Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Applied Economics


Kenneth S. Lyon


Degradations of the rangelands is very common around the permanent settlements of the central rangelands of Somalia. This degradation is attributed to overstocking resulting form the fact that the rangelands are communally owned and herders are ignoring the shadow value of the forage. Information about the optimal herd size would help halt the rangeland degradation.

In this study, two allocation mechanisms were compared. The first was the private ownership solution where someone owns the rangeland and decides how many animals should be grazed there. The second was the solution where the rangeland is owned in common by the dwellers of the area and access to it is free and unrestricted. For the private ownership, a model was developed that solves the economically optimal herd size and forage stock. The model also determines the optimal milk production and sales and live-cattle sales and slaughters during the transition period and at the stationary state. For the communal ownership, the set of the first-order conditions of the model were solved simultaneously after the shadow value of the forage was dropped.

A computer program of the optimization algorithm, GAM/MINOS, was used to solve both problems using data from the central rangelands of Somalia. GAMS/MINOS provided the optimal values of all of the state, costate, and control variables during the transition period and at the stationary state.



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