An agent based analysis of the impacts of land use restriction and network structures on participation in conservation reserve programs

Conservation covenants are a policy tool for biodiversity and environmental conservation on private lands. They are associated with the withdrawal of development rights by the landholder over a particular piece of land in exchange for financial benefits. Previous studies suggest that existing network structure could influence an individual’s decision to enrol in conservation programs, but there is a lack of comparative analysis of network types to promote more cost-effective results. In this paper, we develop an agent based simulation model to demonstrate the evolution and impact of future land use restrictions on the enrolment of landholders in conservation covenant programs under different network structure. We observe that the nature of the network has a significant impact on program performance. We obtain a lower response to (and higher cost of) conservation covenanting programs when agents are part of a random matching network compared to other networks options. On the other hand, program costs are lower when agents are part of a local uniform matching network. The outcomes indicate that it might be beneficial for the representations to conduct network analysis the project planning stage to fix their programs more attractive to the landowners.

Issue Date:
Dec 11 2016
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
Q24; Q28; D47
Series Statement:
Working papers

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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