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Policies with Varying Costs and Benefits: A Land Conservation Classroom Game

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Abstract

Some policies try to maximize net benefits by targeting different individuals to participate. This is difficult when costs and benefits of participation vary independently, as they do in land conservation. We share a classroom game that explores cases in which minimizing costs may not maximize benefits and vice versa. This game is a contextually rich pedagogical tool, putting students in the role of landowners who must decide whether to conserve land in different policy environments: flat conservation payments, agglomeration bonuses, and a conservation auction. Students learn about specific issues in land conservation, ecosystem services, preferences for non-money outcomes, and general issues in policymaking. The game is suited to classes in environmental, resource, agricultural, and policy economics, and more general classes in microeconomics and public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Jacobson & Sahan Dissanayake, 2015. "Policies with Varying Costs and Benefits: A Land Conservation Classroom Game," Department of Economics Working Papers 2015-09, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Dec 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2015-09
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    1. Dissanayake, Sahan T.M. & Önal, Hayri & Westervelt, James D. & Balbach, Harold E., 2012. "Incorporating species relocation in reserve design models: An example from Ft. Benning GA," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 224(1), pages 65-75.
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    3. Jacobson, Sarah, 2014. "Temporal spillovers in land conservation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 366-379.
    4. Sullivan, Patrick & Hellerstein, Daniel & Hansen, LeRoy T. & Johansson, Robert C. & Koenig, Steven R. & Lubowski, Ruben N. & McBride, William D. & McGranahan, David A. & Roberts, Michael J. & Vogel, S, 2004. "The Conservation Reserve Program: Economic Implications for Rural America," Agricultural Economic Reports 33987, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    5. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Morgan, Stephen N. & Sharp, Misti D. & Grogan, Kelly A., 2020. "So You Want to Run a Classroom Experiment Online? The Good, the Bad, and the Different," Applied Economics Teaching Resources (AETR), Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 2(5), December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    classroom game; spatial agglomeration; conservation; land use; economic education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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