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Preserving Waterfowl Habitat on the Canadian Prairies: Economic Incentives versus Moral Suasion

Gerrit van Kooten and Andrew Schmitz

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1992, vol. 74, issue 1, 79-89

Abstract: This paper examines a pilot project of NAWMP that encourages farmers to promote or maintain waterfowl habitat by relying not only on economic incentives but on awareness, education, and moral suasion. The pilot project relies on farmers' attitudes to keep payments low because project payments substitute for grain program subsidies, thus constituting a transfer from Canadian taxpayers to U.S. contributors to NAWMP. A survey instrument and regression analysis are used to examine attitudes, economic incentives, and willingness to pay and willingness to accept compensation for modifying land use in order to conserve waterfowl habitat. The results indicate that current economic incentives offered to agricultural producers are inadequate because they ignore nonmarket costs, and that a positive attitude toward habitat preservation cannot be used as a substitute for monetary incentives.

Date: 1992
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