Regulatory Policy Design for Agroecosystem Management on Public Rangelands

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This paper develops a model to analyze regulatory design for agroecosystem management on public rangeland. We define and compare the efficiency of the most prominent regulatory instruments on public rangeland—input regulation, cost-sharing/taxation, and performance regulation. We show that given informational asymmetries between ranchers and regulators within federal land management agencies, performance regulation can achieve first-best outcomes when regulators can perfectly monitor ranch-level ecological conditions and do not face constraints due to budget limitations or restrictions on the level of penalties they can assess, but that under imperfect monitoring and/or budgetary/penalty constraints, input regulation and cost-sharing/taxation can dominate performance regulation.

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