Agricultural public policy: Green or sustainable?

  • Mouysset L
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The future of agriculture constitutes a major challenge to the achievement of sustainable development. There are new perspectives on greening (focusing on ecological objectives) and sustainability (combining both ecological and social goals). Academic papers mainly study the ecological efficiency of agricultural public policies, while real public policies, such as the European Common Agricultural Policy, examine both ecological and social considerations. The objective of this paper is to consider economic, social and ecological objectives within the design of agricultural public policies. Using a bio-economic model applied to France, we compare different optimal public strategies. We show that, when the biodiversity objectives are either very limited or very demanding, grassland subsidies are the best instruments from both green and sustainable points of view. However for medium objectives, reducing crops subsidies is the cheapest way to green the CAP, while subsidies on grasslands are the only strategy from a sustainability perspective. Our work highlights new trade-offs related to policy implementation, such as social acceptance or technical difficulties, and the spatial equity of performance among regions. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Biodiversity
  • Bird
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Land-use
  • Poverty
  • Public policy instrument

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