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Landscape Outcomes in a Model of Edge Effect Externalities: A Computational Economics Approach


  • Dawn C. Parker


This paper examines the impact of distance-dependent spatial externalities, referred to as "edge-effect externalities," on free-market equilibrium land use patterns. Under edge-effect externalities, maximization of production possibilities will depend on minimization of landscape fragmentation, implying that both the correct allocation and the correct arrangement of land uses will be necessary conditions for an economically efficient outcome. Using an agent-based cellular automaton model, this paper deminstrates that in an unregulated free-market without bargaining, both Pareto-efficient and inefficient equilibrium landscape patterns are possible. Initial configurations of firms, permanent geographic features, and transportation costs will impact final outcomes. Further, edge-effect externalities can produce economic landscapes which are more dispersed and fragmented than the pure Von Thunen outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Dawn C. Parker, 1999. "Landscape Outcomes in a Model of Edge Effect Externalities: A Computational Economics Approach," Working Papers 99-07-051, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:99-07-051

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Helfand Gloria E. & Rubin Jonathan, 1994. "Spreading versus Concentrating Damages: Environmental Policy in the Presence of Nonconvexities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 84-91, July.
    2. Freeman, A. III, 1984. "Depletable externalities and pigouvian taxation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 173-179, June.
    3. Tietenberg, T. H., 1974. "Derived decision rules for pollution control in a general equilibrium space economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-16, May.
    4. Albers, Heidi J., 1996. "Modeling Ecological Constraints on Tropical Forest Management: Spatial Interdependence, Irreversibility, and Uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 73-94, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Parker, Dawn Cassandra, 2000. "Edge-Effect Externalities: Theoretical And Empirical Implications Of Spatial Heterogeneity," Dissertations 11940, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    2. J. Gary Polhill & Dawn C. Parker & Daniel Brown & Volker Grimm, 2008. "Using the ODD Protocol for Describing Three Agent-Based Social Simulation Models of Land-Use Change," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(2), pages 1-3.
    3. Parker, Dawn Cassandra & Munroe, Darla K., 2004. "Spatial Tests For Edge-Effect Externalities And External Scale Economies In California Agriculture," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20000, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Parker, Dawn C. & Munroe, Darla K., 2007. "The geography of market failure: Edge-effect externalities and the location and production patterns of organic farming," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 821-833, February.
    5. Belcher, Ken & Nolan, James & Phillips, Peter W.B., 2005. "Genetically modified crops and agricultural landscapes: spatial patterns of contamination," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 387-401, May.

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    Economic geography; spatial externalities; land-use;

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