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Empathy-Conditioned Conservation: “Walking in the Shoes of Others” as a Conservation Farmer

  • Robert J. Sheeder
  • Gary D. Lynne
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    Conservation tillage on farms can improve downstream water quality. Using a dual-interests theoretical framework guided by the metaeconomics approach, this paper examines the role of self-interest and shared other-interest in the conservation tillage adoption decision. The data is from a 2007 survey of farmers in the Blue River/Tuttle Creek watershed of Nebraska and Kansas. Logit models show that farmers who temper their pursuit of self-interest with shared other-interest reflecting empathy-sympathy are more likely to adopt conservation tillage. Habit and control also play a role. Farmers pursue a joint and interdependent own-interest and not only self-interest as presumed in microeconomics.

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

    Volume (Year): 87 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 433-452

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:87:y:2011:iii:1:p:433-452
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    1. Czap, Natalia V. & Czap, Hans J., 2010. "An experimental investigation of revealed environmental concern," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 2033-2041, August.
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    7. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    8. 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.
    9. Lichtenberg, Erik, 2004. "Cost-Responsiveness of Conservation Practice Adoption: A Revealed Preference Approach," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(03), December.
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    12. Clark P. Bishop & C. Richard Shumway & Philip R. Wandschneider, 2010. "Agent Heterogeneity in Adoption of Anaerobic Digestion Technology: Integrating Economic, Diffusion, and Behavioral Innovation Theories," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(3).
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