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Use of Penalties and Rewards in Agri-Environmental Policy

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  • Yano, Yuki
  • Blandford, David

Abstract

Achieving high compliance rates in incentive-based agri-environmental schemes is an important issue. This paper explores the use of a mixed penalty-reward approach under heterogeneous compliance costs. Specifically, we examine the use of a “compliance reward” under asymmetric information and output price uncertainty. Using a budget-neutral approach, three possible sources of financing are considered: 1. funds obtained by reducing monitoring effort; 2. the proceeds of fines collected from participating farmers who are inspected and found not to be in compliance; and 3. money saved by reducing the number of farmers enrolled. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each source of funding and analyze them numerically for both risk-neutral and risk-averse farmers. We show that under certain conditions a mixed penalty-reward system can increase the likelihood of compliance without increasing programme costs. For risk-averse farmers, however, conditions that ensure a positive outcome from compliance rewards become more restrictive. The implications of these findings are outlined for the future design of agri-environmental schemes with reference to cost-share working lands programmes such as EQIP in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Yano, Yuki & Blandford, David, 2008. "Use of Penalties and Rewards in Agri-Environmental Policy," 82nd Annual Conference, March 31 - April 2, 2008, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, UK 36873, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aes008:36873
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/36873
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew Moxey & Ben White & Adam Ozanne, 1999. "Efficient Contract Design for Agri-Environment Policy," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 187-202.
    2. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Beyond Punishment: a tax compliance experiment with taxpayers in Costa Rica," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 18(1), pages 27-56, June.
    3. Friesen, Lana, 2003. "Targeting enforcement to improve compliance with environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 72-85, July.
    4. Andrea Cattaneo, 2003. "The Pursuit of Efficiency and Its Unintended Consequences: Contract Withdrawals in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 25(2), pages 449-469.
    5. Rob Fraser, 2004. "On the Use of Targeting to Reduce Moral Hazard in Agri-environmental Schemes," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 525-540.
    6. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
    7. Heyes, Anthony, 2000. "Implementing Environmental Regulation: Enforcement and Compliance," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 107-129, March.
    8. Rob Fraser, 2002. "Moral Hazard and Risk Management in Agri-environmental Policy," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 475-487.
    9. John K. Stranlund, 2006. "Risk Aversion and Compliance in Markets for Pollution Control," Working Papers 2006-2, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    10. C. Choe & I. Fraser, 1998. "A Note on Imperfect Monitoring of Agri-Environmental Policy," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 250-258.
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    12. JunJie Wu & Bruce A. Babcock, 1996. "Contract Design for the Purchase of Environmental Goods from Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 935-945.
    13. Uwe Latacz-Lohmann & Carel Van der Hamsvoort, 1997. "Auctioning Conservation Contracts: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 407-418.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agri-environmental policy; moral hazard; penalties; payments for compliance; Q12; Q20; Q28; Q57;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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