Webinar 2020

REECAP 2020 webinar - 1st and 2nd of September 2020

The Research network on Economic Experiments for the Common Agricultural Policy (REECAP) is an EU-wide network founded in 2017. It aims at bringing together researchers, experts and policy-makers interested in the use of economic experimental approaches to evaluate and improve the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). REECAP’s objective is to contribute to the constant improvement of European agricultural policies, by providing robust results on their net impact, but also by helping to design well-adjusted and effective policy interventions, in the fields, amongst others, of income support, investment policies, risk management and agri-environment including climate change. REECAP can thus help to identify and evaluate policies which are well accepted by farmers, improve the effectiveness of public money spending and yield to more satisfactory outcomes for food consumers and for citizens. 

The presentations will be organised around two main themes: 

-          Experimenting with behavioural insights - Nudging and framing for environmental ambition:

This first half-day will discuss the potential of mobilizing behavioural leverages to improve policy performance. Presentations will cover a range of behavioural leverages (the impact of collective participation on programs; the potential of social norms to promote environmentally friendly behaviours; the impact of framing) as well as diverse methods (classic stated preference methods and revealed preference experiments). In addition, we will also focus on the impact of methodological choices in the results estimated. Topics covered by the presentations will include agri-environmental schemes, water saving technologies and organic farming. We will aim at improving our understanding of the potential to use experiments (both in the lab and in the field) to better understand how farmer behaviour will respond to policy design innovations and of the performance of behavioural interventions to promote environmentally friendly practices. 

-          Ex-ante evaluation of CAP new designs with discrete choice experiments: 

This second half-day will aim at demonstrating how discrete choice experiments can be designed to assess farmers’ preferences and willingness to accept as well as society’s willingness to pay for different agricultural policy designs. Four papers will be presented where the discrete choice experiment methodology is used to evaluate ex-ante the design of new CAP measures put forward for the 2021-2027 period. Three of them focus on measures designed to preserve biodiversity: genetic biodiversity of cultivated species in the Czech Republic, species conservation (lapwings) in German arable land and habitats conservation in Slovenian grasslands, while the last one examines the acceptability of a small farmers’ scheme in France with various types of eligibility conditions. These four contributions test the feasibility of schemes which could be implemented within the first pillar of CAP, either through an adjustment of direct payments (offering farmers the option of a simplified lump-sum per farm payment replacing the per-hectare payment) or through the Eco schemes. 

The programme and book of abstracts are included below. 

Registration is free of charge. Registrations are open from the 13th of July until 28th of August. REGISTER HERE

To accommodate for the online format of the meeting, this year’s programme is shorter than previous years, but we are very much hoping to be able to organise a longer meeting, before the Prague EAAE congress in July 2021, as we had initially planned for this year. We are looking forward to being able to meet up in person again in the future, and in the shorter term, we are looking forward to seeing you online on the 1st and 2nd of September. 

All the best from REECAP 2020 organising committee. 


Main organizer: Laure Kuhfuss, James Hutton Institute


Committee: Jesus Barreiro-Hurle, Elisabeth Gsottbauer, Ann-Kathrin Koessler, Marianne Lefebvre, Jens Rommel, Sophie Thoyer and Fabian Thomas


Note: times indicated refer to Central European Summer Time, GMT+2

REECAP presentation (day 1) and The future of REECAP (day 2) - by Marianne Lefebvre


Abstracts of presentations and slides 

Learning about collective agri-environmental contracts from co-designed public good games with farmers in Germany

Rommel, J; Matzdorf, B.; Schulze, C.; and Wechner, V.

Jens.rommel@slu.se / Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is often criticized for its low environmental effectiveness. In spite of large tax-funded payments to farmers, environmental public goods are underprovided. Measures are scattered, and targeting and coordinating measures is a major policy challenge. In the so-called “Dutch model”, farmers can receive funding for agri-environmental schemes exclusively under a group contract model. Approximately 40 regionally organized environmental farmer cooperatives organize the process in the Netherlands. Advantages include better targeting of environmental outcomes at landscape scales (e.g., habitat protection for biodiversity conservation, rewetting of peatlands), lower administrative costs (only one formal contract is needed), and greater flexibility (some farmers may set aside no land; others may set aside a lot of land to reach a certain target at larger scale). As of now, farmers’ interest in collective contracts is poorly understood in most member states. We will discuss first results from public goods games with German farmers. Experimental treatments were co-designed with stakeholders in a participatory workshop in January 2020. In our presentation, we will also reflect upon our experience with co-designing the experimental treatments in a participatory workshop.

public good games reecap rommel.pdf

Nudging and subsidizing for the adoption of smart meters: a choice experiment with French farmers

Ouvrard B., Preget R., Reynaud A., and Tuffery L.

