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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 349717
Title Multiple equilibria, soil conservation investments and the resilience of agricultural systems
Author(s) Antle, J.M.; Stoorvogel, J.J.; Valdivia, R.O.
Source Environment and Development Economics 11 (2006)4. - ISSN 1355-770X - p. 477 - 492.
Department(s) Land Dynamics
Development Economics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2006
Keyword(s) fertility management - irreversibility - productivity - africa - kenya
Abstract This paper provides a new explanation for the persistent land degradation in some parts of the world, despite the availability of seemingly effective soil conservation technologies.We demonstrate that soil conservation technologies may induce agricultural systems to exhibit equilibria characterized by both low and high levels of soil degradation. These two equilibria are separated by a threshold level of soil degradation beyond which a conservation investment will not yield a positive return. Once a parcel of land crosses this productivity threshold, soil degradation becomes economically irreversible (it is not profitable to invest in soil conservation) even though the degradation may be technically reversible. A case study of terracing investments in Peru is used to demonstrate the existence of multiple equilibria under conditions typical of many marginal agricultural areas. These findings help explainwhy attempts to encourage permanent adoption of soil conservation practices often fail, and how more successful policies could be designed.
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