Pest Management in Food Systems: An Economic Perspective

Posted: 20 Oct 2012

See all articles by Gina Waterfield

Gina Waterfield

University of California, Berkeley

David Zilberman

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics

Date Written: November 2012

Abstract

Population and income growth in the coming half century will lead to a tremendous rise in the demand for food. To meet this projected growth without massive extensification of farmland, agricultural yields must increase significantly. Crop yields depend heavily on the pest pressures farmers face and on the pest control treatments available. Pest control, however, inevitably has a multitude of unintended effects on the environment, public and worker health, and the productivity of neighboring farms. The magnitudes of these effects differ widely across pest control technologies and the situations in which they are used. Optimal pest management balances the quantifiable benefits of yield improvement and risk reduction against these external costs, taking into account nonpecuniary characteristics that impact farmers' decisions and welfare. Such analysis should be the basis of government regulation of pest management.

Suggested Citation

Waterfield, Gina and Zilberman, David, Pest Management in Food Systems: An Economic Perspective (November 2012). Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 37, pp. 223-245, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2163593 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-040911-105628

Gina Waterfield (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

David Zilberman

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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