Providing Agri-environmental Public Goods through Collective Action

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This study analyses the promotion of collective action for agri-environmental public goods and addresses externalities by reviewing the experience of various OECD member countries. Twenty-five cases from

13 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) are examined. The study shows that collective action should be given serious consideration as a means of addressing many agricultural and natural resource issues, and in some cases collective action should be actively promoted.

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Farmer behaviour and collective action

This chapter focuses on social capital. When designing approaches to promote collective action, it is important to understand farmers’ individual behaviour and the dynamics of their group behaviour. These are reviewed through the prism of behavioural economics and with reference to the case studies featured in Part II. Social capital is a broad concept that embraces many attitudes and characteristics related to social interaction, such as social norms, social networks, institutional arrangements and mutual trust. It can lower the transaction costs of working together, facilitate harmonisation among groups, and enhance the predictability of reactions among group members.

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