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The Allocation of Nutrient Load Reduction across a Watershed: Assessing Delivery Coefficients as an Implementation Tool


  • Hongli Feng
  • Manoj Jha
  • Phil Gassman


Delivery coefficients have long been used in economic analysis of policies that seek to address environmental problems like water pollution. However, the derivation and validity of delivery coefficients have not been examined carefully by empirical analyses. We derived estimates of delivery coefficients and then evaluated them as a bridge between complex simulation models and economic policies like water quality trading. We found that the allocations achieved outcomes that differed from intended water quality targets by less than 10% in most cases. For the least-cost allocation with heterogeneous costs, cost savings significantly outweighed deviations from water quality targets. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Hongli Feng & Manoj Jha & Phil Gassman, 2009. "The Allocation of Nutrient Load Reduction across a Watershed: Assessing Delivery Coefficients as an Implementation Tool," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 183-204.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revage:v:31:y:2009:i:1:p:183-204

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Babcock, Bruce A., 1992. "Effects of Uncertainty on Optimal Nitrogen Applications (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10588, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Hung, Ming-Feng & Shaw, Daigee, 2005. "A trading-ratio system for trading water pollution discharge permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 83-102, January.
    3. Newell, Richard G & Stavins, Robert N, 2003. "Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 43-59, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Valcu, Adriana & Rabotyagov, Sergey S. & Kling, Catherine L., 2013. "Flexible Practice-Based Approaches For Controlling Multiple Agricultural Nonpoint-Source Water Pollution," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150450, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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