Well-functioning factor markets (markets used to exchange the services of land, labor, and capital) are an essential condition for the competitiveness and sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas. At the same time, the functioning of the factor markets themselves is influenced by changes in agriculture and the rural economy. Such changes can be the result of progress in technology, globalization and European market integration, changing consumer preferences, and shifts in policy. Changes in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) over the last decade have particularly affected rural factor markets.
This book is the first comparative study covering rural factor markets in the 27 EU member states and several European candidate countries. The book highlights the surprising diversity these markets have achieved—despite the EU’s CAP and integrated Single Market trade bloc. Written by leading academics and policy analysts from throughout Europe, the book provides a timely and valuable source of information in light of the new CAP reforms and the continuing transformation of Europe’s rural areas.