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Agriculture and Food in the 21 st Century

Economic, Environmental and Social Challenges- Festschrift on the Occasion of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. P. Michael Schmitz 65 th Birthday

Edited By Monika Hartmann and Joachim Hesse

This Festschrift in honour of Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. P. Michael Schmitz covers theoretical as well as empirical works on challenges prevailing in the food and agricultural sector. Discussions of conflicts between social and ecological requests of citizens and market outcomes are provided. The contributors discuss options of policy interventions as well as their limitations. Empirical facts that can contribute to a more evidence based policy formation are also presented. The book itself consists of two parts: «agri-food markets and policies» and «agriculture, trade and development». Topics covered are moral, markets and policies, farm animal welfare, fat taxes, agricultural derivatives markets, future food value chains, free trade agreements, food security, food waste and climate change.
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From Policy Analysis to Recommendations for Evidence-based Food Policy: Some Thoughts on „New“ Policy Instruments: Roland Herrmann, Rebecca Schröck and Matthias Staudigel

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Roland HERRMANN, Rebecca SCHRÖCK and Matthias STAUDIGEL

Abstract

In agricultural economics, researchers have contributed over decades to the policy dialogue in very different ways. They provided theoretical and empirical policy analyses, they made policy recommendations in scientific advisory groups and sometimes they were engaged in their role as public economists to defend the public interest. Recently, researchers have been challenged by the request developed in economics and in administration to elaborate evidence-based analysis and advice. According to the concept, it should be analysed, whether the instruments fulfil the objectives defined by politicians and, if yes, at lowest costs. Impact analyses on the effectiveness and efficiency of policies ought to be performed with the econometric approach to program evaluation based on natural experiments. We show that this trend is a major challenge in the case of “new” policy instruments targeted at food quality or health. The protection of geographically differentiated foods as well as food taxes are not yet evidence-based in many ways. We argue that evidence-based policy analysis is to become a most important part of the toolbox, but agricultural economists should continue to go beyond it by adding questions, objectives and instruments that are not predefined by policymakers.

Introduction

There is a consensus that research can support economic policy with regard to the choice, implementation or correction of policy instruments. The way in which researchers express their views of policy, however, may take very different forms: In academic work addressed...

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