Principles of conservation economics and policy

Date
2017-06-09
Authors
Heady, Earl
Scoville, O.
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Extension and Experiment Station Publications
Abstract

The first part of this study is concerned with the application of principles of production economics to practical problems of soil conservation. The second part is devoted to the further development of the basic theory of economics of resource conservation.

In the analysis of many applied problems, it is helpful to deal with soil conservation in terms of a single industry which can draw certain inputs from the outside.

In this isolated industry case, conservation has a special meaning separate from the concept of competition in production between time periods. In this applied aspect it may be defined as prevention of diminution in future production on a given area of soil and from a given input of labor and capital (apart from the conservation resource input, and with the technique of production otherwise constant). In other words the economic problem is one of retaining a given production function over time.

Society is confronted with two important problems with respect to the allocation of resources for soil conservation: (1) What total quantity of resources should be devoted to this end? (2) How can maximum efficiency be attained in the use of given funds? Attention in this study is devoted primarily to the second question.

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