Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


Conservation Easement Allocations Amidst Localized Spillovers in Grassland Conversion
Analysis using remotely-sensing data

Gaurav Arora
IIIT Delhi

12th April 2018 (Thursday) at 3:00 PM

Venue : Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics

All are cordially invited
We evaluate the efficiency of past conservation easement allocations in protecting the remaining grasslands of the Prairie Pothole Region. We focus on the permanent grass conversions in eastern North Dakota (1997-2016) and in eastern South Dakota (2006-2016). Our spatial-temporal analysis suggests that while the region’s croplands and grasslands as large, contiguous tracts, the past permanent grassland conversions occurred in the proximity of crop-intensive areas. We conjecture that positive localized spillovers exist among private land use decisions. We develop a one-shot, binary-choice game-theoretic framework with strategic complementarities among landowners. We find that simultaneous acquisition of contiguous lands as easements where cropping incentives are weak is cost-effective. We empirically validate our conjecture of localized spillovers by employing a duration modeling framework. We find that higher grass density inhibits the risk of conversion in its locality and that easements are strategic complements to higher grass acres with regards to inhibiting conversion risks. Past easement allocations in eastern North and South Dakota were relatively large tracts located on relatively poor soils that is indeed a cost-effective spatial structure as suggested in this study.

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