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Agri-environmental policies in the EU and United States: A comparison

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  • Baylis, Kathy
  • Peplow, Stephen
  • Rausser, Gordon
  • Simon, Leo

Abstract

Agri-environmental policies (AEPs) in the United States and the European Union are examples of payments for environmental services that pay farmers to reduce the negative externalities of agricultural production, while serving as a means to transfer public funds to farmers. We show that despite similar origins, AEPs in the two regions differ both in their specific objectives and in their implementation. For example, AEPs in most member states of the EU-15 have the additional objective of using agriculture as a driver for rural development. This objective is achieved by compensating farmers for the private delivery of positive public goods, such as attractive landscapes, produced by agriculture. The rationale is market failure, and there is empirical evidence that Europeans are willing to pay for such positive externalities. No comparable provision exists in U.S. policy. By contrast, U.S. AEPs focus almost entirely on reducing agriculture's negative externalities, such as soil erosion. Second, we find that U.S. programs are more targeted than their EU counterparts, and take opportunity cost into account. The EU programs, on the other hand, address a wider range of externalities, and are focused more on the paying for a particular farming process than reducing specific negative externalities. The EU takes a broader view of AEPs than does the United States, both in terms of type of activity that can be funded, and by using less targeting by land characteristics, and so the European program could be more easily used as a mechanism for transferring income to producers. Despite this, we find evidence that many of the amenities targeted by the programs are demanded by the population.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 65 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 753-764

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:4:p:753-764

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Coria, Jessica & Robinson, Elizabeth & Smith, Henrik G. & Sterner, Thomas, 2012. "Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services Provision: Tale of Confused Objectives, Multiple Market Failures and Policy Challenges," Working Papers in Economics 546, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Thomas Coisnon & Walid Oueslati & Julien Salanié, 2014. "Spatial targeting of agri-environmental policy and urban development," Working Papers 1401, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  3. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2012. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," LICOS Discussion Papers 32312, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  4. Helin, Janne, 2008. "Environmental protection of agriculture -clash of policies?," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6468, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Lewis, Kate & Porras, Ina & Miranda, Miriam & Barton, David & Chacon, Adriana, 2012. "De Rio a Rio+ Lecciones de 20 años de experiencia en servicios ambientales en Costa Rica
    [From Rio to Rio + Lessons from 20 years of experience in environmental services in Costa Rica]
    ," MPRA Paper 43649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Yang, Wanhong & Bryan, Brett A. & MacDonald, Darla Hatton & Ward, John R. & Wells, Geoff & Crossman, Neville D. & Connor, Jeffrey D., 2010. "A conservation industry for sustaining natural capital and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 680-689, February.
  7. Jaraite, Jurate & Kažukauskas, Andrius, 2011. "The effect of mandatory agro-environmental policy on farm environmental performance," CERE Working Papers 2011:13, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.
  8. Line Block Hansen & Lars Gårn Hansen, 2012. "Can Non-point Phosphorus Emissions from Agriculture be Regulated efficiently using Input-Output Taxes?," IFRO Working Paper 2012/4, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  9. Stine Broch & Suzanne Vedel, 2012. "Using Choice Experiments to Investigate the Policy Relevance of Heterogeneity in Farmer Agri-Environmental Contract Preferences," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(4), pages 561-581, April.
  10. Thomas Coisnon & Walid OUESLATI & Julien Salanié, 2012. "Agri-environmental policy and urban sprawl patterns: A general equilibrium analysis," Working Papers halshs-00753221, HAL.
  11. Ina, Porras & Bruce, Alyward & Jeff, Dengel, 2013. "Monitoring payments for watershed services schemes in developing countries," MPRA Paper 47185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano & Wunder, Sven, 2008. "Designing payments for environmental services in theory and practice: An overview of the issues," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 663-674, May.
  13. Crastes, Romain & Beaumais, Olivier & Arkoun, Ouerdia & Laroutis, Dimitri & Mahieu, Pierre-Alexandre & Rulleau, Bénédicte & Hassani-Taibi, Salima & Barbu, Vladimir Stefan & Gaillard, David, 2014. "Erosive runoff events in the European Union: Using discrete choice experiment to assess the benefits of integrated management policies when preferences are heterogeneous," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 105-112.
  14. Wunder, Sven & Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Taking stock: A comparative analysis of payments for environmental services programs in developed and developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 834-852, May.
  15. Steele, Scott R., 2009. "Expanding the solution set: Organizational economics and agri-environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 398-405, December.
  16. Angela Münch, 2010. "Agri-Environmental Schemes and Grassland Biodiversity: Another Side of the Coin," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-026, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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