Special Issue "Perspectives in the Provision of Public Goods by Agriculture and Forestry"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Davide Viaggi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanin, 50, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Interests: agricultural policy evaluation; bioeconomy; water policy; environmental impact assessment and resource economics; evaluation of technical change and innovation in agriculture and food; farm investment behaviour; land markets; public goods in agriculture and forestry
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Macario Rodríguez-Entrena
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Córdoba, Spain
Interests: ecosystem services; agri-environmental policy instruments; agri-food marketing research; farmer behavior modelling
Dr. Lena Schaller
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Interests: agriculture; ecosystem services; public goods; socio-economic benefits
Dr. Stefano Targetti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Interests: agro-environmental policy; ecosystem services; biodiversity; participatory modelling
Dr. Zavalloni Matteo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Bologna, Italy
Interests: collective instruments in environmental policy; socio-ecological systems; agro-environmental policy; ecosystem services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims at collecting economic studies about the wide range of public goods (and bads) provided by agriculture and forestry. The focus is on valuation and on the design of policy-, market- and other coordination and governance mechanisms for a smart provision of public goods. Contributions are sought with a focus on emerging issues, such as:

  1. a) renewed interpretation of public goods and their understanding and conceptualization, especially in relation to new concerns such as climate change, ethical issues, etc., and with a view at the interface between economics and communication sciences;
  2. b) valuation of public goods and their provision, with special reference to new operational developments, empirical evidence about public goods values, innovative valuation methods and policy relevance of valuation exercises in a context of evidence-based policy making;
  3. c) evaluation of optimized policies and mechanisms for provision of public goods and the avoidance of public bads; most innovative mechanisms are especially targeted, such as results-based approaches, collective instruments, Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES), multi-actor solutions, competitive auction mechanisms, multi-actor approaches to green innovation, as well as connection with agriculture and food chain integration; this does not exclude new analyses of well-established instruments in changing climate and market contexts;
  4. d) institutional solutions for co-design and participatory approaches, including conceptual and procedural issues in stakeholder participation in co-design processes;
  5. e) links with spatial planning and management, regulatory contexts, as well as with innovative information sources.

Both theoretical and empirical studies are expected. Reference to practical policy problems and measures, such as components of the Common Agricultural Policy or of the Water Framework Directive in Europe (or analogous policy framework in other Worlds regions), is especially encouraged, as well as the study of the connection between policy instruments design and context variables, such as price variability, climate change, availability of new technologies, etc.

Prof. Davide Viaggi
Dr. Macario Rodríguez-Entrena
Dr. Lena Schaller
Dr. Stefano Targetti
Dr. Zavalloni Matteo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Public goods
  • agri-environmental schemes
  • valuation
  • policy design
  • (governance) mechanisms

