Incentive Contract and Weather Risk

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We study contracts designed to remunerate a farmer for the production of an ecosystem service with the payment dependent on the results of the farmer’s actions and on weather conditions. Two contracts are proposed: the first takes into account both the results of the farmer’s actions and a weather variable that reflects the actual atmospheric conditions during the life of the contract; the second bases the payment on the results alone incorporating only the average effect of weather. Social welfare is optimal when both the results and the specific atmospheric conditions are taken into account; however, this type of contract may be less acceptable to the farmer due to his perception of the level of risk involved.

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