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Adoption of environmentally-friendly agricultural practices with background risk: experimental evidence

Marianne Lefebvre (), Estelle Midler and Philippe Bontems

No 20-1079, TSE Working Papers from Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Abstract: Agriculture is one of the economic sectors most exposed to exogenous risks such as climate hazards and price volatility on agricultural markets. Agricultural policies targeting the adoption of environment-friendly but potentially risk-increasing practices cannot ignore this challenge. Farmers have indeed to decide if they take the foreground risk associated with the adoption of environment-friendly practices, while simultaneously facing exogenous background risk beyond their control. Using a theoretical model and a public good experiment, we analyse the adoption of agri-environmental practices and the effect of agri-environmental subsidies in a context where risks are both foreground and background. While most of the literature on background risk focuses on its impact on individual decisions, we analyse the influence of background risk in a context of strategic uncertainty (contribution to a public good). The results highlight the potential synergies between greening the CAP and supporting risk management. We find that background risk discourages the adoption of green practices, although it affects all farmland independently from the farmer’s choice of practices (environment friendly or conventional). An incentive payment per hectare of land farmed with green practices increases the adoption of risk-increasing practices but is significantly less effective in the presence of background risk.

Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy; Agri-environmental measures; Background risk,; Lab; experiment; Public good game (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D81 Q18 Q12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env, nep-exp and nep-rmg
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tse:wpaper:124137

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