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Will Farmers Trade Profits for Stewardship? Heterogeneous Motivations for Farm Practice Selection

Author

Listed:
  • Hayley H. Chouinard
  • Tobias Paterson
  • Philip R. Wandschneider
  • Adrienne M. Ohler

Abstract

We investigate the trade-off agricultural producers face between profits and stewardly activities when selecting farm practices. Instead of the profit-maximization framework, we model producer behavior in an expanded utility framework, built on production technology, and including two utility components: self and social interests. The framework introduces inherent heterogeneity and social/environmental motivations into farmer behavior. Based on this model, we hypothesize that there are farmers that are willing to forego some profit to engage in stewardly farm practices. With an empirical study, we provide evidence that some farmers are willing to make this sacrifice. Results are consistent with the multi-utility hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Hayley H. Chouinard & Tobias Paterson & Philip R. Wandschneider & Adrienne M. Ohler, 2008. "Will Farmers Trade Profits for Stewardship? Heterogeneous Motivations for Farm Practice Selection," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(1), pages 66-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:84:y:2008:i:1:p:66-82
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Ryan & Donna Erickson & Raymond De Young, 2003. "Farmers' Motivations for Adopting Conservation Practices along Riparian Zones in a Mid-western Agricultural Watershed," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 19-37.
    2. Lynne, Gary D., 1995. "Modifying the Neo-Classical Approach to Technology Adoption With Behavioral Science Models," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(01), pages 67-80, July.
    3. Boyce, Rebecca R, et al, 1992. "An Experimental Examination of Intrinsic Values as a," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1366-1373, December.
    4. Maybery, Darryl & Crase, Lin & Gullifer, Chris, 2005. "Categorising farming values as economic, conservation and lifestyle," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 59-72, February.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land

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