Helping European agriculture to adjust - A proactive approach to agricultural policy

David Blandford, Berkeley Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the European Union the next five to ten years are likely to witness continued pressures for agricultural policy reform. If cost-effective ways of dealing with adjustment issues can be identified, reform may be less difficult to achieve. This article looks at the economic, equity and political arguments for providing adjustment assistance to farmers. Compensation for changes in policy has a role to play, but if poorly designed can inhibit structural change. A review of how farmers have reacted to policy reform in a number of OECD countries concludes that their ability to adapt is often under-estimated, but that two characteristics are particularly important in facilitating change. The first is effectively functioning factor markets, particularly the market for land, and the second is the quality of human capital. These characteristics should be the primary focus of public policy to facilitate adjustment. The policies we propose would satisfy the Green Box requirements of the WTO that payments to farmers be minimally production and trade distorting. By establishing the conditions under which adapting to change is made easier, agricultural policy becomes sustainable, since adjustment is a process that is not limited to any single round of policy reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalEuroChoices
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

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policy reform
agricultural policy
farmer
agriculture
reform policy
reform
market
human capital
OECD
structural change
WTO
witness
equity
European Union
public policy
assistance
ability
costs
economics
cost

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development

Cite this

Blandford, David ; Hill, Berkeley. / Helping European agriculture to adjust - A proactive approach to agricultural policy. In: EuroChoices. 2006 ; Vol. 5, No. 3. pp. 28-33.
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Helping European agriculture to adjust - A proactive approach to agricultural policy. / Blandford, David; Hill, Berkeley.

In: EuroChoices, Vol. 5, No. 3, 01.12.2006, p. 28-33.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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