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New publication: Innovation, Cooperation, and the Perceived Benefits and Costs of Sustainable Agriculture Practices

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By Matthew Hoffman - Posted on 08 January 2012

The Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior's director Mark Lubell, and PhD students Vicken Hillis and Matthew Hoffman are pleased to announce our recent publication in Ecology and Society titled "Innovation, Cooperation, and the Perceived Benefits and Costs of Sustainable Agriculture Practices. The abstract is included below. The full article can is included as an attachment to this posting.

Abstract: A central goal of most sustainable agriculture programs is to encourage growers to adopt practices that jointly provide economic, environmental, and social benefits. Using surveys of outreach professionals and wine grape growers, we quantify the perceived costs and benefits of sustainable viticulture practices recommended by sustainability outreach and certification programs. We argue that the mix of environmental benefits, economic benefits, and economic costs determine whether or not a particular practice involves decisions about innovation or cooperation. Decision making is also affected by the overall level of knowledge regarding different practices, and we show that knowledge gaps are an increasing function of cost and a decreasing function of benefits. How different practices are related to innovation and cooperation has important implications for the design of sustainability outreach programs. Cooperation, innovation, and knowledge gaps are issues that are likely to be relevant for the resilience and sustainability of many different types of social-ecological systems.

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Lubell_innovation_cooperation-2011.pdf620.03 KB