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Estimating land degradation risk for agriculture in Italy using an indirect approach


  • Salvati, Luca
  • Carlucci, Margherita


This paper illustrates a two-step procedure for measuring land degradation (LD) risk in agriculture. The procedure estimated the potential costs of LD from a standard index of land sensitivity to degradation (ESAI) by calculating, over 784 local districts covering the entire Italian territory, a 'depletion factor' in relation to the agricultural value added. The procedure was based on changes in the ESAI (1990-2000) and ancillary variables (i.e., per capita value added, share of agriculture in the total production, and agricultural profitability). On average, the estimated costs of LD in Italy amounted to nearly 0.5% of the agricultural value added (which corresponded to 12[euro]/ha of cultivated surface). These figures are comparable to those presented in the literature for regions with similar environmental conditions. This paper contains descriptions of the assumptions under which the proposed scheme works and comments on their empirical plausibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Salvati, Luca & Carlucci, Margherita, 2010. "Estimating land degradation risk for agriculture in Italy using an indirect approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 511-518, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:3:p:511-518

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Barbara Baldazzi & Helen-Cristin Corrado & Angela Ferruzza, 1998. "The Quality of Life in Some Local Metropolitan Labour Markets in Italy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 71-95, May.
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    6. Salvati, Luca & Zitti, Marco, 2008. "Regional convergence of environmental variables: Empirical evidences from land degradation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 162-168, December.
    7. James Hrubovcak & Michael LeBlanc & B. Eakin, 2000. "Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Accounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(2), pages 145-162, October.
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    12. Melanie Requier-Desjardins, 2006. "The economic costs of desertification: a first survey of some cases in Africa," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 9(2), pages 199-209.
    13. Kjell Arne Brekke, 1997. "Hicksian Income from Resource Extraction in an Open Economy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 516-527.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Zitti & Adele Sateriano & Luca Salvati, 2013. "Agricultural Profitability And Susceptibility To Soil Degradation In A Changing Mediterranean Landscape," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 81-102, JUNE.


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