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This paper is focussed on a set of policies, some specifically agricultural, others taking the form of special provisions within, or exceptions to, economy wide measures that affect adjustment in the agricultural sector in a selection of European countries. The policies are those that affect entry to and exit from the sector and cover measures affecting both land and labour. These are predominantly taxation and social security measures (including specifically agricultural early retirement schemes), and the plethora of other laws and regulations that control land purchase, lease and conversion. The choice of countries has been determined mainly by the availability of information (France, Germany, Ireland, Norway), but those singled out for detailed treatment are generally those where there is significant intervention with a view to directing the movement of resources in and out of the sector. The paper will describe the measures and will attempt a qualitative assessment of their likely effects in a trade liberalisation or reform context. Before the country sections are embarked on, the paper describes some of the cultural, historical and structural features that are important to understanding the "adjustment" debate in Europe.


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