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Income, Wealth, And The Economic Well-Being Of Farm Households

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Author Info

  • Mishra, Ashok K.
  • El-Osta, Hisham S.
  • Morehart, Mitchell J.
  • Johnson, James D.
  • Hopkins, Jeffrey W.

Abstract

Agricultural policy is rooted in the 1930s notion that providing transfers of money to the farm sector translates into increased economic well-being of farm families. This report shows that changes in income for the farm sector or for any particular group of farm businesses do not necessarily reflect changes confronting farm households. Farm households draw income from various sources, including off-farm work, other businesses operated, and —increasingly — nonfarm investments. Likewise, focus on a single indicator of well-being, like income, overlooks other indicators such as the wealth held by the household and the level of consumption expenditures for health care, food, housing, and other items. Using an expanded definition of economic well-being, we show that farm households as a whole are relatively better off than the average U.S. household, but that about 6 percent remain economically disadvantaged relative to the rest of the population.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/33967
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Agricultural Economics Reports with number 33967.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uerser:33967

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Related research

Keywords: Consumption; farm households; income; wealth; well-being; off-farm employment; Consumer/Household Economics;

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