Assessing regional impacts of change: Linking economic and environmental models
There is an increasing demand for holistic analysis of proposed changes that addresses both environmental and economic factors and impacts. Because economic and environmental models typically have very different, seemingly irreconcilable structures, researchers may consider the expectations of policy makers unattainable. However, this paper presents a method for incorporating models with different spatial scales into a coherent national analysis. The authors combine an agricultural model with geographical boundaries on the state and county level and a watershed model with watershed boundaries. This method is the first to provide national analysis that includes economic results at the state and substate level and environmental results at the small watershed level. The example integrated model provides results for a national policy of cropland erosion control and dissemination of improved crop varieties by a state experiment station.