Relative Efficiency of Voluntary Versus Mandatory Environmental Regulations, The

JunJie Wu, Bruce A. Babcock
November 1996  [96-WP 172]

When the government wants farmers to adopt a certain management practice on environmentally sensitive land, it can mandate adoption, with fines for noncompliance, or use a stewardship program, with incentives for those who comply. The Federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 1996 (FAIR) continues the tradition of voluntary programs. An analysis by the authors outlines the conditions under which these voluntary programs are more efficient than mandatory ones.

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