Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

Unit director



Štefan Bojnec (University of Primorska)

Jan Fałkowski (University of Warsaw)

Heinrich Hockmann (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, IAMO)


Éva ORBÁN (research assistant)

Research focus

The general research goal of the research unit is the analysis of economic problems related to food, agriculture, and issues of rural areas, with an emphasis on policy issues. More specifically, the main research focus is on the development of the agricultural and rural sectors in both Hungarian and other Central and East European countries, with special emphasis on changes caused by transition and the EU enlargement. The field can be divided into five subfields: (a) studies in international agricultural trade, employing the new theoretical and empirical developments. The focus is mainly on the agricultural trade of the European Union. (b) Vertical co-ordination in agri-food sectors, dealing with the horizontal and vertical cooperation within various agricultural chains in Hungary. (c) The analysis of agricultural prices and markets, addressing the question of how the European integration process in Hungary has affected agricultural price transmission. (d) The influence of macroeconomic variables on the agriculture in transition countries, investigating the impacts of monetary policy variables on agricultural prices and food prices in transition countries employing modern time series approaches, and (e) rural development, analysing the EU “LEADER” Programme and the concept of integrated rural development.

ResearchGate Lab


Selected projects

LIFT is a research project (2018-2022) aiming to identify and understand how socio-economic and policy drivers impact on the development of ecological approaches to farming and assess the performance and sustainability of such approaches, taking into account different farming systems at farm, farm-group and territorial scales. Coordinated by INRA (France) the consortium includes 17 partners from 12 countries. Further information can be found on the project website: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 770747.
Rural development is a fundamental EU priority, with substantial money allocated for such purposes. Despite, there is some evidence suggesting that the impact of rural development measures is at best mediocre. However, very few quantitative impact assessments are known due to the complex nature of “development”, and the existing attempts fail to account for the variability experienced in the magnitude of funds. Hungary is in the focus of this proposal, where the net per capita EU transfers for rural development are the second largest in the 2014-2020 programming period. Our main goal is to assess the impact of regional development funds upon small regions by constructing and employing a composite Rural Development Indicator, capable to eliminate the common problems reported by the use of the traditional impact assessment measures. The basic idea is simple: people may choose to migrate between regions subject to the regional difference in the quality of life. Thus, supposedly more developed regions will attract more people, allowing us to specify a migration function able to quantify the importance weights of various factors determining the quality of life in a given region. Since the level of territorial disaggregation is a key success factor in the analysis, we wish to use a highly disaggregated dataset, normally not available to research across EU. Thus a composite Rural Development Indicator is to be placed in the core of this analysis, which is based on regional characteristics; weights are derived from a migration function, implying that population migration decisions can be used to characterize the overall quality of the living environment of regions. Data ranging from 2007 to 2013 (thus covering the entire previous programming period) are analysed with factor analysis techniques and propensity score matching to provide a quantitative, ready-to-use tool for monitoring, impact assessment and agenda setting.
Reconciling (gravity model originated) trade theory with horizontal price transmission analysis.

More information

Selected publications

Zoltán Bakucs, Imre Fertő, Ágnes Varga & Zsófia Benedek (2018) Impact of European Union development subsidies on Hungarian regions, European Planning Studies, 26:6, 1121-1136, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2018.1437394

Baráth, L. , Fertő, I. and Bojnec, Š. (2018), Are farms in less favored areas less efficient?. Agricultural Economics, 49: 3-12. doi:10.1111/agec.12391

Benedek, Z., Fertő, I. & Molnár, A. (2018) Off to market: but which one? Understanding the participation of small-scale farmers in short food supply chains—a Hungarian case study Agriculture and Human Values 35: 383.

Štefan Bojnec & Imre Fertő (2018) Globalization and Outward Foreign Direct Investment, Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, 54:1, 88-99, DOI: 10.1080/1540496X.2016.1234372

Bojnec Š., Fertő I. (2018): Drivers of the duration of comparative advantage in the European Union’s agri-food exports. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 64: 51-60.

Željka MesicAdrienn Molnár & Marija Cerjak (2018) “Assessment of traditional food supply chain performance using triadic approach: the role of relationships quality”, Supply Chain Management, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 396-411

Felhasználási feltételek
Intézményünk országos ésnemzetközi hálózati kapcsolatátaz NIIF program biztosítja
Közgazdaság- és Regionális Tudományi Kutatóközpont Közgazdaság-tudományi Intézet
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