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Review: The economics of soil health

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  • Stevens, Andrew W.

Abstract

Soil health plays an important role in agricultural productivity, food quality, environmental resiliency, and ecosystem sustainability. Consequently, there is great interest from policymakers for evidence-based research on the benefits and costs of investing in healthy soils. In this article, I endeavor to build a common understanding between economists, soil scientists, and policymakers about how to pursue research on the economics of soil health. First, I summarize the current understanding of soil health as a holistic and multidimensional concept beyond that of mere soil fertility. Second, I argue that optimal control models are particularly well suited to capture the underlying economics of soil management. Finally, I outline relevant implications of such an approach for setting soil health policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Stevens, Andrew W., 2018. "Review: The economics of soil health," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:80:y:2018:i:c:p:1-9
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2018.08.005
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Soil health; Optimal control; Externalities; Information;

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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