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Structural change in the West German agricultural sector

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  • Silke Huettel
  • Anne Margarian

Abstract

This article explains regionally differentiated patterns of structural change based on a theoretical framework dealing with strategic interaction of farms on the land market. The main research question focuses on the causes of regionally persistent structures. An empirical Markov chain model is defined for the West German agricultural sector. The model is used to explain the probabilities of farm growth, decline, or exit in terms of the current and former regional farm size structure. Further, the impact of variables describing the regional farm structure, thereby indicating market power of the large, the potential of high competition for land within a region, and possibly high rents of the status quo in combination with sunk costs, is quantified. The results confirm the relevance of strategic interaction as a crucial determinant of persistent regional differences in the farm size structure over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Silke Huettel & Anne Margarian, 2009. "Structural change in the West German agricultural sector," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(s1), pages 759-772, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:40:y:2009:i:s1:p:759-772
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2009.00413.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-0862.2009.00413.x
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