Margherita Muzzillo, Agricultural, Food and Environmental Policy Analysis (AFEPA) - Master's programme
This thesis uses a contingent valuation method to assess Italian winegrowers' acceptance of a hypothetical results-based agro-environmental scheme. According to the literature, farmers' acceptance of results-based payments may be limited by risk-averse behavior (uncertainty of not meeting environmental objectives and not receiving the payment). In the hypothetical scheme I imagined for this project, the payment is conditional on the presence of at least four indicated nectar-rich species attracting pollinators in the whole vineyard. Farmers were presented with a survey aimed at analyzing both the likelihood and intensity of enrolment in the scheme. I regressed a two-step Heckman sample selection model on the 223 complete answers I obtained. Approximately 70% accepted the scheme. Among these, the intensity of participation was measured in terms of the area willing to enrol according to different levels of payment. As expected, most farmers behaved according to standard preferences: the higher the payment, the higher the share of land they wanted to enrol. Among the ones who stated non-acceptance, most were reluctant to the expected bureaucratic burden. The findings suggest that policies can mitigate barriers to acceptance by reducing the bureaucratic burden.