We use a conditional difference-in-difference matching estimator and a 2003-2007 balanced panel drawn from the FADN Italian sample to evaluate the impact at the farm level of the implementation of the first Italian Rural Development Programme (RDP). We find that, in average, farms receiving at least a RDP payment increased family labor, while they did not increase total labour employed on farm. In addition, they experienced an increase in labor profitability and added value, even though the estimate significance varies accordingly to the matching method used. Our findings, suggest that the implementation of the first RDP produced a positive direct impact on rural GDP, while it did not prove to be effective in terms of rural employment growth.


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