Landscape quality payments in Switzerland: the congruence between policy and preferences

Stefan Mann* (Corresponding Author), Marcel Hunziker, Lina Torregroza, Flurina Wartmann, Felix Kienast, Beatrice Schüpbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Swiss landscape quality payments (LQPs) are a form of agricultural subsidy that provides funding for farmers engaged in maintaining or creating different elements that contribute to landscape quality. This study is the first step to analyse the effect of different measures to increase landscape quality using four indicators of perceived landscape quality (beauty, authenticity, uniqueness and complexity) from two nationally representative public surveys conducted in 2011 and 2020. While most LQP categories do not have a significant effect, both payments for productive grassland and those connected to stone structures have an effect on more than one of the four indicators of perceived landscape quality. These payments seem to cause a visible change in the landscape or preserve elements that are important for landscape quality. Such payments help to provide ecosystem services, while those not causing any visible change can be conceptualised as a form of rent-seeking. In the future, more efforts are needed to evaluate the payments to enable evidence-based policy-making and steer payments towards measures that result in improvements to landscape quality that are visible and notable to the public.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Policy Modeling
Issue number2
Early online date19 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2023


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