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Palgrave Macmillan

Water Quality and Agriculture

Economics and Policy for Nonpoint Source Water Pollution

  • Book
  • © 2021


  • Addresses the ecological and economic performance of agriculture, a topic of fundamental importance to contemporary agricultural and environmental policy
  • Explores the role of market failures and government failures as drivers and shapers of the impact of agriculture on water quality
  • Presents the theory of externalities and environmental policy instruments with a unique emphasis on diffuse nonpoint pollution

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


About this book

Water pollution control has been a top environmental policy priority of the world’s most developed countries for decades, and the focus of significant regulation and public and private spending. Yet, significant water quality problems remain, and trends for some pollutants are in the wrong direction. This book addresses the economics of water pollution control and water pollution control policy in agriculture, with an aim towards providing students, environmental policy analysts, and other environmental professionals with economic concepts and tools essential to understanding the problem and crafting solutions that can be effective and efficient. The book will also examine existing policies and proposed reforms in the developed world. Although this book addresses and has a general applicability to major water pollutants from agriculture (e.g., pesticides, pharmaceuticals, sediments, nutrients), it will focus on the sediment and nutrient pollution problem. The economic and scientific foundations for pollution management are best developed for these pollutants, and they are currently the top priorities of policy makers. Accordingly, the authors provide both highly salient and informative cases for developing concepts and methods of general applicability, with high profile examples such as the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Erie, and the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone in the US; the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe; and Lake Taupo in New Zealand. 

Authors and Affiliations

  • Distinguished Professor Emeritus Agricultural and Environmental Economics, College of Agricultural Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA

    James Shortle

  • Professor Emeritus, Environmental Economics, Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    Markku Ollikainen

  • Senior Scientist Natural Resources Institute Finland, Helsinki, Finland

    Antti Iho

About the authors

James Shortle is Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics at the Pennsylvania State University, USA.

Markku Ollikainen is Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Antti Iho is Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute, Finland.

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