Balancing public goods in agriculture through safe minimum standards

David S. Bullock, Klaus Mittenzwei, Paal B. Wangsness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop a general framework in which public goods are conflicting (complementary) if an increase in the provision of one public good raises (lowers) the marginal cost of providing another public good. The framework is used to analyse the policy implications of maintaining safe minimum standards (SMSs) for two public goods. The comparative-static results are illustrated using a sector model for Norwegian agriculture in which the SMSs for food security, agrobiodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions are modelled as constraints. The simulations show that even if public goods are conflicting, better-targeted policies can achieve SMSs at lower social costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-584
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Review of Agricultural Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Multifunctionality
  • Policy instruments
  • Sector model
  • Social welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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