Laetitia.Tuffery@inrae.fr / CEE-M, INRAE, Montpellier

In a context of water scarcity, optimizing its use in the agricultural sector is one of the spearheads of current agricultural policies. In this paper, we test several instruments to encourage the voluntary adoption of water smart meters by farmers. Using a choice experiment with treatments on 1,272 French farmers, we test the effects of two types of nudges (priming and framing vs testimony) and a conditional subsidy modeled on the collective bonus proposed by Kuhfuss et al. (2016). The conditional subsidy offered is a certain amount of money given to each farmer who adopts a smart meter provided that a sufficient number of  other farmers adopt the new technology as well. In this work, we analyse the impact of two parameters of this policy instrument: the amount of the subsidy with different levels of the attribute and the level of the conditional threshold by defining three treatments (25%, 50% and 75%). The results show that the conditional subsidy and the nudges are complement; when combined with a high adoption threshold and high amount of subsidy, our nudge performs better in the sense that farmers choose less often the status quo option. 


Effect of different price vectors in discrete choice experiments on the decision-making of farmers to participate in an agri-environmental scheme

Häfner, K.; Meyerhoff, J.: and Glenk, K. 

kati.haefner@tu-berlin.de  / TU Berlin   

Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are widely applied to ex-ante assess the willingness of farmers to participate in agri-environmental schemes (AES) with different contract designs or land use restrictions. The specification of attributes and levels in these DCEs is difficult, though, and mostly based on an educated guess or using a ‘rule of thumb’, and therefore, remains largely subjective. However, the chosen price vector for the monetary attribute can affect responses to the choice tasks and the estimated marginal utility values. We therefore hypothesise that different price vectors offered in a DCE will affect farmers’ decision-making behaviour, and the estimations of willingness to accept values. In our study we apply a split sample approach with two different price vectors that vary considerably in the price levels offered as compensation for land use restrictions in an AES targeted at agriculturally used floodplains. We assess the differences between treatments with respect to the marginal WTA estimates, the opt-out choice and different decision-making strategies.

Haefner_Price vectors_REECAP 2020_for audience.pdf

Drivers of organic farming: Lab-in-the-field evidence on the role of social comparison and nudge in networks in Vietnam

My, K.B.; Nguyen-Van, P.; Pham, T.K.C.;

Stenger, A.; Tiet, T.; and To-The, N.

anne.stenger-letheux@inrae.fr / BETA, CNRS, INRAE, U. of Strasbourg 

This study considers farmers' decisions to adopt organic farming in a `Lab-in-the-field experiment' in Northern Vietnam, using in the design, networks, social comparison and nudge. We investigate how farmers' decisions change with different networks (star, circle and complete). We introduce social comparison into network to test its effect on the decision. Social comparison that focuses on farmers' average level of organic investment, may have a different impact depending on whether the farmer's own investment is higher or lower than the average investment of their respective group. We examine as well the effect of receiving both nudge and social comparison (where nudge consists in giving the social optimal level of investment) to investigate whether farmers invest more in organic farming than with social comparison. Using the data from 220 farmers, we find that: i/ the type of network plays a key role in encouraging the adoption of organic farming by increasing investment in organic farming; ii/ social comparison can incentivize farmers to invest in organic farming if there exists social connections among them but not always; and iii/implementing social comparison and nudge together has an significant effect to drive farmers towards a more environmental-friendly agriculture compared to an absence of social comparison.

Stenger et al-network.pdf

Analyzing public preferences for agricultural genetic diversity conservation, prebreeding and characterization activities in the Czech Republic

Nicholas Tyack1,2, Milan Ščasný2,3


nicholas.tyack@graduateinstitute.ch, milan.scasny@czp.cuni.cz

1 Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland;  

2 Charles University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, Prague, Czech Republic; 

3 Charles University Environment Centre, Prague, Czech Republic; 

Genebanks are places where crop varieties are stored, catalogued and made available for distribution so that their genetic diversity is not lost. In this work, we present the results of two experiments included in a stated preference survey administered to 1037 respondents in the Czech Republic and another 500 from the agricultural region of South Moravia. In the first, we elicit public preferences for the conservation of vine, hop, and fruit tree varieties using a discrete choice experiment approach, and in the second we investigate preferences for several genebank activities: the conservation of additional wheat and wild wheat varieties, characterization and evaluation activities, and pre-breeding efforts. The results of the first experiment reveal that the Czech public has a strong preference for fruit tree conservation, and a mean WTP estimate of $11, while the second experiment shows that Czechs have a particularly strong preference for characterization & evaluation and are willing to pay for the conservation of additional wild wheat accessions but not for cultivated wheat varieties. The results of these experiments are of policy relevance for the design of potential programs to conserve agricultural genetic diversity as part of the E.U.’s Common Agricultural Policy.

