Can Regional NRM arrangements reduce net transaction costs by increasing social capital?
In Australia significant resources are invested into Regional NRM arrangements where some authority and decision-making responsibilities are devolved to Regional NRM groups. However, little empirical evidence is available to guide policymakers in determining whether investments in such a governance regime will yield optimal outcomes. In this paper, we focus on exploring whether the Regional NRM model may result in a reduction in net transaction costs by generating social capital. By improving levels of trust and cooperation, and minimising levels of conflict between various stakeholders involved in NRM activities, costs such as those associated with monitoring and compliance can potentially be reduced. Evidence from a survey of landholders involved with NRM programs run by the Regional NRM group in the Central Queensland region suggests that social capital is generated under the Regional NRM governance model.
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