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Labor constraints on choosing profitable products for part-time farmers in Swiss agriculture


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  • Laure Latruffe
  • Stefan Mann


Based on a conceptual framework, we develop the hypothesis that part-time farmers invest in less profitable products than full-time farms, due to the necessary minimum labour requirements which entering and running profitable production processes require. Descriptive statistics for Swiss farms show some indications for this hypothesis, like a much lower total revenue and lower agricultural income of part-time farms, despite a comparable value of the farm’s assets. A regression analysis for the period 1996-2005 confirms that Swiss part-time farms tend to focus on products with low labour profitability. This may explain why part-time farming in Switzerland is less developed than in most other European countries, and raises the question whether part-time farming offers a solution for structural change process in small-structured agricultural systems affected by imperfections on factor markets.

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Paper provided by INRA UMR SMART in its series Working Papers SMART - LERECO with number 08-03.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:rae:wpaper:200803

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Keywords: farms; part-time; profitability; Switzerland;

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  1. Juvancic, Luka & Erjavec, Emil, 2003. "Intertemporal Analysis Of Employment Decisions On Agricultural Holdings In Slovenia," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25840, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Shah, Anwar, 1992. "Dynamics of Public Infrastructure, Industrial Productivity and Profitability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 28-36, February.
  3. Mann, Stefan & Mack, Gabriele & Ferjani, Ali, 2003. "K�nnen Produktionsentscheidungen als Investitionsentscheidungen modelliert werden?," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 52(7).
  4. Ahearn, Mary Clare & Collender, Robert N. & Morehart, Mitchell J. & Roberts, Michael J., 2004. "How Do Decoupled Payments Affect Resource Allocations Within the Farm Sector?," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November.
  5. Huffman, Wallace, 1980. "Farm and Off-Farm Work Decisions: The Role of Human Capital," Staff General Research Papers 10973, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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