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Agent-based regional modelling

The impact of decoupling on structural change is one of the key issues related to the 2003 reform. Will structural change speed up after the introduction of decoupled payments, or will it slow it down? An important part of the IDEMA project has been the use of modelling to study the impact of decoupling on agricultural structural change. This was done for selected regions of the enlarged European Union. The model used for this investigation is AgriPoliS (Kellermann et al., 2008), an agent-based spatial and dynamic simulation model of agricultural structural change (Happe, 2004; Happe et al., 2006). The origin of this model dates back to work by Balmann (1997), who studied path- dependencies in agricultural structural change with an agent-based approach. Whereas Balmann’s model was based on a hypothetical farm structure, AgriPoliS can be calibrated to empirical farm data and regional statistics (Sahrbacher and Happe, 2008).This makes the model applicable for policy analysis and empirically based analysis of regional structural change.

Figure 1.1. Location of the case study regions

Source: Sahrbacher et al. (2005).

In IDEMA, we adapted AgriPoliS to 11 case study regions (Figure 1.1) in the EU25 (Sahrbacher et al., 2005). These case study regions were chosen to cover a diversity of farming in Europe. The case-study regions are characterized by the following criteria: agronomic (North/South), socio-economic (high-income/low-income regions), mode of operation (intensive/extensive agriculture), scale of farm operation (small/large) and legal form (private/corporate).

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