PhD thesis

Title: Integrated modelization of land use in France: from the crop choice to the choice of economic sector


Abstract:

The research work presented in this doctoral thesis is devoted to the study
of land use. The question is examined from two angles: i) land use within the
farm (the choice of crops, pastures), and ii) land use between economic sec-
tors (forests, urban, agriculture, etc.). Two methods were employed: math-
ematical programming models for the agriculture and forestry sectors and
econometric methods. The supply-side agricultural model, AROPAj, allows
us to model farmers’ decision in terms of crops and nitrogen input quanti-
ties. Since its economic agents are profit maximizers, the results from the
model are directly forwarded to an econometric land use model integrating
the returns for the other land demanding sectors. Three case studies are pro-
posed. In the first one, we prove that the choice of crops should be taken
into account when evaluating the economic and environmental impacts of
an input tax on fertilizers. The second case study is focused on agricultural
land prices as the result from the competition among the different land uses,
namely field farming and pastures, viticulture, urban and tourism. As land
prices and agricultural revenues are often used as proxies for the agricultural
rent in the econometric land use models, in the third case study we compare
the results of econometric models when these values and the estimates from
the agricultural model are employed as explanatory variables. The combined
use of these two modeling methods can be valuable for the study of the cli-
mate induced land use change. Furthermore, the agricultural model allows us
to simulate multiple public policy scenarios.