Identifying typologies of rural areas based on the importance of different public goods and bads

The provision of public goods by agriculture and forestry has been one of the major topics of the policy debate in recent decades. From an economic point of view, public intervention related to pubic goods is justified by the fact that, due to their nature, markets do not provide prices for public goods and, as a consequence, do not allow to reach an optimal level of provision. Research has tried to deal with this topic in different ways. One pathway tries to attach a value to public goods provision to support related decision making, either using monetary or non monetary techniques. In this study we try to address those issues through the identification of typologies of rural areas within Europe based on the relevance assigned by local stakeholders operating in the field of agriculture and forestry in different European countries to different bundles of public goods and bads. In this survey, the PGBs provided by agriculture and forestry that stakeholders scored the highest are considered to be a proxy of society demand for those PGBs. The results indicated that water-related issues are the most relevant environmental concerns in the context of agriculture and forestry. However, we highlighted different relevance of PGs across regions, consistently with most of the studies addressing this issue and with known evidence about the variety of different local conditions in the EU. We identified a large group of respondents attributing a greater relevance to the Public Goods with more prounonced social dimension (in particular ‘rural viability and vitality’) with respect to the more environmental. The same group of respondents also assigned a greater importance to a few environmental Public Bads (e.g. ‘Biodiversity losses’) suggesting that PGBs are perceived as linked to specific components of the Socio-Ecological Capital (e.g. water), which are qualified depending on (threshold-related) levels.

Issue Date:
Jul 31 2017
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation

 Record created 2017-08-03, last modified 2017-08-29

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