The impact of decoupled subsidies on productivity in agriculture: a cross-country analysis using microdata



The decoupling of direct payments from production introduced in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy is expected to make production decisions more market-oriented and farmers more productive. However, ex-post analyses of the productivity of farms have yet to uncover any evidence of a positive impact of the decoupling policy on farm productivity. Using Irish, Danish, and Dutch farm-level data, we identify whether the decoupling policy has contributed to productivity growth in agriculture and farm product adjustment behavior. We find some evidence that the decoupling policy had significant positive effects on farm productivity and behavioral changes related to farm specialization.