Spatial Externalities of Pest Control Decisions in the California Citrus Industry
By: Grogan, Kelly A.; Goodhue, Rachael E.
Grogan, Kelly A.; Goodhue, Rachael E., Spatial Externalities of Pest Control Decisions in the California Citrus Industry, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 37, Issue 1, April 2012, Pages 156-179
Predaceous and parasitic insects provide control of important citrus pests. However, many pesticides are toxic to these beneficials. Using California citrus grower survey data, this article tests whether landscape-level use of pesticides affects the presence of and reliance on Aphytis melinus, an important beneficial insect. Results show that landscape-level pesticide use decreases the presence of A. melinus and increases reliance on insecticides. Pesticide use on non-citrus crops has a significant negative effect on the presence of Aphytis melinus, suggesting a cross-crop spatial externality. Our findings illustrate that regulations designed to address cross-crop effects on beneficial insects can increase social welfare.