Modeling at farm level: Positive Multi-Attribute Utility Programming
Gómez-Limón, José A.
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This article proposes a new mathematical programming model for the simulation of farmers’ decision-making. We have developed a model based on a multi-attribute utility approach that takes into consideration the most relevant attributes of farmers within a positive framework. This approach overcomes the limitations found in some mathematical models used in the literature to simulate farmers’ behavior. A five-step procedure is presented in order to elicit the utility function that reproduces farmers’ current decision-making. We illustrate this positive multi-attribute approach using a sample of farmers in an irrigated area in southern Spain, where our simulations demonstrate the accurateness of the model in reproducing actual farmers’ decision-making. We also find evidence that the model is able to explain the heterogeneous behavior of farmers within a homogeneous agricultural system