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Nonpoint pollution policy evaluation under ambiguity


  • Doole, Graeme J.
  • Pannell, David J.


Environmental policy evaluation is characterised by a paucity of information. Bounded sets may be more appropriate for representing this ambiguity than traditional probability distributions. A formal calibration method for regional policy models, positive mathematical programming, is thus extended to incorporate parameter definition using bounded sets through the novel method of robust non-linear programming. The resulting procedure identifies strong bounds on the range of abatement costs accruing to environmental policy and improves the relevance and value of modelling studies through not limiting conclusions to realisations of specific point estimates or probability distributions. Moreover, it may easily be solved using standard mathematical-programming algorithms. Empirical insights are provided in an application to a New Zealand inland lake threatened by nitrate pollution from dairy farming. Factor substitution could potentially be used to reduce the abatement costs accruing to regulation. However, such behaviour is shown not to be optimal at the parameter values used in this study. Accordingly, large reductions in nitrate leaching and concomitant improvements in water quality potentially bear a substantial cost to producers.

Suggested Citation

  • Doole, Graeme J. & Pannell, David J., 2009. "Nonpoint pollution policy evaluation under ambiguity," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 48036, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare09:48036
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.48036

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    Cited by:

    1. Anastasiadis, Simon & Kerr, Suzi, 2012. "Mitigation and Heterogeneity in Management Practices on New Zealand Dairy Farms," 2012 Conference, August 31, 2012, Nelson, New Zealand 136039, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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