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Time inconsistent resource conservation contracts


  • Gulati, Sumeet
  • Vercammen, James


Are commonly observed resource conservation contracts efficient? In this paper we construct a model that embodies common characteristics of resource contracts. Using this model, we analyze a large class of real-world resource contracts and find them to be economically inefficient. This inefficiency stems from a time inconsistency inherent in these contracts. There are two possible ways to overcome this time inconsistency. The first is to employ a sufficiently large penalty for early termination of the contract. The second and possibly easier method is to offer an upward sloping conservation payment schedule so far overlooked by resource contracts. Under this payment schedule, the agent's ex-ante and ex-post contract choices coincide, social externalities are fully internalized, and the contractual outcome is economically efficient even in the absence of a penalty for early termination.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gulati, Sumeet & Vercammen, James, 2006. "Time inconsistent resource conservation contracts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 454-468, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:52:y:2006:i:1:p:454-468

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lisandro Abrego & Carlo Perroni, 2002. "Investment subsidies and Time-Consistent Environmental Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 617-635, October.
    2. Horowitz, John K., 1996. "Environmental policy under a non-market discount rate," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 73-78, January.
    3. Antle, John & Capalbo, Susan & Mooney, Sian & Elliott, Edward & Paustian, Keith, 2003. "Spatial heterogeneity, contract design, and the efficiency of carbon sequestration policies for agriculture," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 231-250, September.
    4. Stefano Pagiola & Paola Agostini & José Gobbi & Cees de Haan & Muhammad Ibrahim, 2004. "Paying for Biodiversity Conservation Services in Agricultural Landscapes," Others 0405005, EconWPA.
    5. Kenneth M. Chomitz & Franck Lecocq, 2004. "Temporary sequestration credits: an instrument for carbon bears," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 65-74, March.
    6. Feng, Hongli & Zhao, Jinhua & Kling, Catherine L., 2002. "Time Path and Implementation of Carbon Sequestration (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5068, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nick Hanley & Simanti Banerjee & Gareth D. Lennox & Paul R. Armsworth, 2012. "How should we incentivize private landowners to ‘produce’ more biodiversity?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 93-113, Spring.
    2. Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline & Sebastien Roussel, 2014. "Payments for Carbon Sequestration in Agricultural Soils: Incentives for the Future and Rewards for the Past," CEEES Paper Series CE3S-01/14, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Author-Name: Luca Di Corato & Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2014. "Bidding for Conservation Contracts," Working Papers 2014.65, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Juutinen, Artti & Ollikainen, Markku & Mönkkönen, Mikko & Reunanen, Pasi & Tikkanen, Olli-Pekka & Kouki, Jari, 2014. "Optimal contract length for biodiversity conservation under conservation budget constraint," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 14-24.
    5. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:199-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Di Corato, Luca & Dosi, Cesare & Moretto, Michele, 2015. "Multidimensional auctions for long-term procurement contracts under the threat of early exit: the case of conservation auctions," Working Paper Series 2015:6, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department Economics.
    7. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:15:p:2856-2866 is not listed on IDEAS

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