Agent-Based Modelling for the Adoption of Beneficial Water Management Practices in Eastern Canada - a Case of the Cost-Share Program in Agri-Environmental Policy Design

Ran Sun, James Nolan, Suren Kulshreshtha
2021 unpublished
Beneficial water management practices (BWMPs) are farm management practices with environmental benefits of mitigating adverse impacts generated from conventional tile drainage. However, the adoption of BWMPs typically reflects the dilemma of agri-environmental technologies: although there are high social benefits, low private incentives mainly prevent technology adoption by farmers. Due to micro-level studies' limitations of using the econometric models from the ex-post perspective and absence
more » ... rom policy interventions, this study employed agent-based modelling (ABM) to bring new insights into technology adoption. The dynamic adoption/diffusion process of BWMPs was calibrated through the ABM model. Furthermore, a case on cost-effectiveness evaluation of the cost-share program was exemplified in this study to explain how ABM can support the agri-environmental policy design. Conclusively, this model can be used as a powerful and flexible tool in policy ex-ante evaluation and design regarding social-ecological systems based on various perspectives of policy goals, such as participants, land, total social benefits and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, the application of ABM or complex adaptive systems, incorporated with interdisciplinary research and potentially interfaced with big data, machine learning and reinforcement learning techniques in the future, can shed light on the economy's complexity, which may be ignored by established economic theory.
doi:10.22004/ag.econ.315340 fatcat:oicssmasvffexaxdrywxdm66zi