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Employment impacts of the Common Agricultural Policy in Eastern Germany – A regional panel data approach


  • Petrick, Martin
  • Zier, Patrick


Politicians and farm lobbyists frequently use the argument that agricultural policy is necessary to safeguard jobs in agriculture. We explore whether this is true by conducting an econometric ex-post evaluation of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy in the three East German States Brandenburg, Saxony, and Saxony-Anhalt. Whereas previous studies have employed descriptive statistics or qualitative methods and have looked at single policy instruments in isolation, we apply a difference-in-difference estimator to analyse the employment effects of the entire portfolio of CAP measures simultaneously. Based on panel data at the county level, we find that direct payments for livestock, investment aid and transfers to less favoured areas had a zero marginal employment effect. Increases in direct area payments on average led to labour shedding, as simultaneous decoupling made transfer payments independent of factor allocation. Spending on modern technologies in processing and marketing also led to job losses in agriculture. Agro-environmental measures, on the other hand, kept labour intensive technologies in production or induced them. In light of the recent “health check” agreements on additional modulation, this analysis calls into question whether an expansion of existing second pillar measures is a reasonable way to use the modulated funds.

Suggested Citation

  • Petrick, Martin & Zier, Patrick, 2009. "Employment impacts of the Common Agricultural Policy in Eastern Germany – A regional panel data approach," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50219, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:50219

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrea Pufahl & Christoph R. Weiss, 2009. "Evaluating the effects of farm programmes: results from propensity score matching," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 79-101, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lilli Aline Schroeder & Alexander Gocht & Wolfgang Britz, 2015. "The Impact of Pillar II Funding: Validation from a Modelling and Evaluation Perspective," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 415-441, June.

    More about this item


    Impact analysis; Agricultural employment; Common Agricultural Policy; Agricultural and Food Policy; Labor and Human Capital; Q18; J43; R58;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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