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Voluntary Agreements and the Environmental Efficiency of Participating Farms

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  • Roosen, Jutta
  • Ordonez, Andrea

Abstract

Voluntary environmental agreements have been popular with government agencies in several countries. However, many questions remain about their efficiency as a regulatory tool. Recent analyses suggest that they are more effective than conventional regulatory or economic approaches when dealing with diffuse pollution and when innovation processes at the source are necessary to define effective regulation. This paper applies an activity-based framework to assess the contribution of such a voluntary agreement to the environmental performance of farms participating in a whole farm plan in the Southern part of Belgium. Using a cross-section of 52 farms, our results show that farms entering into environmental agreements are environmentally more efficient than non-participating farms in terms of the preservation and provision of landscape features. However, their environmental efficiency with regard to the reduction of non-desirable outputs, such as organic nitrogen, is mostly determined by technical efficiency and not by participation in the whole farm plan.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain with number 24897.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae02:24897

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Keywords: Agri-environmental indicators; Data envelopment analysis; Environmental efficiency; Voluntary agreements; Whole farm plan; Environmental Economics and Policy; C14; Q12; Q2;

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  1. Fare, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Tyteca, Daniel, 1996. "An activity analysis model of the environmental performance of firms--application to fossil-fuel-fired electric utilities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 161-175, August.
  2. Ervin, David E. & Smith, Katherine R., 1996. "What it takes to "Get to Yes" for Whole Farm Planning Policy," Policy Studies Program Reports, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, number 134114.
  3. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-71, May.
  4. Fare, Rolf, et al, 1989. "Multilateral Productivity Comparisons When Some Outputs Are Undesirable: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 90-98, February.
  5. Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Francksen, Tammo & Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe, 2008. "Evaluierung von Agrarumweltprogrammen auf Grundlage der Umwelteffizienz landwirtschaftlicher Betriebe," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 57(3/4).

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