International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics > Vol 1 > Issue 3

The Economics of Pesticides and Pest Control

Steven E. Sexton, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, USA, Zhen Lei, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, USA, David Zilberman, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, USA,
 
Suggested Citation
Steven E. Sexton, Zhen Lei and David Zilberman (2007), "The Economics of Pesticides and Pest Control", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics: Vol. 1: No. 3, pp 271-326. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/101.00000007

Published: 17 Sep 2007
© 2007 Steven E. Sexton, Zhen Lei and David Zilberman
 
Subjects
Environmental Economics
 
Keywords
Q16Q27Q52Q57
Damage controlPesticidesAgricultural biotechnologyInvasive speciesResistance
 

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In this article:
1 Introduction
2 Improving Productivity by Reducing Damage
3 Economic Risk and Pesticide Use
4 Health and Environmental Effects
5 Resistance
6 The Economics of Pesticide Policy and Regulation
7 Invasive Species
8 Agricultural Biotechnology
9 Conclusion
References

Abstract

Pesticides have been a major contributor to the growth of agricultural productivity and food supply. Yet, they are a source of concern because of human and environmental health side effects. This paper presents methodologies for assessing the productivity and health effects of pesticides. It also provides an overview of some of the major empirical findings. This paper covers major research that analyzes alternative approaches to address issues of resistance buildup, risk and environmental and human health, predator–prey relationships, as well as dynamic considerations. The paper summarizes existing policies that vary from the prescribed social optimum suggested by economic theory to those motivated by political–economy factors and risk aversion. Analysis is provided to relate pesticide policies to the larger context of agricultural and environmental management. This paper also presents recent modeling of invasive species and agricultural biotechnology.

DOI:10.1561/101.00000007