Crop Insurance, Land Allocation, and the Environment

Government programs that help agricultural producers manage risk may have environmental consequences. In recent years, premium subsidies for crop insurance have been increased substantially to encourage greater producer participation. Using detailed, producer-level crop insurance contract data in four regions, we investigate whether adverse environmental effects have resulted from these increased subsidies. We find some association between environmental effects and insurance contracts. On average, however, we find that environmental effects are generally small and as often beneficial as adverse. More importantly, we find that results are specific to local conditions and to particular environmental indicators and may be hidden in aggregate analysis.
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Citation

Walters, Cory G.; Shumway, C. Richard; Chouinard, Hayley H.; Wandschneider, Philip R., Crop Insurance, Land Allocation, and the Environment, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 37, Issue 2, August 2012, Pages 301-320

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