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In evaluating the potential effects of the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, a particularly challenging issue is the representation of the complexity of rural systems either in a static or dynamic framework. In this paper we use Bayesian networks, to the best knowledge of the authors, basically ignored by the literature on rural development. The objective of this paper is to discuss the potential use of Bayesian Networks tools to represent the multiple determinants and impacts of the Common Agricultural Policies in rural areas across Europe. The analysis shows the potential use of BNs in terms of representation of the multiple linkages between different components of rural areas and farming systems, though its use as a simulation tool still requires further improvements.


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