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Public preferences for rural policy reform: evidence from Scottish surveys

[journal article]

McVittie, Alistair; Moran, Dominic; Elston, David

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Abstract Agricultural reform across the European Union has focussed debate on how multifunctional agriculture accommodates wider rural social objectives. We derive a range of policy attributes and undertake two surveys using multicriteria analysis and economic valuation to explore public preferences for rural policy. The results suggest a willingness to pay for both environmental and social benefits, notably locally grown food, water quality, wildlife habitats and maintaining rural communities. The public has assigned greatest weight to the policy option, locally grown food, that can be most closely linked to them in a direct-use sense and that is also routinely transacted for. Preferences were invariant across three regions and between rural and urban populations. The multicriteria survey yielded a different preference ordering and we suggest that this arises from the differing elicitation methods and is a potential drawback of the multicriteria approach employed.
Classification Special areas of Departmental Policy; Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Economic Statistics, Econometrics, Business Informatics
Free Keywords rural policy; public preferences; Scotland
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 609-626
Journal Regional Studies, 44 (2010) 5
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)