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Towards an improved understanding of farmers' behaviour: The integrative agent-centred (IAC) framework

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  • Feola, Giuseppe
  • Binder, Claudia R.

Abstract

An effective approach to research on farmers' behaviour is based on: i) an explicit and well-motivated behavioural theory; ii) an integrative approach; and iii) understanding feedback processes and dynamics. While current approaches may effectively tackle some of them, they often fail to combine them together. The paper presents the integrative agent-centred (IAC) framework, which aims at filling this gap. It functions in accordance with these three pillars and provides a conceptual structure to understand farmers' behaviour in agricultural systems. The IAC framework is agent-centred and supports the understanding of farmers' behavior consistently with the perspective of agricultural systems as complex social-ecological systems. It combines different behavioural drivers, bridges between micro and macro levels, and depicts a potentially varied model of human agency. The use of the framework in practice is illustrated through two studies on pesticide use among smallholders in Colombia. The examples show how the framework can be implemented to derive policy implications to foster a transition towards more sustainable agricultural practices. The paper finally suggests that the framework can support different research designs for the study of agents' behaviour in agricultural and social-ecological systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Feola, Giuseppe & Binder, Claudia R., 2010. "Towards an improved understanding of farmers' behaviour: The integrative agent-centred (IAC) framework," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2323-2333, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2323-2333
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    Cited by:

    1. Walder, Peter & Kantelhardt, Jochen, 2018. "The Environmental Behaviour of Farmers – Capturing the Diversity of Perspectives with a Q Methodological Approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 55-63.
    2. Kyungeun Sung & Tim Cooper & Sarah Kettley, 2019. "Factors Influencing Upcycling for UK Makers," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(3), pages 1-26, February.
    3. Ivo Baur & Heinrich H. Nax, 2018. "Adapting Governance Incentives to Avoid Common Pool Resource Underuse: The Case of Swiss Summer Pastures," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-20, October.
    4. Giuseppe Feola, 2013. "What (science for) adaptation to climate change in Colombian agriculture? A commentary on “A way forward on adaptation to climate change in Colombian agriculture: perspectives towards 2050” by J. Rami," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 119(3), pages 565-574, August.
    5. Rizzo Fulvio, 2016. "Approaching Multifunctionality by a ‘Normative View’: Finnish Farmers’ Visions on Contemporary Agriculture," European Countryside, Sciendo, vol. 8(1), pages 16-32, March.
    6. Hecher, Maria & Hatzl, Stefanie & Knoeri, Christof & Posch, Alfred, 2017. "The trigger matters: The decision-making process for heating systems in the residential building sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 288-306.
    7. An, Li, 2012. "Modeling human decisions in coupled human and natural systems: Review of agent-based models," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 229(C), pages 25-36.
    8. Huber, Robert & Bakker, Martha & Balmann, Alfons & Berger, Thomas & Bithell, Mike & Brown, Calum & Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne & Xiong, Hang & Le, Quang Bao & Mack, Gabriele & Meyfroidt, Patrick & Millingt, 2018. "Representation of decision-making in European agricultural agent-based models," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 143-160.
    9. Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi & Ali Bagheri & Nadine Marshall, 2017. "Toward sustainable adaptation to future climate change: insights from vulnerability and resilience approaches analyzing agrarian system of Iran," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 1-25, February.
    10. Rich, Karl M. & Rich, Magda & Dizyee, Kanar, 2018. "Participatory systems approaches for urban and peri-urban agriculture planning: The role of system dynamics and spatial group model building," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 110-123.
    11. Malawska, Anna & Topping, Christopher John, 2016. "Evaluating the role of behavioral factors and practical constraints in the performance of an agent-based model of farmer decision making," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 136-146.
    12. Montefrio, Marvin Joseph F. & Sonnenfeld, David A. & Luzadis, Valerie A., 2015. "Social construction of the environment and smallholder farmers' participation in ‘low-carbon’, agro-industrial crop production contracts in the Philippines," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 70-77.
    13. Sofía Monroy-Sais & Eduardo García-Frapolli & Francisco Mora & Margaret Skutsch & Alejandro Casas & Peter Rijnaldus Wilhelmus Gerritsen & David González-Jiménez, 2018. "Exploring How Land Tenure Affects Farmers’ Landscape Values: Evidence from a Choice Experiment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-18, November.
    14. Schlüter, Maja & Baeza, Andres & Dressler, Gunnar & Frank, Karin & Groeneveld, Jürgen & Jager, Wander & Janssen, Marco A. & McAllister, Ryan R.J. & Müller, Birgit & Orach, Kirill & Schwarz, Nina & Wij, 2017. "A framework for mapping and comparing behavioural theories in models of social-ecological systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 21-35.

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