Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 435413
Title Understanding the Common Agricultural Policy
Author(s) Oskam, A.J.
Source European Review of Agricultural Economics 39 (2012). - ISSN 0165-1587 - p. 735 - 738.
Department(s) Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group
Publication type Book Review aimed at a professional audience
Publication year 2012
Abstract Can another book on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) still be worth reading? The well-known CAP books by Fennell, Ritson and Harvey, and Grant and Ackrill were all published more than 10 years ago: so an update in the UK is not superfluous. Hill's book appeared in November 2011, although the publisher has dated it 2012. It has an unusual structure and is written in an easy, readable style. Nearly all chapter titles start with ‘Understanding’. The author is worried that students read quickly outdated reports, web sites and overviews and advises them to read this book. The first chapter describes the policy process: what determines this process? An excellent idea in theory, but in practice the chapter boils down to explaining only one methodology very similar to the so-called Tinbergen approach: defining problems, identifying targets (or objectives) and searching out best instruments. This approach appeals to me as a Dutchman, since it is still in use in the Netherlands. But it is questionable whether students should learn only this approach in order to understand the CAP. Except in some parts of Chapter 3, public choice/political economy, institutional economics, etc. (De Gorter and Swinnen, 2002; Mueller, 2003) are not mentioned at all in the rest of the book. Problems and policy objectives are handled in Chapter 2. Here, Hill shares with many others the difficulty of working with several rather vague objectives defined in the Treaty of Rome and constantly carried forward to the Treaty of Lisbon (e.g. Senior Nello, 2011: 282). Objectives point in different directions. But that is a typical element of a set of variable multidimensional policy objectives within a Tinbergen framework. Some researchers work with objective functions, others see it as policy process.
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