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Other publication in scientific journal2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Can economic experiments contribute to a more effective CAP?

Lefebvre, Marianne; Barreiro-Hurle, Jesus; Blanchflower, Ciaran; Colen, Liesbeth; Kuhfuss, Laure; Rommel, Jens; Sumrada, Tanja; Thomas, Fabian; Thoyer, Sophie


In order to keep pace with the evolution of the objectives and means of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, evaluation tools also need to adapt. A set of tools that have proved highly effective in other policy fields is economic experiments. These allow the testing of a new policy before its implementation, provide evidence of its specific effects, and identify behavioural dimensions that can influence policy outcomes. We argue that agricultural policy should be subject to economic experiments, providing examples to illustrate how they can inform CAP design. We identify the additional efforts needed to establish further proof-of-concept, by running more – and more robust – experiments related to the CAP. This can happen only by integrating experimental evaluation results within the policy cycle and addressing ethical and practical challenges seriously. To do so, researchers would benefit from a concerted European effort to promote the methodology across the EU; organise the replication in time and across Europe of experiments relevant for the CAP; and build a multi-national panel of farmers willing to participate in experiments. Steps are being taken in this direction by the Research Network of Economics Experiments for CAP evaluation (REECAP).

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2021, Volume: 20, number: 3, pages: 42-49

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG2 Zero hunger
    SDG13 Climate action
    SDG15 Life on land

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