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Improving water quality with a territorial agro-environmental policy? Insights from the new generation AES in South-West France

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  • Anne GASSIAT
  • Sylvain ROUSSET
  • Frèdèric ZAHM

Abstract

This article deals with the Local Agri-Environmental Schemes (LAES), the French contractual policy instrument within the European Rural Development Regulation (2007-2013), designed to improve water quality within priority watersheds. The paper is structured in three parts. The first one focuses on the evolution of the program-theory which underlie the French agri-environmental policy, from a retrospective of the successive national schemes set up since 1985. The second part questions the role of territories and local actors in the program definition and implementation. We question the supposed "territorialization" of LAES, by leaning on a comparative study of the program in three regions of Southwest France. Our first results suggest that beyond the integration of spatial stakes in conformity with the Water Framework Directive, the LAES remains after all little territorialized and can be considered rather as a top-down site-specific pollution control policy. In the last part of the paper, we examine the adoption of LAES by French farmers, with a focus on the role of information, uncertainty and trust in the choice of contract commitment.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne GASSIAT & Sylvain ROUSSET & Frèdèric ZAHM, 2011. "Improving water quality with a territorial agro-environmental policy? Insights from the new generation AES in South-West France," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1569, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p1569
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gilles Allaire & Eric Cahuzac & Michel Simioni, 2009. "Contractualisation et diffusion spatiale des mesures agro-environnementales herbagères," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 90(1), pages 23-50.
    2. McCann, Laura & Colby, Bonnie & Easter, K. William & Kasterine, Alexander & Kuperan, K.V., 2005. "Transaction cost measurement for evaluating environmental policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 527-542, March.
    3. Per Kristian Rørstad & Arild Vatn & Valborg Kvakkestad, 2007. "Why do transaction costs of agricultural policies vary?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(1), pages 1-11, January.
    4. Dupraz, Pierre & Latouche, Karine & Turpin, Nadine, 2007. "Programmes agri-environnementaux en présence d’effets de seuil," Cahiers d'Economie et de Sociologie Rurales (CESR), INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), vol. 82.
    5. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, November.
    6. Gafsi, Mohamed & Legagneux, Bruno & Nguyen, Genevieve & Robin, Patrice, 2006. "Towards sustainable farming systems: Effectiveness and deficiency of the French procedure of sustainable agriculture," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, pages 226-242.
    7. Saussier, Stephane, 2000. "Transaction costs and contractual incompleteness: the case of Electricite de France," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 189-206, June.
    8. P. Dupraz & D. Vermersch & B. De Frahan & L. Delvaux, 2003. "The Environmental Supply of Farm Households: A Flexible Willingness to Accept Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 171-189.
    9. Isabel Vanslembrouck & Guido Huylenbroeck & Wim Verbeke, 2002. "Determinants of the Willingness of Belgian Farmers to Participate in Agri-environmental Measures," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 489-511.
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