531 S. College Avenue, Newark, DE

Landowners name their voluntary cost-share

Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research

Landowners name their voluntary cost-share

Ag Values Project: Agricultural Values, Innovation & Stewardship Enhancement Project

CBEAR created the Ag Values Project project as a place to testbed behavioral insights in the agricultural context. By creating a “name-your-own cost-share” auction, we have been able to improve environmental outcomes, like water quality and invasive species control. Ag Values Project has demonstrated that behavioral nudges can be effective ways to encourage cost-effective conservation actions by landowners, while preserving farmers’ autonomy and control over their decision-making. Simple changes to the program environment, such as changing the default starting points for programs, can result in large efficiency gains for government programs. These improvements can help use taxpayer money more efficiently to achieve additional environmental benefits, without changing any laws or program rules.

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