Does the new “Green Architecture” of the CAP provide a chance for the conservation of Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus)? Findings from discrete choice experiments with German arable farmers

Christoph Buschmann1 and Norbert Roeder2 

1 christoph.buschmann@thuenen.de

2 norbert.roeder@thuenen.de

Thuenen Institute of Rural Studies

Growing evidence suggests that biodiversity in the agricultural landscape is declining sharply. Farmland birds are particularly affected, e.g. the lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) population has been decreasing strongly. The European Union has tried to tackle biodiversity loss mainly with voluntary agri-environmental schemes financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). However, only a small fraction of the agricultural land is enrolled in such programs. We analyse different schemes promoting lapwings in order to identify drivers and inhibitors of acceptance. The analysis is based on a discrete choice experiment with 270 arable farmers in Germany. Results show that those scheme attributes associated with EAFRD compliance, the type of sanctioning and a minimum participation period of five years, markedly reduce the farmers’ acceptance. 

The results have several policy implications. First, it shows clearly that the maximum support rates for agri-environmental measures are set too low to achieve an effective implementation. Second, Eco-Schemes which are an element of the European Commission’s legislative proposal for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) may be a valid option to address some of the identified caveats as they could provide additional basic income support and offer greater flexibility due to the minimum period of only one year.

Farmers’ preferences for payment-by-results schemes for grassland conservation in Slovenia 

Šumrada, Tanja1, Emil Erjavec2

1University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, tanja.sumrada@bf.uni-lj.si 

2 University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty


agri-environmental measures; choice experiments; result based schemes; farmers’ preferences; grassland conservation

This paper considers the problem of improving result orientation and spatial coordination of agri-environmental schemes (AES). A choice experiment approach was used to test farmers’ willingness-to-accept a payment-by-results scheme to conserve extensive management of two dry grassland habitat types, protected under the EU Habitats Directive. Furthermore, preferences for a conditional agglomeration bonus and different types of knowledge transfer were tested. The survey included 510 farmers in two Natura 2000 sites in Slovenia. The selected research areas are characterised by unfavourable age and education structure of the farmer population, fragmented land ownership, and natural limitations, which prevent agricultural intensification. The majority of farmers preferred pure or hybrid result-based schemes whereas a smaller class of farmers was found to favour the current management-based system. Most farmers also preferred various types of group learning and individual advisory support compared to standard lectures. A conditional collective bonus, on the other hand, was not deemed important. To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the first research using a choice experiment approach to test farmers’ preferences for outcome-based schemes, making it relevant for designing future AES.

Sumrada_Erjavec_Farmers’ preferences for payment-by-results schemes_REECAP_web.pdf

Designing an effective small farm scheme in France with environmental and employment conditions

Pauline Lecole1 (Montpellier Supagro, CEE-M), Raphaele Preget2 (INRAE, CEE-M), Sophie Thoyer3 (INRAE CEE-M)

1 Montpellier Supagro, CEE-M, pauline.lecole@supagro.fr

2 INRAE, CEE-M, France, raphaele.preget@inrae.fr

3 INRAE, CEE-M, France, sophie.thoyer@inrae.fr

Keywords: CAP, small farm scheme, discrete choice experiment

Small farms represent more than two thirds of all farms but receive very little support from CAP. An increasing number of studies show that although such farms cannot be competitive on commodity markets and often struggle to be economically viable, they provide public services which have value for European citizens such as conservation of landscape and biodiversity, and creation of rural employment. 

Recognizing both the need to preserve this farming style, and to simplify CAP procedures, the 2014 CAP reform has introduced the small farmers scheme (SFS).  France has not opted for this scheme in 2014 but it envisages to develop its own SFS in the next reform. The objective of the study is therefore to measure the acceptability, costs, and benefits of different types of SFS in France. What is at stake is to measure whether farmers prefer an entirely unconditional payment, or would be willing to accept environmental or/and minimum employment conditions for a greater lump-sum payment. We design a choice experiment with three attributes in addition to the monetary attribute (the lump-sum payment): an environmental condition, a minimum employment condition, and a commitment attribute. We show that employment condition is a deterrent contrary to the environmental condition which can increase participation and reduce willingness to accept. 


2020 REECAP Webinar Participants

REECAP Webinar 2020 list of participants.pdf

Header image by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash.com, Unsplash License