Motivation Crowding and Participation in Agri-Environmental Schemes – The Case of the Austrian Öpul-Programme in Vineyards

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Viticulture has an effect on several ecosystem services, while it also is a sector critically affected by diverse ecological risks. Payments for agri-environmental services address several of these risks. Based on 77 interviews, we compare the motivational patterns of vintners participating and non-participating in the Austrian agri-environmental scheme ÖPUL to analyse mechanisms of motivation crowding. We identified three types of vintners that are motivated not only by “financial incentives” but also by a complex combination of different intersecting socio-psychological mechanisms – such as frame shifting by social learning or peer recognition reinforcing or control aversion and frustration with the administrative burden hindering the delivery of environmental services. More research is needed to understand how different strategies of risk governance, such as legal standards, information, capacity building, incentives and reflective discourse might be best combined to address different groups of farmers.

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