Subsidies! The Other Incentive-Based Instrument: The Case of the Conservation Reserve Program
Hongli Feng, Catherine L. Kling, Lyubov A. Kurkalova, Silvia Secchi
October 2003 [03-WP 345]
Feng, H., C.L. Kling, L.A. Kurkalova, and S. Secchi. 2003. "Subsidies! The Other Incentive-Based Instrument: The Case of the Conservation Reserve Program." Working paper 03-WP 345. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.
In this paper, we examine command-and-control (CAC) policies and market-based instruments (MBI) in the context of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The CRP, an MBI in the form of subsidies, is by far the largest agro-environmental policy implemented to date. We compare the environmental performance of the CRP as implemented to a few counterfactual CAC polices using EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate), a bio-physical simulation model. In the context of multiple environmental indicators, no policy alternative emerges as a clear winner. The importance of the choice and design of CAC policies is emphasized.
Keywords: command-and-control policy, Conservation Reserve Program, market-based instrument.