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The importance of farmer behaviour: an application of Desktop MAS, a multi-agent system model for rural New Zealand communities

Author

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  • Schilling, Chris
  • Kaye-Blake, William
  • Post, Elizabeth
  • Rains, Scott

Abstract

This paper describes a multi-agent system (MAS) model, Desktop MAS, designed for New Zealand‟s pastoral industries. Desktop MAS models the strategic decisions and behaviours of individual farmers in response to changes in their operating environment. Farmer responses determine production, economic and environmental outcomes. Each farmer has a profit-maximising or cost-minimising objective that governs their decision-making, and a social network with whom they interact. Information transfer between farmers occurs through this social network. We consider a simple scenario analysis that investigates the impact of emissions prices on industry mix and farming intensity. We then investigate the importance of farmer behaviours and interaction. We find that farmer social networks and objectives impact particularly on farming intensity decisions within land-use industries. Land-use change between industries becomes more sensitive to farmer attitudes as the profitability differential between land-uses narrows.

Suggested Citation

  • Schilling, Chris & Kaye-Blake, William & Post, Elizabeth & Rains, Scott, 2012. "The importance of farmer behaviour: an application of Desktop MAS, a multi-agent system model for rural New Zealand communities," 2012 Conference, August 31, 2012, Nelson, New Zealand 136070, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nzar12:136070
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/136070
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Balmann, Alfons & Happe, Kathrin & Kellermann, Konrad & Kleingarn, Anne, 2001. "Adjustment Costs Of Agri-Environmental Policy Switchings - A Multi-Agent Approach," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20506, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Berger, Thomas & Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Woelcke, Johannes, 2006. "Multi-agent simulation for the targeting of development policies in less-favored areas," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 28-43, April.
    3. Happe, Kathrin & Balmann, Alfons & Kellermann, Konrad, 2004. "The agricultural policy simulator (AgriPoliS): an agent-based model to study structural change in agriculture (Version 1.0)," IAMO Discussion Papers 71, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
    4. Suzi Kerr & Alex Olssen, 2012. "Gradual Land-use Change in New Zealand: Results from a Dynamic Econometric Model," Working Papers 12-06, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    5. Balmann, Alfons, 1997. "Farm-Based Modelling of Regional Structural Change: A Cellular Automata Approach," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 85-108.
    6. Happe, Kathrin & Balmann, Alfons, 2008. "Doing Policy In The Lab! Options For The Future Use Of Model-Based Policy Analysis For Complex Decision-Making," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6588, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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    Keywords

    Agribusiness; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Farm Management; Land Economics/Use; Production Economics;

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