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Effect of agricultural policy on regional income inequality among farm households

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  • Mishra, Ashok
  • El-Osta, Hisham
  • Gillespie, Jeffrey M.

Abstract

Policymakers are under constant pressure to alleviate financial stress, mainly associated with farm business income, on farm households through government farm program payments. The 1996 FAIR Act signaled the end of these payments and Congress decided that agricultural policy should be more market oriented. Using the Gini coefficient concept and a large farm-level dataset, this study investigates the impact of government payments on income inequality among farm households in nine farming resource regions of the U.S. Results indicate that distribution of income among farm households in the Fruitful Rim region was above the level of dispersion for all U.S. farm households; however, income inequality in the Heartland region was below the level of dispersion for all U.S. farm households. Finally, income from government farm programs helped reduce total income inequality in the Heartland and Northern Great Plains regions, while income from off-farm wages and/or salaries played an important role in reducing total income inequality in Basin and Range and Fruitful Rim regions of the U.S. farm sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Policy Modeling.

Volume (Year): 31 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 325-340

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:31:y:2009:i:3:p:325-340

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505735

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Keywords: Income inequality Off-farm income Government farm program payments Adjusted Gini coefficient Farm resource regions;

References

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  1. Taylor, J. Edward, 1992. "Remittances and inequality reconsidered: Direct, indirect, and intertemporal effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 187-208, April.
  2. Gardner, Bruce L, 1992. "Changing Economic Perspectives on the Farm Problem," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 62-101, March.
  3. Chen, Chau-Nan & Tsaur, Tien-Wang & Rhai, Tong-Shieng, 1982. "The Gini Coefficient and Negative Income," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 473-78, November.
  4. Pyatt, Graham & Chen, Chau-nan & Fei, John, 1980. "The Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 451-73, November.
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  8. El-Osta, Hisham S. & Bernat, G. Andrew, Jr. & Ahearn, Mary Clare, 1995. "Regional Differences In The Contribution Of Off-Farm Work To Income Inequality," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 24(1), April.
  9. Poterba, James M., 2007. "Income inequality and income taxation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 623-633.
  10. Wodon, Quentin & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Inequality and Social Welfare," MPRA Paper 12298, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Larson, Donald K. & Carlin, Thomas A., 1974. "Income And Economic Status Of People With Farm Earnings," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 6(02), December.
  12. Boisvert, Richard N. & Ranney, Christine K., 1990. "Accounting For The Importance Of Nonfarm Income On Farm Family Income Inequality In New York," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 19(1), April.
  13. Berrebi, Z M & Silber, Jacques, 1985. "The Gini Coefficient and Negative Income: A Comment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 525-26, September.
  14. Mishra, Ashok K. & El-Osta, Hisham S. & Morehart, Mitchell J. & Johnson, James D. & Hopkins, Jeffrey W., 2002. "Income, Wealth, And The Economic Well-Being Of Farm Households," Agricultural Economics Reports 33967, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  15. L. J. Hubbard & P. F. Allanson & A. W. Renwick, 1998. "Farm Income and Economic Welfare Considerations," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 34-49.
  16. Reddy, Wenkateshwar K. & Findeis, Jill L., 1987. "Decomposition Of Income Distribution Among Farm Families," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 16(2), October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. El Benni, Nadja & Finger, Robert, 2013. "The effect of agricultural policy reforms on income inequality in Swiss agriculture - An analysis for valley, hill and mountain regions," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 638-651.
  2. D’Antoni, Jeremy M. & Mishra, Ashok K. & Barkley, Andrew P., 2012. "Feast or flee: Government payments and labor migration from U.S. agriculture," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 181-192.
  3. Deppermann, Andre & Grethe, Harald & Offermann, Frank, 2011. "Distributional Effects of the CAP on Western German Farm Incomes and Regional Farm Income Disparity," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114442, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Rocamora-Montiel, Beatriz & Colombo, Sergio & Salazar-Ordóñez, Melania, 2014. "Social attitudes in southern Spain to shape EU agricultural policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 156-171.
  5. Sahrbacher, Amanda, 2012. "Impacts of CAP reforms on farm structures and performance disparities: An agent-based approach," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe, Leib­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), volume 65, number 65.
  6. Robert Finger & Nadja El Benni, 2011. "Spatial Analysis of Income Inequality in Agriculture," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2138-2150.
  7. Severini, Simone & Tantari, Antonella, 2013. "The effect of the EU farm payments policy and its recent reform on farm income inequality," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 212-227.

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