Land on which an agricultural activity is performed provides important landscape services. However, urban sprawl, intensification of farming systems and farmland fragmentation are decreasing the sustainability of agricultural land use. Scholars have found a connection between these problems and a failure of institutions to; incorporate multifunctional farming systems, involve stakeholders, and consider the legality of land ownership. They are the result of implementation gaps and contradictions within or between regulation, which I will refer to as regulatory disparity. The question remains as to what regulatory disparity exists in land use, to be accounted for during policy design. Regulation stemming from property rights and public policy applying to land owners and users leads to regulatory disparity in the cases where they are incompatible with one another. Until now, institutional economics and policy analysis have not been used in a joint application to rural land use. This research employs the framework of the Institutional Resource Regime (IRR) because it includes both disciplines. Within the IRR, the regulatory disparity is measured by the coherency and extent of the respective institutional regime that affects and is affected by agricultural land through the actors that use it. This will be exemplified with a case study of the Netherlands.
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