International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics > Vol 2 > Issue 4

Multifunctional Agriculture — What does the Economic Literature Tell Us?

Fredrik Olof Laurentius Nilsson, Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, Fredrik.Nilsson@ekon.slu.se Knut Per Hasund, Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, knut.per.hasund@ekon.slu.se Ing-Marie Gren, Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, Yves Surry, Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden,
 
Suggested Citation
Fredrik Olof Laurentius Nilsson, Knut Per Hasund, Ing-Marie Gren and Yves Surry (2008), "Multifunctional Agriculture — What does the Economic Literature Tell Us?", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics: Vol. 2: No. 4, pp 281-319. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/101.00000018

Published: 31 Dec 2008
© 2008 F. O. L. Nilsson et al.
 
Subjects
Environmental Economics
 
Keywords
Q58H23H41
MultifunctionalityPolicy designJointness in productionTransaction costs
 

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In this article:
1 Introduction
2 Defining the Concept
3 Conceptual Notions on Multifunctional Production
4 Policy Design
5 Concluding Remarks
References

Abstract

Multifunctionality is a multifaceted concept and the economic literature that treats the concept has mushroomed over the last couple of years. This paper surveys that literature. With respect to quantification of multifunctional production, it is concluded that jointness in production is at the core of the multifunctionality problem and that scale issues may be highly important. A large share of the paper considers the policy design literature. It is shown i.a. that the level of transaction costs has to be considered when developing policies, that even optimal policies may be controversial from a trade perspective and that the spatial variation both in production and values should be accounted for. One of the main problems from a policy perspective is the identification and valuation of the objects that are to be paid for.

DOI:10.1561/101.00000018