Assessing CAP Reform: Sensitivity of Modelling Decoupled Policies
The European Union reformed farm policy in June 2003 towards the decoupling of farm income support instruments. Available impact studies find that this reform reduces production incentives substantially for beef and to a lesser extent for arable crops. However, these studies assume that the previous reform, under Agenda 2000, already decoupled arable crop direct payments to a considerable extent, while beef premiums were linked more closely to production. Our main objective in this paper is to test the sensitivity of these results to this questionable modelling of Agenda 2000 direct payments, which neglects eligibility rules and land market imperfections. Our analysis reveals that the effects of the reform on both arable crop and beef production are always negative, however the Agenda 2000 direct payments are modelled. On the other hand, we show that, when the eligibility rules and land market imperfections are acknowledged, the production reducing effects may be much larger for arable crops than for beef. Policy implications of these results are noted. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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