The Effects of Agricultural and Tax Policy Reform on the Economic Return to Wetland Drainage in the Mississippi Delta Region
The conversion of wetlands to cropland has been a common land use activity in many parts of the United States. Two major policy reforms occurred in the 1980s to reduce Federal incentives to drain and clear wetlands: the denial of farm program benefits to those who cleared wetlands (the "swampbuster" provision of the Food Security Act of 1985) and the elimination of income tax deductions for drainage expenses (enacted in the Tax Reform Act of 1986). A stochastic simulation analysis of three representative counties in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi shows that both reforms reduced the economic feasibility of wetlands conversion.
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