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The Economics of Agri-Environment Scheme Design: An Irish Case Study


  • Cullen, Paula
  • Ryan, Mary
  • O'Donoghue, Cathal
  • Kilgariff, Paul


Efficient agri-environment schemes (AESs), the European Union’s main policy tool to improve the environmental performance of farms, address environmental concerns in a way which maximises the social benefit while minimising the cost. To design such schemes, policymakers are faced with a wide range of options. These include using voluntary or mandatory measures, top-down versus participatory approaches, collaborative versus coordinated participation, and whether to target the schemes or apply them horizontally. The efficiency of each of these options is dependent on the context and appropriateness of the application. Using Ireland as a case study, this paper assesses the evolving structure of AES design in the context of changing environmental targets, by creating an institutional framework to analyse past and current AESs and other measures. This is then compared to participation in AESs and the location of environmental public goods in order to determine the relative efficiency of policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Cullen, Paula & Ryan, Mary & O'Donoghue, Cathal & Kilgariff, Paul, 2018. "The Economics of Agri-Environment Scheme Design: An Irish Case Study," 92nd Annual Conference, April 16-18, 2018, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 273499, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc18:273499
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.273499

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Hynes & Eoghan Garvey, 2009. "Modelling Farmers’ Participation in an Agri‐environmental Scheme using Panel Data: An Application to the Rural Environment Protection Scheme in Ireland," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 546-562, September.
    2. Richard Carson & Nicholas Flores & Norman Meade, 2001. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 173-210, June.
    3. James A. Tobey & Henri Smets, 1996. "The Polluter-Pays Principle in the Context of Agriculture and the Environment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 63-87, January.
    4. Douglas Noonan, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Cultural Resources: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Literature," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 27(3), pages 159-176, November.
    5. Loomis, John B. & White, Douglas S., 1996. "Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 197-206, September.
    6. Paula Cullen & Pierre Dupraz & James Moran & Pat Murphy & Ronan O'Flaherty & Cathal O'Donoghue & Robert O'Shea & Mary Ryan, 2018. "Agri‐Environment Scheme Design: Past Lessons and Future Suggestions," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 17(3), pages 26-30, December.
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