Public preferences for rural policy reform: evidence from Scottish surveys
Agricultural reform across the European Union has focused debate on how agriculture delivers wider rural objectives. The authors undertook economic valuation and multicriteria studies to explore public preferences for rural policy. The results suggest simultaneous preferences for both environmental and social benefits, notably locally grown food, water quality, wildlife habitats, and maintaining rural communities. The public assigned greatest weight to locally grown food, which is closely linked to them as a direct use and is also routinely transacted for. The multicriteria study yielded a different preference ordering potentially arising from the differing elicitation methods indicating a possible drawback of the approach employed.
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