Title: The adoption of farm level soil conservation practices in developed countries: a meta-analytic review

Authors: Erwin Wauters; Erik Mathijs

Addresses: Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Social Science Unit, Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 115 box 2, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium ' Division of Bioeconomics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200e box 2411, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium

Abstract: Many researchers have been investigating factors that influence farmers' adoption of soil conservation practices. This paper presents an exhaustive review of the empirical literature since 1980. It reviews and meta-analyses 69 empirical studies on the adoption of soil conservation practices. The main results prove disappointing for nation-wide policy arrangements, as there are almost no universal patterns to discover. In fact, variables that are since decades regarded as classic adoption of innovation variables actually converge to an insignificant influence. We list some of the methodological weaknesses of many past adoption studies, which may account for a significant proportion of insignificant results and inconsistency. We offer several suggestions for future adoption researchers and derive opportunities for policy makers.

Keywords: soil conservation adoption; meta-analysis; vote count analysis; developed countries; literature review; farmers; agriculture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2014.061058

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2014 Vol.10 No.1, pp.78 - 102

Received: 22 Feb 2014
Accepted: 26 Feb 2014

Published online: 24 May 2014 *

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