Role of Institutions in Rural Policies and Agricultural Markets

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The agri-food sector is continuously confronted with major challenges. It is a complex sector in the economy because of its important societal implications and embeddedness within a broader rural system. Furthermore, the agricultural sector is a multi-agent sector with a complex chain of inputs, intermediates, outputs and markets that are highly regulated. Multi-agency and strong government regulation result in a complex institutional system. The aim of this book is to bring a selected state-of-the-art of the conceptual and empirical New Institutional Economics - inspired research by European agricultural economists. Besides the social environment, the two main components of the institutional environment are policies and markets. The title of this book tries to capture the main subjects. For a farmer, as an economic producing actor and social agent, his environment comprises of politics, markets and rurality, of which the first is seeking to get more ordering in the two others. Furthermore, the term rural in the title tries to capture, both in policies and markets, the usual agricultural activities as well as the new ones, which are more oriented to the rural social system. This book focuses on the three main areas of interest in institutions: policy implementation, market and supply chain organisation and management of rural resources and rural systems. The chapters are covering insights on the significance of institutions on transaction costs, policy analysis, policy reform, market and chain dynamics, input markets, agri-environmental policies, social capital and bottom-up approaches.

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