Design and costs of a measurement protocol for trades in soil carbon credits

Siân Mooney, John Antle, Susan Capalbo, Keith Paustian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Previous work has demonstrated that in the absence of transaction costs, contracts that pay producers per carbon (C) credit are more efficient than those that tie payments to changes in management practices. In this paper we develop a measurement protocol to support contracts for C credits and estimate its implementation costs using an empirical example. We find that the costs of implementing a measurement protocol for soil C credits depend on: the price of credits; the regional heterogeneity in C values as well as assumed error and confidence intervals. We find that the upper estimate of measurement costs associated with a contract that pays producers per C credit can be as little as 3% of the value of a credit. These contract measurement costs are less than the efficiency gains from implementing a per-credit contract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-287
Number of pages31
JournalCanadian Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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