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Evaluation of Agri-environmental Policies

Selected Methodological Issues and Case Studies

image of Evaluation of Agri-environmental Policies
Governments are increasingly aware of the importance of monitoring and evaluating their policies − including agri-environmental policies − and are devoting efforts to strengthening their monitoring and evaluation systems and capacities. They aim to improve their performance by establishing evidence-based policy-making, evidence-based management and evidence-based accountability, which will help to improve the design and implementation of policies. Have agri-environmental and agricultural policies, including cross-compliance  and environmental regulations, succeeded in meeting environmental objectives for agriculture in OECD countries (and selected non-OECD countries)? What is the role for governments to encourage farmers to deliver environmental public goods? The report includes a selection papers presented at the OECD Workshop on Evaluation of Agri-environmental Policies, held 20-22 June 2011 in Braunschweig, Germany.

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Additionality in US agri-environmental programmes for working land: A preliminary look at new data

The United States’ agri-environmental (AE) policy for working land relies largely on voluntary programmes. Agri-environmental payments result in additional environmental gains only if they prompt the adoption of practices that would not have been adopted without these payments. Little is known, however, about additionality in US programmes. Recent data from the Agricultural Resources Management Survey (ARMS) show that some producers have adopted conservation practices without payments, either because they are profitable on their farms (conservation tillage) or because targeted practices are required by state regulations (nutrient or manure management). It is also possible that some recipient farmers might adopt practices even without payments. In future research Propensity Score Matching (PSM) will be used to estimate the extent of additionality in US agri-environmental programmes. Potential barriers to this research include small sample size and the complexity of US agrienvironmental programmes.

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