Inderscience Publishers

The production of environmental services in rural areas: institutional sectors and proximities

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This paper proposes an analysis of environmental services produced in rural areas and their links with the notions of organised proximity and geographical proximity. Among the different concepts of environmental services, we use that suggested by service economics to focus on the forms of production of environmental services. We define an institutional sector as a group of economic agents and institutions, based on organised proximity, having a precise common purpose. We highlight the different institutional sectors that take part in the production of environmental services. The empirical application, carried out on three rural communities of Auvergne (France), focuses on a particular category of environmental services: the upkeep and management of rural areas. This application reveals the role and the position of different institutional sectors in the production of environmental services.

Keywords: environment, environmental services, proximity economics, public goods, rural areas, service economics, France, sustainable development, institutional sectors, geographical proximity

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