Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.03.028
Document author version
Title (Primary) Uncertainty and sustainability in the management of rangelands
Author Quaas, M.; Baumgärtner, S.; Becker, C.; Frank, K.; Müller, B.
Journal Ecological Economics
Year 2007
Department OESA
Volume 62
Issue 2
Page From 251
Page To 266
Language englisch
Keywords ecological-economic model; semi-arid rangeland; grazing management; risk aversion; uncertainty; sustainability
Abstract We analyze a dynamic and stochastic ecological-economic model of grazing management in semi-arid rangelands. The ecosystem is driven by stochastic precipitation. A risk averse farmer chooses a grazing management strategy under uncertainty such as to maximize expected utility from farming income. Grazing management strategies are rules about which share of the rangeland is given rest depending on the actual rainfall in that year. In a first step we determine a myopic farmer's optimal grazing management strategy and show that a risk averse farmer chooses a strategy such as to obtain insurance from the ecosystem: the optimal strategy reduces income variability, but yields less mean income than possible. In a second step we analyze the long-run ecological and economic impact of different strategies. We conclude that a myopic farmer, if he is sufficiently risk averse, will choose a sustainable grazing management strategy, even if he does not take into account long-term ecological and economic benefits of conservative strategies.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Quaas, M., Baumgärtner, S., Becker, C., Frank, K., Müller, B. (2007):
Uncertainty and sustainability in the management of rangelands
Ecol. Econ. 62 (2), 251 - 266