University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Logo BOKU Resarch Portal

Understanding farmers’ land use behavior under different institutional settings

Project Leader
Salhofer Klaus, Project Leader
Joint Projects
Type of Research
Basic Research

Further information:

Penker Marianne, Project Staff
Schauppenlehner-Kloyber Maria Elisabeth, Project Staff
Braito Michael, Project Staff
Leonhardt Heidrun Else, Project Staff
Scheichel Eva, Project Staff (bis 28.02.2021)
Eder Andreas, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute for Sustainable Economic Development
Funded by
Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) , Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
It has been argued since the early days of classical economists that tenancy as compared to land ownership may lead to suboptimal resource allocation and soil degradation. The economic rationale for this is commonly understood to be the differences in the length of farmers’ planning horizons. Given that rental shares are high and constantly increasing in many EU countries, it is important to understand the different impacts of tenancy versus land ownership on farmers’ land use behaviour and investments in land. AES are considered an appropriate response to negative externalities of agricultural production and, therefore, may be an appropriate measure to mitigate effects of insecure land tenure.

Formal institutions and economic considerations are important for farmers’ decisions, but social norms, beliefs or values also shape farmers’ motivations and behaviour. Therefore, to fully understand the institutional drivers of farmers’ land use behaviour, we apply economic and socio-psychological theories and

Our main contributions are fourfold: i.) we take an integrative approach by combining economic and socio-psychological theories into a model of institutionally shaped land use behaviour; ii.) we enhance the eco-efficiency literature by developing a model that better fits the decisions of family-farm households; iii.) we explore the issue by applying the rather novel HNR approach, which stresses farmers’ relation with nature; iv.) we apply all this, based on two exceptional data sets for Austria: a nationwide, multiple-year dataset on plot level, and farm-level book keeping data linked with survey data collected on the same farms in this project.

This project is part of a DFG Research Unit “Agricultural Land Markets – Efficiency and Regulation”.

Soil erosion; Agricultural economics; Agricultural policy; Sustainable agriculture; Microeconomics; Empirical social research; Environmental sociology;
Agricultural Economics; Agricultural Sociology; Agri-environmental Schemes; Soil Conservation; Property Rights; Land Ownership; Land Use Behavior; Human-Nature-Relationships; Environmental Efficiency;

Braito, M; Leonhardt, H; Penker, M; Schauppenlehner-Kloyber, E; Thaler, G; Flint, C. G (2019): The Plurality of Farmers’ Views on Soil Management Calls for a Policy Mix. FORLand Working Papers 2019-12 .

DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft) research unit FORLand FullText

Leonhardt, H; Braito, M; Penker, M (2019): Why do farmers care about rented land? Unravelling the influence of tenure on farmers’ soil management FORLand Working Papers 2019-12 .

DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft) research unit FORLand FullText


Penker, M (2019): Raumszenarien 2030 für Österreich – der stille Landschaftswandel.

Vortrag beim Symposium ‚Bodenschutz durch Raumplanung‘, JUN 26, 2019, Vienna, AUSTRIA

Penker, M; Braito, M; Leonhardt, H; Thaler G; Schauppenlehner-Kloyber, E; Flint, C (2019): Farmers’ View-Points on Soil Management and Implications for Soil Conservation Policies.

International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM), University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, JUN 2-7, 2019, Oshkosh, WI, USA

© BOKU Wien Imprint