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Optimal grazing management rules in semi-arid rangelands with uncertain rainfall

Listed author(s):
  • Martin F. Quaas


    (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany)

  • Stefan Baumgärtner


    (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

We study optimal adaptive grazing management under uncertain rainfall in a discrete-time model. As in each year actual rainfall can be observed during the short rainy season, and grazing management can be adapted accordingly for the growing season, the closed-loop solution of the stochastic optimal control problem does not only depend on the state variable, but also on the realization of the random rainfall. This distinguishes optimal grazing management from the optimal use of most other natural resources under uncertainty, where the closed-loop solution of the stochastic optimal control problem depends only on the state variables. Solving this unusual stochastic optimization problem allows us to critically contribute to a long-standing controversy over how to optimally manage semi-arid rangelands by simple rules of thumb.

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Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 193.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:193
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