Rural Development, Multifunctionality and Public Goods: An Assessment of the Literature - This study attempts to analyze the various tools available to evaluate the impacts of the Rural Development Policies, particularly regarding the multifunctional role of agriculture. In the first part the economic aspects of multifunctionality are analyzed, summarizing the main issues of the international debate. The Public Choice approach seems to be a useful tool to analyze policies oriented to support the multifunctionl role of the agricultural sector, providing benefits to the
whole community that could be defined as public goods. A critical review of the tools widely used for assessment of public goods points to two general approach: the microeconomic one, with revealed preferences or contingent valuation methods, and the macroeconomic one with the public expenditure method. On the basis of these methodological premises, the macroeconomic approach has been applied as a case study to the Rural Development Programme of the Tuscany region, with interesting and original results.