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

Sarah Jacobson () and Sahan Dissanayake ()

No 2015-09, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

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.

Keywords: classroom game; spatial agglomeration; conservation; land use; economic education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A22 Q24 Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 pages
Date: 2015-06, Revised 2015-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env and nep-exp
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Journal Article: Policies with varying costs and benefits: A land conservation classroom game (2016) Downloads
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