The main objective of this paper is to evaluate ex-post the effects of the 2003 reform, in particular decoupling, of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the European Union (EU), with a specific focus on farm investment behaviour. In the past years a number of studies have addressed the issue of the impact of EU policy reforms. However, long-term effects of policy changes and related impacts on structural and investment behaviour received relatively little attention. This study is based on a survey of farm households in a number of EU Member States. In the majority of cases, farmers stated they were indifferent to decoupling. Where any change occurred, the impact of decoupling was highly differentiated. Numerous reactions are better explained by various individual household/farm characteristics, rather than by association with a specific agricultural system.


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