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Why do farmers behave as they do? Understanding compliance with rural, agricultural, and food attribute standards


  • Herzfeld, Thomas
  • Jongeneel, Roel


Agricultural production experiences a shift in underlying institutions during the last years., Importance of private stakeholders like retailers, processors, consumers as well as tax payers is, emerging. Eligibility for single farm payments and marketing of products is linked to compliance with, diverse codes of practice and standards. Voluntary certification schemes are not only relevant with, respect to agriculture's traditional activity (i.e. food production), but is also highly relevant in case of, rural policies. Examples are the EU's agri-environmental schemes, aimed at preserving biodiversity, landscape elements, etc., which are characterized by voluntary participation and the contractual, commitment to apply certain standards. However, these relationships are highly characterized by, information asymmetries. Economic literature offers several approaches to analyse similar relations. The classical approach bases on the assumption of utility maximising agents that will comply with, rules as long as the net utility of compliance will be higher than the net utility of an offence. Recent, evidence challenges this result. Experiments show that people behave more honest than the classical, deterrence model predicts. Main objective of the paper is to compare the various approaches to explain, compliant behaviour. Additionally, an outlook for empirical applications of the theoretical framework, developed here is given to motivate further research. However, our outlook shows that the selection of, appropriate variables to analyse compliance empirically is open to debate.

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  • Herzfeld, Thomas & Jongeneel, Roel, 2012. "Why do farmers behave as they do? Understanding compliance with rural, agricultural, and food attribute standards," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 250-260.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:149556

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    Cited by:

    1. Jongeneel, Roel & Baltussen, Willy H.M., 2014. "Analyzing the impacts of mandatory country of origin labeling in EU pork and poultry sectors on markets, cost of production and trade," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182688, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Christian Lippert & Alexander Zorn & Stephan Dabbert, 2014. "Econometric analysis of noncompliance with organic farming standards in Switzerland," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(3), pages 313-325, May.
    3. repec:eee:agisys:v:159:y:2018:i:c:p:111-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dabbert, Stephan & Lippert, Christian & Zorn, Alexander, 2014. "Introduction to the special section on organic certification systems: Policy issues and research topics," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P2), pages 425-428.
    5. Ben White & Nick Hanley, 2016. "Should We Pay for Ecosystem Service Outputs, Inputs or Both?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(4), pages 765-787, April.
    6. Bailey, Alison P. & Garforth, Chris, 2014. "An industry viewpoint on the role of farm assurance in delivering food safety to the consumer: The case of the dairy sector of England and Wales," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 14-24.
    7. Wieck, Christine & Annen, Dominic N., 2012. "Participation, compliance and synergies at the farm level between the single payments scheme and farm certification labels," Discussion Papers 122123, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics.


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