Soutenance de thèse de Loïc Lévi
AGROCAMPUS OUEST, campus de Rennes - Amphi Moule
Comportement d'investissement des exploitations laitières françaises : le cas de la Bretagne
Thèse dirigée par Laure Latruffe, UMR SMART-LERECO
Investment and innovation play an important role in the agricultural sector, allowing farms to adapt to policy changes and market condition changes. In the last decades, farms in the European Union (EU) have faced substantial changes in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This is particularly the case of the dairy sector, which has seen the end of milk quota regime and an increased price volatility. Such changes could affect farm productivity and efficiency, the dairy sector’s competitiveness and structural change. Understanding the mechanisms underlying farms’ investment behaviour could allow identifying key drivers that influence the observed trends. This could help anticipate future structural changes, predict farms’ needs and help policy makers and other stakeholders in farming to adapt their policy. The thesis contributes to this objective by analysing for dairy farms in a sub-region of Brittany (Ille-et-Vilaine) in France, (i) the impact of the termination of the milk quota on farmers’ investment decisions and the heterogeneity of farm investment behaviour, (ii) the link between farm performance and farmers’ investment decisions, (iii) the role of social interactions related to neighbourhood effects on farmers' investment decision.
Findings show that the termination of the dairy quota policy increased farmers’ incentive to invest, contributing to the trend towards larger, more capital intensive and more specialised dairy farms. In addition, the thesis underlines the need to take into account farmers’ heterogeneity in modelling investment behaviour. Doing so allows differentiated strategies to be revealed and can help design targeted policies aiming at encouraging investment, in particular in the context of quota system elimination. Finally, the thesis provides evidence that farmers account for their neighbours’ decisions when they make large investment decisions. However, although neighbourhood effects are a positive multiplier in farms’ large investment decisions, policies should also take into account that farms face adjustment costs when implementing investment projects.