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Off-Farm Work and Economic Performance on Corn Farms

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  • Nehring, Richard
  • Mishra, Ashok
  • Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge
  • Hallahan, Charlie
  • Erickson, Kenneth
  • Harris, Michael

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of off-farm work on the economic performance of corn farms. It estimates returns to scale and technical efficiency following an input distance function approach and compares the relative performance of corn farm operator households with and without off-farm work. We use farm-level data from the USDA’s ARMS survey for 2002-2011. The impact of off-farm work on scale and technical efficiency is examined at the household level. We find that off-farm income boosts scale efficiency on corn farms. We also find that operator hours worked off farm negatively affects technical efficiency, while we find no impact on technical efficiency for spouse hours worked off farm. Finally, we find that corn farms relying on off farm income have comparable returns on farm assets across all size classes, but significantly higher household returns (with off-farm income and assets accounted for) across all size classes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 151422.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:151422

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Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Farm Management; Labor and Human Capital;

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  1. Shon P. Williams & C. Richard Shumway, 1998. "Testing for Behavioral Objective and Aggregation Opportunities in U.S. Agricultural Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 195-207.
  2. Kumbhakar, Subal C & Biswas, Basudeb & Bailey, DeeVon, 1989. "A Study of Economic Efficiency of Utah Dairy Farmers: A System Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 595-604, November.
  3. Malcolm, Scott A. & Aillery, Marcel P. & Weinberg, Marca, 2009. "Ethanol and a Changing Agricultural Landscape," Economic Research Report 55671, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Catherine J. Morrison Paul & Richard Nehring & David Banker, 2004. "Productivity, Economies, and Efficiency in U.S. Agriculture: A Look at Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1308-1314.
  5. Ana Rodríguez-Álvarez & Ignacio Rosal & José Baños-Pino, 2007. "The cost of strikes in the Spanish mining sector: modelling an undesirable input with a distance function," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 73-83, February.
  6. Nigel Key & William McBride, 2003. "Production Contracts and Productivity in the U.S. Hog Sector," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 121-133.
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