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Product Diversification in Sustainability Transition: The Forest-Based Bioeconomy in Finland
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3293; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123293 - 14 Jun 2019
Abstract
The forest-based bioproduct field has diversified into the chemical, medical, energy, nanoproduct, and construction material sectors. This paper argues that forest-based bioeconomy has kept the focus on conventional products and new bioproducts have primarily been developed as extensions to existing product portfolios due [...] Read more.
The forest-based bioproduct field has diversified into the chemical, medical, energy, nanoproduct, and construction material sectors. This paper argues that forest-based bioeconomy has kept the focus on conventional products and new bioproducts have primarily been developed as extensions to existing product portfolios due to a lock-in mechanism, i.e., a state where an economy gradually locks itself to a dominant market position due to technical interrelatedness, economies of scale, and quasi-irreversibility of investment. The study examines forest-based product transition in the context of lock-in mechanisms through narrative analysis over the past 170 years. A theoretical framework is formulated based on complex system studies and the economics of lock-in mechanisms. The relation between the lock-in mechanisms of the regime and product diversification is described for the forest-based bioeconomy in Finland. The study supports previous findings indicating that interactions occur between the lock-in mechanisms. Furthermore, lock-in mechanisms can have a neutral, adverse, or beneficial effect on product diversification. The paper extends knowledge about the role and functioning of lock-in mechanisms in changing market environments. Recent trends in network development and foreign investment, and their effects on industrial symbiosis and product diversification, is recommendable to consider in future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
AES Impact Evaluation With Integrated Farm Data: Combining Statistical Matching and Propensity Score Matching
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4320; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114320 - 21 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
A large share of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is allocated to agri-environmental schemes (AESs), whose goal is to foster the provision of a wide range of environmental public goods. Despite this effort, little is known on the actual environmental and economic impact [...] Read more.
A large share of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is allocated to agri-environmental schemes (AESs), whose goal is to foster the provision of a wide range of environmental public goods. Despite this effort, little is known on the actual environmental and economic impact of the AESs, due to the non-experimental conditions of the assessment exercise and several data availability issues. The main objective of the paper is to explore the feasibility of combining the non-parametric statistical matching (SM) method and propensity score matching (PSM) counterfactual approach analysis and to test its usefulness and practicability on a case study represented by selected impacts of the AESs in Emilia-Romagna. The work hints at the potentialities of the combined use of SM and PSM as well as of the systematic collection of additional information to be included in EU-financed project surveys in order to enrich and complete data collected in the official statistics. The results show that the combination of the two methods enables us to enlarge and deepen the scope of counterfactual analysis applied to AESs. In a specific case study, AESs seem to reduce the amount of rent-in land and decrease the crop mix diversity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heterogeneous Preferences for Public Goods Provided by Agriculture in a Region of Intensive Agricultural Production: The Case of the Marchfeld
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062061 - 17 Jun 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to elicit the marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for the improved provision of public goods (PGs) by agriculture in a region of intensive agricultural production, embodying many of the environmental problems related to agriculture within and outside [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to elicit the marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for the improved provision of public goods (PGs) by agriculture in a region of intensive agricultural production, embodying many of the environmental problems related to agriculture within and outside the European Union (EU). Our analysis was based on a participatory approach, combining the involvement of local stakeholders and a discrete choice experiment (DCE) in the Marchfeld region in Austria. We estimated a random parameters logit model (RPL), including interactions with socio-demographic factors, to disentangle preference heterogeneity and find a positive MWTP of the local population for all three PGs analyzed: (i) groundwater quality; (ii) landscape quality; and (iii) soil functionality in connection with climate stability. Furthermore, MWTP varies considerably with respect to age, farmers/non-farmers and locals/incomers. Further research could combine the results of this demand-side valuation with those of a supply-side valuation, where the opportunity costs of different management options for farmers are estimated. Based on such a cost–benefit analysis and further participation of local stakeholders, new governance mechanisms for the smart and sustainable provision of PGs by agriculture could be developed for the Marchfeld region and for comparable European regions. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Reviewing Counterfactual Analyses to Assess Impacts of EU Rural Development Programmes: What Lessons Can Be Learned from the 2007–2013 Ex-Post Evaluations?
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1105; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041105 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Counterfactual analysis has been recommended as a means of assessing the impacts of European Rural Development Programmes (RDP) over recent years, although its application has been scarce to date. This paper examines the use of counterfactual analysis to assess socioeconomic impacts in a [...] Read more.
Counterfactual analysis has been recommended as a means of assessing the impacts of European Rural Development Programmes (RDP) over recent years, although its application has been scarce to date. This paper examines the use of counterfactual analysis to assess socioeconomic impacts in a set of 2007–2013 ex-post evaluations. The analysis undertaken shows that a wide variety of counterfactual approaches have been applied, although certain barriers still remain to address the estimation of RDP impacts following the EU evaluation standards. Furthermore, we noted that impacts provided by individual RDP evaluations may hardly be aggregated, making it difficult to draw clear conclusions about the effectiveness of rural development policy at the EU level. Full article
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