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Abstract

The paper uses data from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) auctions to elicit farmers' attitudes toward the environment by analyzing their bids. The CRP pays farmers to remove land from production and put it to a conservation use. An interesting aspect of these auctions is that winners are determined by a combination of low bids and environmental scores of individual plots. The results indicate that farmers condition their bids on the strength of their environmental scores and that they consistently value those environmental improvements which are concentrated locally such as reduced soil erosion, while they place less emphasis on those benefits which resemble public goods such as air quality and wildlife habitat.

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