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Nudges, Social Norms and Permanence in Agri-Environmental Schemes

Listed author(s):
  • Kuhfuss, L.
  • Preget, R.
  • Thoyer, S.
  • Hanley, N.
  • Le Coent, P.
  • Desole, M.

Agri-environmental schemes (AES), implemented to address a wide range of environmental issues, suffer from what has been referred to as the “end of the contract problem”, in the sense that many of the land management practices adopted under the scheme cannot be expected to persist in the absence of payments. A first objective of this paper is therefore to investigate farmers’ actual land management intentions at the end of AES contracts. The second objective is to investigate the effect of social norms, and framing of these norms, on the likely permanence of land management practices adopted under AES. That is, we are interested in whether a “nudge” in the form of a social norm can help solve the end of contract problem. Our results are based on the stated intentions of 395 farmers participating in the French AES scheme MAEt. They show that almost half of the farmers of our sample are willing to maintain the practices adopted during the AES even in the absence of payments after the contract ends, and that information about what other farmers intend to do – the social norm - can greatly influence farmers’ decisions. However, the framing of this information has no significant effect on stated intentions.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/204233
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Paper provided by Agricultural Economics Society in its series 89th Annual Conference, April 13-15, 2015, Warwick University, Coventry, UK with number 204233.

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Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc15:204233
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.aes.ac.uk/
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  1. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley & Karine Nyborg, 2014. "Social norms, morals and self-interest as determinants of pro-environment behaviour," Working Papers 2014-17, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  2. Iris Bohnet & Richard Zeckhauser, 2004. "Social Comparisons in Ultimatum Bargaining," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 495-510, October.
  3. Chabé-Ferret, Sylvain & Subervie, Julie, 2013. "How much green for the buck? Estimating additional and windfall effects of French agro-environmental schemes by DID-matching," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 12-27.
  4. Laure Kuhfuss & Raphaële Préget & Sophie Thoyer & Nick Hanley, 2015. "Nudging farmers to sign agri-environmental contracts: the effects of a collective bonus," Working Papers hal-01148581, HAL.
  5. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
  6. Hiedanpää, Juha & Bromley, Daniel W., 2014. "Payments for ecosystem services: durable habits, dubious nudges, and doubtful efficacy," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 175-195, June.
  7. Rachel Croson & Nicolas Treich, 2014. "Behavioral Environmental Economics: Promises and Challenges," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(3), pages 335-351, July.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
  9. Bicchieri, Cristina & Erte, Xiao, 2007. "Do the right thing: But only if others do so," MPRA Paper 4609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Martin Whitby, 2000. "Challenges and Options for the UK Agri-Environment: Presidential Address," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 317-332.
  11. Michael J. Roberts & Ruben N. Lubowski, 2007. "Enduring Impacts of Land Retirement Policies: Evidence from the Conservation Reserve Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 516-538.
  12. Levin, Irwin P. & Schneider, Sandra L. & Gaeth, Gary J., 1998. "All Frames Are Not Created Equal: A Typology and Critical Analysis of Framing Effects," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 149-188, November.
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