Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental, health and sustainability costs

Wilson, Clevo I. & Tisdell, Clem (2001) Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental, health and sustainability costs. Ecological Economics, 39(3), pp. 449-462.

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Use of chemical inputs such as pesticides has increased agricultural production and productivity. However, negative externalities from such use have increased too. These externalities include damage to agricultural land, fisheries, fauna and flora. Another major externality is the unintentional destruction of beneficial predators of pests thereby increasing the virulence of many species of agricultural pests. Furthermore, increased mortality and morbidity of humans due to exposure to pesticides are recorded especially in developing countries. The costs from these externalities are large and affect farmers’ returns. However, despite these high costs, farmers continue to use pesticides and in most countries in increasing quantities. In this paper, we examine this paradox and show why farmers continue to use pesticides despite the increasing costs. We also emphasize 'lock-in' aspects of pesticide use.

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249 citations in Scopus
206 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 8116
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Author contact details: clevo.wilson@qut.edu.au
Keywords: Pesticides, Agriculture, Environment, Human health, Sustainability, Hysteresis
DOI: 10.1016/S0921-8009(01)00238-5
ISSN: 0921-8009
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Environment and Resource Economics (140205)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Elsevier
Deposited On: 19 Jun 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2015 02:31

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