Assessing regional impacts of change: linking economic and environmental models
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Increasingly, natural resource policy makers and program administrators are requiring that analysis of proposed changes include estimates of both environmental and economic implications. That requirement poses a difficulty for researchers since the spatial scale of models used for environmental analysis and for economic analysis are structured differently. In this paper we show how the differing spatial scales can be reconciled in a national analysis involving an agricultural model with state- and county-level-based geographical boundaries and a watershed model involving watershed boundaries. This type of modeling system integration has been done in analysis of single or multiple watershed-level issues, but our paper is the first to show a method for a national-level analysis involving state- and substate-level economic results and small watershed environmental results. The procedures and results are shown for a national cropland erosion control policy and for the release by one state experiment station of improved crop varieties.