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Agro-biodiversity as natural insurance and the development of financial insurance markets

  • Stefan Baumgärtner

    ()

    (Centre for Sustainability, University of Lüneburg)

  • Martin F. Quaas

    ()

    (Department of Ecological Modelling, UFZ-Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle)

Agro-biodiversity can provide natural insurance to risk averse farmers. We employ a conceptual ecological-economic model to analyze the choice of agrobiodiversity by risk averse farmers who have access to financial insurance. We study the implications for individually and socially optimal agro-ecosystem managementand policy design when on-farm agro-biodiversity, through ecosystem processes at higher hierarchical levels, generates a positive externality on other farmers. We show that for the individual farmer natural insurance from agro-biodiversty and financial insurance are substitutes. While an improved access to financial insurance leads to lower agro-biodiversity, the e ects on the market failure problem (due to the external benefits of on-farm agro-biodiversity) and on welfare are determined by properties of the agro-ecosystem and agro-biodiversity’s external benefits. We derive a specific condition on agro-ecosystem functioning under which, if financial insurance becomes more accessible, welfare in the absence of regulation increases or decreases.

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Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 61.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 12 Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:61
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  1. Salvatore Di Falco & Charles Perrings, 2003. "Crop Genetic Diversity, Productivity and Stability of Agroecosystems. A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(2), pages 207-216, 05.
  2. Yann Bramoullé & Nicolas Treich, 2009. "Can Uncertainty Alleviate the Commons Problem?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 1042-1067, 09.
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  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521297615 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2006. "Natural vs. financial insurance in the management of public-good ecosystems," Working Paper Series in Economics 34, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  8. Skees, Jerry & Varangis, Panos & Larson, Donald & Siegel, Paul, 2002. "Can financial markets be tapped to help poor people cope with weather risks ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2812, The World Bank.
  9. Di Falco, Salvatore & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia," EPTD discussion papers 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Di Falco, Salvatore & Perrings, Charles, 2005. "Crop biodiversity, risk management and the implications of agricultural assistance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 459-466, December.
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  12. Felix Schläpfer & Michael Tucker & Irmi Seidl, 2002. "Returns from Hay Cultivation in Fertilized Low Diversity and Non-Fertilized High Diversity Grassland," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 89-100, January.
  13. J. K. Horowitz & E. Lichtenberg, 1994. "Risk-Reducing And Risk-Increasing Effects Of Pesticides," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 82-89.
  14. Melinda Smale & Jason Hartell & Paul W. Heisey & Ben Senauer, 1998. "The Contribution of Genetic Resources and Diversity to Wheat Production in the Punjab of Pakistan," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(3), pages 482-493.
  15. Sandler, Todd & Sternbenz, Frederic P., 1990. "Harvest uncertainty and the tragedy of the commons," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 155-167, March.
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