Wildlife on Private Land: Contracting over Wildlife-Inflicted Property Damage and Abatement

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Title: Wildlife on Private Land: Contracting over Wildlife-Inflicted Property Damage and Abatement
Author: Yoder, Jonathan Keith
Advisors: Gerald Carlson, Chair
Mitchell Renkow, Member
Charles Knoeber, Member
Alastair Hall, Member
Abstract: In its search for sustenance and cover, wildlife imposes costs on agricultural property owners. A mosaic of privateand public contractual arrangements has evolved to address this problem, with private agricultural organizations,county commissions, wildlife agencies and state and federal departments of agriculture all involved. A set ofprevalent contractual arrangements over wildlife damage is formally examined in this dissertation, includingabatement labor sharing, abatement cost sharing, and damage sharing contracts. Wildlife is modeled as a publicand potentially common-property good that is affected by and destructive to private agricultural inputs.Independent production choices that affect the wildlife stock may impose externalities on neighboring landownersor other interested parties. Contracts develop to account for these externalities, and contract structure isdependent on the costs associated with potential contract mechanisms. A fundamental problem of contractingover wildlife damage is that abatement labor effort is difficult to monitor by participants. Contract structures reflectthis difficulty. Two of the theoretical models form the basis for empirical examinations. First, livestock producersin many western states maintain cost-share programs for predator control. A contract value function is developedfor a prevalent cost-sharing rule, and the model is used to explain the observed structure and incidence of theseprograms across counties and states. Second, landowner incentives to alter crop choice in the face ofdeer-inflicted crop damage are examined. A multicrop econometric model allowing for differential damage ratesacross crops is estimated using data from Wisconsin. The model provides implications about the effects ofchanges in certain wildlife agency policy instruments. This dissertation expands the existing economic literature onwildlife damage, as well as the literature on joint production of private and public goods, the economics of pestand wildlife management, and the empirical literature on contracting over common-property and public goods.Private landowners provide much of the land on which wildlife resides, and their incentives are important in thecalculus of wildlife management. This dissertation hopefully will provide a framework useful to wildlife managersfor understanding the impacts on and the reactions of private landowners to wildlife damage policy.
Date: 1999-04-07
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Economics
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4059

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