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Optimal combination of pollution prevention and abatement policies: The case of agricultural drainage

Farhed Shah, David Zilberman () and Erik Lichtenberg ()

Environmental & Resource Economics, 1995, vol. 5, issue 1, 29-49

Abstract: The adoption of pollution prevention and abatement practices is examined in the context of a model of exhaustible resource use with a backstop technology. For the sake of concreteness, the paper focuses on the problem of water-logging caused by the subsurface accumulation of agricultural drainwater. In modelling this problem, a region's underground capacity to store drainwater is considered an exhaustible resource, while the installation of subsurface drainage is viewed as the corresponding backstop technology (or abatement practice). The exhaustible resource is typically over-exploited due to common access problems, which forces a suboptimally fast adoption of the abatement practice. Conservationist irrigation technologies, such as drip and sprinkler systems, tend to reduce drainwater generation, and their adoption could increase social welfare by delaying the abatement stage. Public policies are suggested to increase the adoption of such conservationist technologies. Data from California is used to illustrate the results and to demonstrate the efficacy of the model for policy purposes. While the setting used for the analysis in this paper is quite specific (i.e., water-logging), the same general modelling ideas may be applied to many other problems of environmental degradation. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Keywords: Drainage; dynamic modelling; exhaustible resources; irrigation; pollution prevention; technology adoption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1995
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DOI: 10.1007/BF00691908

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