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Policy mechanism choice for environmental management by non-commercial "lifestyle" rural landholders

  • Pannell, David J.
  • Wilkinson, Roger

For some environmental assets in rural areas, the landholders who are having the biggest impact are people with small holdings and an emphasis on lifestyle rather than commercial gains from their land. This paper aims to better understand the motivations and likely responses to policy for lifestyle landholders in Australia, in order to assess which policy mechanisms, if any, are likely to be most efficiently used to influence their land management. Through face-to-face interviews, we find that lifestyle landholders have important differences from commercial farmers, including much smaller properties, a stronger interest in environmental outcomes, a lack of land-management skills and a lack of time for land-management activities. From the perspective of environmental policy programs, engaging with lifestyle landholders is likely to involve higher transaction costs, and there are likely to be higher learning and transition costs per unit area. A framework for selection of policy tools is modified to take account of these findings. It is concluded that the prospects for worthwhile public investments in land-use changes by lifestyle landholders are lower than for commercial landholders.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 10 (August)
Pages: 2679-2687

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:10:p:2679-2687
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Marsh, Sally P. & Pannell, David J. & Lindner, Robert K., 2004. "Does agricultural extension pay? A case study for a new crop, lupins, in Western Australia," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 30(1), January.
  2. Ceddia, M.G. & Heikkil, J. & Peltola, J., 2009. "Managing invasive alien species with professional and hobby farmers: Insights from ecological-economic modelling," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1366-1374, March.
  3. Anonymous, 2005. "Australian Pigmeat Industry," Inquiry Reports 31893, Productivity Commission.
  4. Anonymous, 2005. "Trends in Australian Agriculture," Commission Research Papers 31903, Productivity Commission.
  5. David J. Pannell, 2008. "Public Benefits, Private Benefits, and Policy Mechanism Choice for Land-Use Change for Environmental Benefits," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(2), pages 225-240.
  6. David J. Pannell, 2009. "Technology change as a policy response to promote changes in land management for environmental benefits," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(1), pages 95-102, 01.
  7. Pannell, David J., 2001. "Dryland salinity: economic, scientific, social and policy dimensions," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 45(4), December.
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