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An investigation of policy administrative costs using panel data for the English Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Lookup NU author(s): Katherine Falconer, Dr Pierre Dupraz, Emeritus Prof Professor Martin Whitby


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This paper explores transactions costs in the context of agri-environmental policy schemes based on management agreements. While transactions costs encompass a wide range of organisational costs, the focus here is on the public-sector administrative costs of policy implementation. Empirical administrative cost functions were estimated to investigate the factors affecting the magnitude of such costs, using panel data spanning five years for the 22 English Environmentally Sensitive Areas. The extent of participation appears to be important in explaining administrative cost variability across areas. The data suggested the existence of size economics with regard to the numbers of agreements made in any one ESA, and a significant effect of scheme experience in exerting downwards-pressure on administrative costs. Policy budgeting and evaluation should take into account the non-trivial costs of organisation, particularly if agri-environmental schemes based on the procurement of conservation goods through management agreements are to be extended in future.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Falconer K, Dupraz P, Whitby M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Agricultural Economics

Year: 2001

Volume: 52

Issue: 1

Pages: 83-103

ISSN (print): 0021-857X

ISSN (electronic): 1477-9552

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2001.tb00911.x


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