Rural Jobs and the CAP: Spitting into the Wind?

The European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (COMAGRI) has recently drafted an own-initiative report “How Can the CAP Improve Job Creation in Rural Areas?” However, the creation or maintenance of jobs is not one of the CAP’s original (and still operational) objectives. Moreover, assessing the “success” or “failure” of the CAP in terms of job creation is a complex matter, particularly considering gross versus net job creation (including off-farm diversification by farm family members), or side-effects in the sense of job losses or gains in different sectors. How should agricultural economists address this topic, which is clearly of political importance but seems to require the reversal of long-term trends in EU agriculture? This paper suggests a number of questions, with a particular emphasis on the trade-off between employment and productivity, and the respective role of the two CAP Pillars. Some evidence from Ireland is presented to support the argument.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-30

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