At the School of Biosciences work on the environment and agriculture has been building upon previous research for the Home-Grown Cereals Authority to identify appropriate stockless organic conversion strategies. A recently completed joint crop science/management project examined the longer term impacts of organic conversion. Other research in the agri-environmental arena, with colleagues in both management and crop science sections, has examined the impact of farm-level strategies for decreasing nitrate loss to the environment. In conjunction with the University of Sheffield, and drawing upon data and expertise of the Rural Business Research Unit, a Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) funded project is currently analysing the sustainability of the hill farming economy and the impact of farm production decisions on upland landscapes and biodiversity.
At the School of Economics work lies primarily in agricultural and food economics, particularly the time series analysis of commodity markets and testing for market power. Other work focuses on analysing the impact of imperfect competition on price transmission along the UK food chain in both theoretical and applied forms, with an emphasis on the impact of health scares (BSE). In particular work focuses on futures markets includes exploring the feasibility of using them to stabilise prices for LDC producers, as well as considering the impact of futures trading on spot market prices
Environmental economics is concerned with finding the optimal level of pollution. People tend to pollute too much, because they are not confronted with the cost of pollution. But by how much should pollution be reduced? On the one hand there are benefits to reduced pollution (in terms of environmental quality), but on the other hand reducing pollution is costly and means we have to reduce our consumption of goods like electricity, transportation, etc.
Work at Nottingham consists of four main strands. The first is the relation between environmental regulation, environmental quality and location choice of households and polluting firms. The second research question is how economic actors (polluters and victims of pollution) try to influence government policy. The third is research into issues arising from actual environmental policy programmes, such as the UK Climate Change Agreements and the EU Emission Trading Scheme. Finally there is interest in resource and energy economics and industrial organization with particular focus on the economics of electricity markets.
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