The Experience Economy as the Future for European Agriculture and Food?

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, LICOS Discussion Paper No. 313/2012

28 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2012

See all articles by Johan F. M. Swinnen

Johan F. M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS); European Commission, DG II

Kristine Van Herck

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) - LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance

Thijs Vandemoortele

LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

As recently as a century ago, one out of two people in Europe was employed in the agricultural sector. Today agriculture represents only a small fraction of total employment in most EU member states. What makes this decline in agricultural employment even more striking is that this evolution has occurred despite substantial EU subsidies to support farmers’ income. Given the apparent ineffectiveness of government support in keeping agricultural employment steady, it is worth considering which farming activities are likely to be successful in the economy of the 21st century. We argue in this paper that a potential growth path for European agriculture is the “experience economy” in which consumers are willing to pay premium prices for products and services that provide additional intangible “experiences”. We discuss the growth potential of the “experience economy” in the agricultural sector and conclude that it is worthwhile to consider the experience economy as a pathway for future farm growth.

Suggested Citation

Swinnen, Johan F.M. and Van Herck, Kristine and Vandemoortele, Thijs, The Experience Economy as the Future for European Agriculture and Food? (June 1, 2012). Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, LICOS Discussion Paper No. 313/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2084633 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2084633

Johan F.M. Swinnen (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

European Commission, DG II ( email )

Wetstrath 200
Office 15172
1049 Brussels
Belgium
+32-2-2960442 (Phone)
Not available (Fax)

Kristine Van Herck

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) - LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Thijs Vandemoortele

LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance ( email )

Waaistraat 5, bus 3511
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/thijs.vandemoortele

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