28 May 2013

Investment behaviour of EU arable crop farms in selected EU countries and the impact of policy reforms

Giovanni Guastella / Daniele Moro / Paolo Sckokai / Mario Veneziani

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This deliverable provides a comparative analysis, among selected EU member states, of the investment demand of a sample of specialised field crop farms for farm buildings, machinery and equipment as determined by different types and levels of Common Agricultural Policy support. It allows for the existence of uncertainty in the price of output farmers receive and for both long- and short-run determinants of investment levels, as well as for the presence of irregularities in the cost adjustment function due to the existence of threshold-type behaviours. The empirical estimation reveals that three investment regimes are consistently identified in Germany and Hungary, across asset and support types, and in France for machinery and equipment. More traditional disinvestment-investment type behaviours characterise investment in farm building in France and the UK, across support types, and Italy for both asset classes under coupled payments. The long-run dynamic adjustment of capital stocks is consistently and significantly estimated to be towards a – mostly non-stationary – lower level of capitalisation of the farm analysed. By contrast, the expected largely positive short-run effects of an increase in output prices are often not significant. The effect of CAP support on both types of investment is positive, although seldom significant, while the proxy for uncertainty employed fails to be significant yet, in most cases, has the expected effect of reducing the investment levels.

Giovanni Guastella and Mario Veneziani are at the Dipartimento di Economia Agroalimentare e DiSES, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy. Daniele Moro and Paolo Sckokai are at the Dipartimento di Economia Agroalimentare, Piacenza, Italy.