Impact of Agri-environmental Schemes on Farm Performances in five EU Member States
Agri-environmental schemes (AES) of the European Union are the most important measure in terms of share on the public budget for Rural Development. Although the farmers uptake of AES is expected to strongly impact even farmer’s behavior, in the literature the attempts to investigate this impact are scarce. Our study applies a difference-in-differences propensity score matching estimator in order to perform a comparative analyses of the effects of AE measures on farmer’s practises and economic performances across five EU Member States. Results show differences in the AES effects across country as well as differences across farmers of the same country according to what extent the farm income is dependent on the AE payment. Our analyses suggests that the AE payment in Spain is not enough to compensate the large drop of the per hectare income after participation and the AE uptake does not seem to promote effectively environmental-friendly farm practises. In France and Italy the sustainable practises of farmer participants lead to an income foregone that is not fairly compensated by the AE payments. Only in Germany and UK the AE payments seem to compensate the income loss that results from changes in farmers production choices.
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