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Multifunctional Agriculture and the Preservation of Environmental Benefits

Author

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  • Werner Hediger
  • Bernard Lehmann

Abstract

We investigate environmental aspects of agriculture from a welfare economic perspective and show that both positive and negative effects exhibit the character of undepletable externalities. To internalise these externalities while taking equity concerns into account, we propose compensation of farmers and forest managers according to the marginal external benefit of their land and a combination of charges and subsidies to improve rural water quality. This is consistent with efficiency requirements, would not cause additional market distortions, and leave the property rights on the land with the farmers while assigning the right on clean air and water to the consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Hediger & Bernard Lehmann, 2007. "Multifunctional Agriculture and the Preservation of Environmental Benefits," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(IV), pages 449-470, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2007-iv-4
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    File URL: http://www.sjes.ch/papers/2007-IV-4.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan Randall, 2002. "Valuing the outputs of multifunctional agriculture," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 289-307, July.
    2. Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
    3. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249.
    4. Jussi Lankoski & Markku Ollikainen, 2003. "Agri-environmental externalities: a framework for designing targeted policies," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 51-75, March.
    5. Arild Vatn, 2002. "Multifunctional agriculture: some consequences for international trade regimes," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 309-327, July.
    6. Rigoberto A. Lopez & Farhed A. Shah & Marilyn A. Altobello, 1994. "Amenity Benefits and the Optimal Allocation of Land," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(1), pages 53-62.
    7. John G. Lee & Philip L. Paarlberg & Maury Bredahl, 2005. "Implementing multifunctionality," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(3/4), pages 216-231.
    8. Anna Alberini & Kathleen Segerson, 2002. "Assessing Voluntary Programs to Improve Environmental Quality," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 157-184, June.
    9. Marc O. Ribaudo & C. Tim Osborn & Kazim Konyar, 1994. "Land Retirement as a Tool for Reducing Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(1), pages 77-87.
    10. Jiang, Tingsong, 2001. "Earmarking of pollution charges and the sub-optimality of the Pigouvian tax," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 45(4), December.
    11. Anderson, Kym, 2000. "Agriculture's 'multifunctionality' and the WTO," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 44(3), September.
    12. McConnell, Kenneth E., 1989. "The Optimal Quantity Of Land In Agriculture," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 18(2), October.
    13. Hediger, Werner, 2003. "Sustainable farm income in the presence of soil erosion: an agricultural Hartwick rule," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 221-236, June.
    14. Cabe, Richard & Herriges, Joseph A., 1992. "The regulation of non-point-source pollution under imperfect and asymmetric information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 134-146, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Werner Hediger, 2013. "From Multifunctionality and Sustainability of Agriculture to the Social Responsibility of the Agri-food System," Journal of Socio-Economics in Agriculture (Until 2015: Yearbook of Socioeconomics in Agriculture), Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, vol. 6(1), pages 59-80.
    2. Hediger, Werner, 2008. "Agriculture’s Multifunctionality, Sustainability, and Social Responsibility," 82nd Annual Conference, March 31 - April 2, 2008, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, UK 36854, Agricultural Economics Society.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agriculture; externalities; land allocation; multifunctionality; property rights;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • 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
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources

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