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Accounting for Externalities in Benefit–Cost Measures: An Analysis of a Land Buyout and Associated Projects to Save the Everglades

Andrew Schmitz, P. Lynn Kennedy and Julie Hill-Gabriel

Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 2013, vol. 45, 13

Abstract: As part of efforts to restore the Everglades, in 2008, Governor Crist of Florida proposed the acquisition of 187,000 acres of land from the U.S. Sugar Corporation (U.S. Sugar) for this purpose, but the final purchase in August 2010 totaled only 26,800 acres. This article presents the history behind the alternatives, including the buyout of U.S. Sugar land, to improve Florida’s water quality and the health of the Everglades. To determine the benefits and costs of several of the U.S. Sugar land buyout proposals, a spatial price equilibrium model of the U.S. sugar market is developed. Within this framework, all the benefit–cost ratios calculated show that the benefits are less than the costs. Our analysis uses the concept of an Environmental Equivalent, which is the dollar amount of environmental benefits needed from the Everglades restoration or water quality projects to generate benefits that are as great as or greater than its costs. Also, we consider, within the context of ex ante vs. ex post benefit–cost analysis, the developments to clean up the Everglades since the U.S. Sugar land purchase.

Keywords: Environmental; Economics; and; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.155415

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