Nutrient emissions from agricultural land are now widely recognized as one of the key contributors to poor water quality in local lakes, rivers and streams. Nutrient trading has been suggested as a regulatory tool to improve and protect water quality. However, farmers’ attitudes suggest that they are resistant to making the changes required under such a scheme. This paper develops a model of farmers’ resistance to change and their adoption of new management practices under nutrient trading regulation. We specify resistance as a bound on the adoption of new practices and allow this bound to relax as farmers’ resistance to change weakens. This paper reflects current work in progress as part of the author’s Master’s Thesis. Future work will extend and build upon the material presented here. We request that readers refer to this paper only in the absence of a more recent version. This paper has been prepared for the purposes of the New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society conference August 2012.


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