Economic Analysis of Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration: An Integrated Assessment Approach

John M. Antle, Susan M. Capalbo, Siân Mooney, Edward T. Elliott, Keith H. Paustian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


This study develops an integrated assessment approach for analysis of the economic potential for carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. By linking a site-specific economic simulation model of agricultural production to a crop ecosystem model, the approach shows the economic efficiency of soil carbon (C) sequestration depends on site-specific opportunity costs of changing production practices and rates of soil C sequestration. An application is made to the dryland grain production systems of the U.S. Northern Plains which illustrates the sensitivity of the sequestration costs to policy design. The marginal cost of soil C ranges from $12 to $500 per metric ton depending upon the type of contract or payment mechanism used, the amount of carbon sequestered, and the site-specific characteristics of the areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-367
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2001


  • Carbon sequestration
  • Century ecosystem model
  • Econometric process model
  • Economic efficiency
  • Integrated assessment approach
  • Marginal cost of soil C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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