We analyze the effects of the interactions that the two pillars of the European Union Common Agricultural Policy—market support and rural development—have on farmers’ uptake of organic farming practices. Special attention is given to the 2003 reform, which substantially altered the relative importance of the two types of support by decoupling direct agricultural payments from the production of a specific crop. In our empirical analysis we study the case of Sweden, making use of the variation in the timing of farmers’ decisions regarding participation in support programs. We estimate a dynamic non-linear unobserved effects probit model to account for unobserved individual heterogeneity and state dependence. Our results indicate the existence of a negative effect of the market support system in place when organic farming techniques were adopted before the 2003 reform. However, this effect is reversed by the introduction of decoupling. Furthermore, the effects of support differ between certified and non-certified organic production: both pillars have significant effects on non-certified organic farming, whereas certified organic farming is exclusively driven by agro-environmental subsidies.
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