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Since the reform of the Structural Funds, the implementation of European Structural Policies, along with CAP refoml, have induced rural change and agricultural and non-agricultural adjustments in EU remote rural areas lagging behind in development. Adjustments taking place are expected to differ among remote rural areas, depending on the degree of diversification of their local economies and on their ability to absorb and allocate funds by exploiting comparative advantages and/or minimising comparative disadvantages.
Thecentral research questions of this research proposal concern
(a) how structural policies have affected poor, remote, rural areas, and how these effects differ among rural areas, depending on the diversity of their local economies, and
(b) if alternative structural policies can allow a more effective allocation of funds, exploiting thus comparative advantages and creating substantial output, income, and employment effects at the local level.
Within this scope, the specific objectives of the proposal are:
1. To identify the socioeconomic structures of poor, remote rural areas, quantify their structural linkages, and compare their relative importance (i.e. of the structural linkages) among rural areas with diversified and nondiversified economies.
2. Assess socioeconomic and environmental impacts (effects on output, income, employment, and the environment) induced by the implementation of structural policies, along with the refomn of the CAP. .
3. Develop alternative scenarios with regards to structural funds policies and agricultural adjustment, and assess their potential impact on the rural economies under study, considering both market and non-market effects.
4. Identify similarities and differences on the importance of linkages and economic adjustments occurring at both inter- and intra-country level, and recommend structural policies which could steer the development potential of poor, remote rural areas, by exploiting their comparative advantages.
The study consists of four parts. Firstly, the socioeconomic and structural linkages in the selected study areas will be identified, for the base-year 1988 (Refomm of the Structural Funds Policies). Secondly, the impacts of structural policy action and agricultural adjustment on regional output, income, and employment will be estimated for period 1989-1994. Thirdly, the environmental impacts induced by the implementation of the structural policies in the study areas will be examined. Finally, there will be an estimation of both market and non-market effects of alternative scenarios with regards to structural policies and agricultural adjustment in the selected study areas. The specified alternative scenarios will consider extremum developments on regional agricultural adjustment and structural funds allocation, as well as 'recommended' options, both specified after taking account of trends, current and future fund allocation plans, and mainly structural linkages within the study areas. The methodological tools proposed, will result in the development of Regional Social Accounting Matrices, which allow the realisation of the above-stated objectives. Finally, the models created, will enable forecasts of alternative development pattems, leading to the recommendation of the most effective structural policies.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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118 55 ATHENS

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