Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1987 → The role of information and flexibility in small-farm decision making and risk management : evidence from the west African semi-arid tropics

University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987)

The role of information and flexibility in small-farm decision making and risk management : evidence from the west African semi-arid tropics

Kristjanson Patricia

Titre : The role of information and flexibility in small-farm decision making and risk management : evidence from the west African semi-arid tropics

Auteur : Kristjanson Patricia

Université de soutenance : University of Wisconsin-Madison

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1987

Résumé
This dissertation examines how sequential decision making allows producers to incorporate new information into decisions as a method of dealing with risk. Traditional risk studies that have focused on producer’s attitudes towards risk (i.e. degree of risk aversion) do not allow the incorporation of learning, which occurs when sequential farm management decisions are made. Through the estimation of a stage-wise production function, the value of information—the value to the farmer of being able to gain information about stochastic variables before the next stage decision is made—is derived. It is shown that flexible production plans, and the ability to modify these plans as new information becomes available, is an important way in which subsistence farmers in the West African Semi-Arid Tropics deal with extreme environmental risk. Farmers will attach a value or a premium to the flexibility of a particular technique as well as to its expected yield. The results suggest that the magnitude of this premium can be very large. The implications are that in developing and evaluating new techniques, increasing farmer’s management options should be a primary goal of researchers, to allow the maintenance of flexible risk management techniques. In the past, crop breeders have given priority to management-dependent high yielding varieties. Breeding goals that are more content with moderate yield increases and higher stability, with a wider range of agronomic characteristics, may in fact be of greater benefit in both the short and long run.

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Page publiée le 1er janvier 2015, mise à jour le 28 décembre 2016