Increasing productivity at farm level is a key policy objective across most countries and fundamental to the overall performance of agricultural and food systems. This paper applies dynamic statistical methods to farm level data in order to identify the determinants of farm performance over time, in terms of productivity and measures of local sustainability. The analysis sheds light on the effects of policies on productivity, and the links between productivity and sustainability outcomes. It draws on key findings from seven case studies: crop farms in Australia, France, Italy and the United Kingdom (England and Wales); and dairy farms in the Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway, with different sample periods, from the most recent three decades to the last five years. A key finding is that policy changes increasing the degree of decoupling of payments have a positive impact on productivity. Furthermore, with the right incentives, productivity growth can be more locally sustainable insofar as farms can produce more output with less inputs that harm the environment. The detailed background work on the seven samples of crops and dairy farms in the above countries is available in OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Paper N°165.