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Trust and Communication: Mechanisms for Increasing Farmers’ Participation in Water Quality Trading

  • Hanna L. Breetz
  • Karen Fisher-Vanden
  • Hannah Jacobs
  • Claire Schary
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    Trust and communication barriers have contributed significantly to the lethargic performance of many point-nonpoint source water quality trading programs—farmers are often reluctant to participate despite direct financial incentives— yet the literature lacks a comprehensive investigation of how the social context affects trading outcomes.We draw on social embeddedness theory to analyze three mechanisms of communicating with farmers and conduct a case study analysis of 12 water quality trading programs. We find that employing trustworthy third parties or embedded ties may reduce farmers’ reluctance to participate, although the most effective mechanism ultimately depends on local conditions and program objectives.

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    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

    Volume (Year): 81 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:81:y:2005:i:2:p170-190
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    1. Amador, Francisco & Sumpsi, Jose Maria & Romero, Carlos, 1998. "A Non-interactive Methodology to Assess Farmers' Utility Functions: An Application to Large Farms in Andalusia, Spain," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 92-109.
    2. Guilherme S. Bastos & Erik Lichtenberg, 2001. "Priorities in Cost Sharing for Soil and Water Conservation: A Revealed Preference Study," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(4), pages 533-547.
    3. Kurt Stephenson & Patricia Norris & Leonard Shabman, 1998. "Watershed-Based Effluent Trading: The Nonpoint Source Challenge," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 412-421, October.
    4. Leonard Shabman & Kurt Stephenson & William Shobe, 2002. "Trading Programs for Environmental Management: Reflections on the Air and Water Experiences," Working Papers 2002-01, Center for Economic and Policy Studies.
    5. William T. McSweeny & Randall A. Kramer, 1986. "The Integration of Farm Programs for Achieving Soil Conservation and Nonpoint Pollution Control Objectives," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(2), pages 159-173.
    6. Jock R. Anderson, 1982. "Agricultural Economics, Interdependence And Uncertainty," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 26(2), pages 89-97, 08.
    7. Joyce Willock & Ian J. Deary & Gareth Edwards-Jones & Gavin J. Gibson & Murray J. McGregor & Alistair Sutherland & J. Barry Dent & Oliver Morgan & Robert Grieve, 1999. "The Role of Attitudes and Objectives in Farmer Decision Making: Business and Environmentally-Oriented Behaviour in Scotland," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 286-303.
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