Empirical evaluation of agricultural sustainability using composite indicators
The aim of this study was to develop a practical methodology for evaluating the sustainability of farms by means of composite indicators, and to apply it to two agricultural systems, the rain-fed agriculture of the Castilla y León countryside and the irrigated systems of the valley of the River Duero. We hope thus to operationalise the concept of sustainability as an element to support the "governance" of this sector. Our methodology is based on calculating 16 sustainability indicators that cover the three components of the concept (economic, social and environmental), and their subsequent aggregation into nine different types of sustainability indices. Our results enable us first to demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods used to construct composite sustainability indicators, demonstrating the usefulness of analysing several of these indicators in conjunction, in order to obtain more robust results. They also enable us to visualise farm heterogeneity within a single agricultural system with respect to sustainability as well as to analyse the structural and decision-oriented variables that influence it. Such information could help to improve current agricultural policies (such as income policy, agricultural structure policy and rural development policy), with the aim of improving the sustainability of the sector.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Phillips, Joseph M, 1994. "Farmer Education and Farmer Efficiency: A Meta-Analysis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 149-65, October.
- Hueting, Roefie & Reijnders, Lucas, 2004. "Broad sustainability contra sustainability: the proper construction of sustainability indicators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 249-260, October.
- Pannell, David J. & Glenn, Nicole A., 2000. "A framework for the economic evaluation and selection of sustainability indicators in agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 135-149, April.
- Giannis Karagiannis & Alexander Sarris, 2005. "Measuring and explaining scale efficiency with the parametric approach: the case of Greek tobacco growers," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 33(s3), pages 441-451, November.
- Hajkowicz, Stefan, 2006. "Multi-attributed environmental index construction," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 122-139, April.
- Hansen, J. W., 1996. "Is agricultural sustainability a useful concept?," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 117-143.
- Van Passel, Steven & Nevens, Frank & Mathijs, Erik & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2007. "Measuring farm sustainability and explaining differences in sustainable efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 149-161, April.
- Ebert, Udo & Welsch, Heinz, 2004. "Meaningful environmental indices: a social choice approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 270-283, March.
- Valentinov, Vladislav, 2007. "Why are cooperatives important in agriculture? An organizational economics perspective," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 55-69, April.
- Isabel Vanslembrouck & Guido Huylenbroeck & Wim Verbeke, 2002. "Determinants of the Willingness of Belgian Farmers to Participate in Agri-environmental Measures," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 489-511.
- Stephen Morse & Nora McNamara & Moses Acholo & Benjamin Okwoli, 2001. "Sustainability indicators: the problem of integration," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 1-15.
- Knowler, Duncan & Bradshaw, Ben, 2007. "Farmers' adoption of conservation agriculture: A review and synthesis of recent research," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 25-48, February.
- Evan Fraser, 2004. "Land tenure and agricultural management: Soil conservation on rented and owned fields in southwest British Columbia," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 73-79, March.
- Rigby, Dan & Woodhouse, Phil & Young, Trevor & Burton, Michael, 2001. "Constructing a farm level indicator of sustainable agricultural practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 463-478, December.
- Kallas, Zein & Gomez-Limon, Jose Antonio & Arriaza Balmón, Manuel, 2006.
"Are Citizens Willing to Pay for Agricultural Multifunctionality?,"
2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia
25476, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Zein Kallas & José A. Gómez-Limón & Manuel Arriaza, 2007. "Are citizens willing to pay for agricultural multifunctionality?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(3), pages 405-419, 05.
- van Calker, K.J. & Berentsen, P.B.M. & Romero, C. & Giesen, G.W.J. & Huirne, R.B.M., 2006. "Development and application of a multi-attribute sustainability function for Dutch dairy farming systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 640-658, June.
- Bohringer, Christoph & Jochem, Patrick E.P., 2007. "Measuring the immeasurable -- A survey of sustainability indices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-8, June.
- Simar, Leopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2007. "Estimation and inference in two-stage, semi-parametric models of production processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 31-64, January.
- Giuseppe Munda, 2005. "“Measuring Sustainability”: A Multi-Criterion Framework," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 117-134, 01.
- Michael Freudenberg, 2003. "Composite Indicators of Country Performance: A Critical Assessment," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/16, OECD Publishing.
- Pirazzoli, Carlo & Castellini, Alessandra, 2000. "Application of a Model for Evaluating the Environmental Sustainability of Cultures in Hill and Mountain Areas: The Case of Berries and Fruit Chestnuts in Northern Italy," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 1(1), January.
- Atance Muniz, Ignacio & Gomez-Limon Rodriguez, Jose A. & Barreiro-Hurlé, Jesús, 2006. "El reto de la multifuncionalidad agraria: oferta de bienes privados y publicos en el sur de Palencia," Revista Española de Estudios Agrosociales y Pesqueros, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Rural y Marino (formerly Ministry of Agriculture), issue 210.
- Diaz-Balteiro, Luis & Romero, Carlos, 2004. "In search of a natural systems sustainability index," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 401-405, July.
- S. lópez-ridaura & H. Keulen & M. Ittersum & P. Leffelaar, 2005. "Multiscale Methodological Framework to Derive Criteria and Indicators for Sustainability Evaluation of Peasant Natural Resource Management Systems," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 51-69, 01.
- Alvarez, Antonio & Arias, Carlos, 2004. "Technical efficiency and farm size: a conditional analysis," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 241-250, May.
- Meredith J. Soule & Abebayehu Tegene & Keith D. Wiebe, 2000. "Land Tenure and the Adoption of Conservation Practices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 993-1005.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:5:p:1062-1075. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.