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Indices for Working Land Conservation: Form Affects Function


  • Robert C. Johansson
  • Andrea Cattaneo


Using environmental indices (EIs) to rank applications for enrollment in conservation programs is becoming common practice. However, there is little guidance on how it should be done. The indices adopted by existing programs have often been linear, using weighted averages of environmental parameters without explicit consideration of whether they represent a reliable preference ordering on environmental states. Our article investigates society's weights for addressing multiple resource concerns 2and how functional forms of EIs can influence program outcomes. We propose a means by which preference weights are observed from policymaker actions. Weights for multiple resource concerns are determined and combined with biophysical crop simulation data to create an environmental index (EI) for crop rotations. This index is developed using alternative function forms to score conservation efforts on working cropland and to measure their effect on program outcomes. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert C. Johansson & Andrea Cattaneo, 2006. "Indices for Working Land Conservation: Form Affects Function," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 567-584.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revage:v:28:y:2006:i:4:p:567-584

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    Cited by:

    1. Bellenger, Moriah J. & Herlihy, Alan T., 2010. "Performance-based environmental index weights: Are all metrics created equal?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1043-1050, March.
    2. Ozgoc-Caglar, C. Derya & Farnsworth, Richard L., 2008. "A Multiple Criteria Decision System to Improve Performance of Federal Conservation Programs," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 5986, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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