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Adverse Selection in the Environmental Stewardship Scheme: Evidence in the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme?


  • Quillerou, Emmanuelle
  • Fraser, Rob W.
  • Fraser, Iain


The Environmental Stewardship Scheme provides payments to farmers for the provision of environmental services based on foregone agricultural income. This creates a potential incentive compatibility problem which, combined with an information asymmetry on farm land heterogeneity, could lead to adverse selection of farmers into the Scheme and therefore reduced cost-effectiveness of the Scheme. This reduced cost-effectiveness would be represented by a systematic overpayment of farmers for the land enrolled into the Scheme, compared to the opportunity cost of production. This paper examines the potential adverse selection problem affecting the higher tier of the Environmental Stewardship, the Higher Level Stewardship, using a principal agent framework combined with farm-level data on participation in the HLS. Empirically, it is found that, at the farm level, HLS participation is negatively related to cereal yields, suggesting the existence of adverse selection in the HLS and farmer overcompensation from entering the scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Quillerou, Emmanuelle & Fraser, Rob W. & Fraser, Iain, 2010. "Adverse Selection in the Environmental Stewardship Scheme: Evidence in the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme?," 84th Annual Conference, March 29-31, 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland 91676, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc10:91676

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Emmanuelle Quillérou & Rob Fraser, 2010. "Adverse Selection in the Environmental Stewardship Scheme: Does the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme Design Reduce Adverse Selection?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 369-380.
    2. Feng, Hongli, 2007. "Green payments and dual policy goals," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 323-335, November.
    3. Barreiro-Hurlé, Jesús & Espinosa-Goded, Maria & Dupraz, Pierre, 2008. "Re-considering Agri-Environmental Schemes premiums: the impact of fixed costs in sign-up decisions," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43606, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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    Cited by:

    1. Weber, Anja Michaela, 2011. "Why do Farmers Spend Different Amounts of Transaction Costs in Agri-Environmental Schemes?," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115738, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item


    Adverse selection; agri-environment; Environmental Stewardship; principal-agent; contract; Environmental Economics and Policy; D78; D82; H44; Q18; Q58;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H44 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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