wells, Geoff & Crossman, Neville D. & Connor, Jeffrey D., 2010. "A conservation industry for sustaining natural capital and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 680-689, February.
    14. Schöttker, Oliver & Wätzold, Frank, 2017. "Cost-effectiveness of buying land for conservation versus paying land-users for conservation measures – the case of preserving an oligotrophic lake in a Natura 2000 area in North Germany," MPRA Paper 80661, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Claassen, Roger & Duquette, Eric & Horowitz, John & Kohei, Ueda, 2014. "Additionality in U.S. Agricultural Conservation and Regulatory Offset Programs," Economic Research Report 180414, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    16. Paolo Canonico & Ernesto Nito & Gianluigi Mangia & Lorenzo Mercurio & Mario Pezzillo Iacono, 2013. "Regulation issues in the Italian local transport system: aligning transactions and governance structures," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(4), pages 939-961, November.


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