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Recent Changes in Farm Structure: A Canada-U.S. Comparison


  • Biggs, Brian
  • Murray, Paul
  • Dubman, Robert W.
  • Erickson, Kenneth W.
  • Korb, Penelope J.


Following a series of bilateral and multilateral agreements, the past two decades have seen increased trade and investment liberalization between Canada and the United States in the agri-food sector. Changes in trade policy are one of several paths by which farm structure can change. This increased liberalization, together with the largest drop in Canadian farm numbers recorded by the Census of Agriculture in thirty years, has provided the impetus to review some aspects of farm structure. In particular, this article presents the latest Canadian and U.S. data on the number of farms by sales class, the concentration of sales and other production-related variables, and the distribution of income and receipts. We explore whether significant changes in the latter two elements of farm structure have occurred during this period of trade and investment liberalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Biggs, Brian & Murray, Paul & Dubman, Robert W. & Erickson, Kenneth W. & Korb, Penelope J., 2004. "Recent Changes in Farm Structure: A Canada-U.S. Comparison," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 05.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cafric:45741

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Boehlje, 1999. "Structural Changes in the Agricultural Industries: How Do We Measure, Analyze and Understand Them?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1028-1041.
    2. H. Bruce Huff, 1997. "The Changing Role of Public Policy in Canadian Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1401-1409.
    3. 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.
    4. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
    5. Gastwirth, Joseph L, 1972. "The Estimation of the Lorenz Curve and Gini Index," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(3), pages 306-316, August.
    6. Chavas, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Structural change in agricultural production: Economics, technology and policy," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 263-285 Elsevier.
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