Different mixes of the same policy attributes at different levels can deliver different ecological and social results. The prediction and assessment of policy impacts can help policy makers make better decision. Using the results of a contingent behaviour study, the ability of alternative policy instruments to reduce stocking rates in Inner Mongolia to levels that are regarded as ecologically sustainable is assessed. The policy mixes that are shown to satisfy the ecological criteria are then ranked using a choice model in terms of their utility relative to what the current policy mix provides herders. Only, policy mixes that combine incentives (such as increased pensions, more generous loan provisions and greater subsidies) with penalties (including increased monitoring and enforcement of stocking rate rules) are able to achieve both the stocking rate reduction and herder utility improvement goals.