In many parts of Europe and North America, phosphorus loss from cultivated fields is threatening natural ecosystems. Though there are similarities to other non-point agricultural emissions like nitrogen that have been studied extensively, phosphorus is often characterized by the presence of large stocking capacities for phosphorus in farm soils and long time-lags between applications and emission. This makes it important to understand the dynamics of the phosphorus emission problem when designing regulatory systems. Using a model that reflects these dynamics, we evaluate alternative regulatory systems. Depending on the proportions of different types of farms in the agricultural sector, we find that an input-output tax system can be the core element of a close to efficient regulatory policy.
Environmental and Resource Economics, 2014, Vol 58, Issue 1, p. 109-125