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Measuring the economic sustainability of Italian farms using FADN data


  • Adele Coppola

    (School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences (SAFE), University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy)

  • Mario Amato

    (Department of Political Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy)

  • Domenico Vistocco

    (Department of Political Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy)

  • Fabio Verneau

    (Department of Political Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy)


In recent literature, the issue of sustainability and its measure has been addressed with different approaches that depend on the multidimensional nature of the concept and the specific sector and context to which it applies. The present work focuses on the economic sustainability component and suggests an operative measure at the farm level. The measure of economic sustainability has been applied to Italian family farms using Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). Based on this data, an efficiency indicator (EI) and two income indicators [a factor profitability indicator (FPI) and a comparable income indicator (CII)] expressing the ability to remunerate the entrepreneur's production factors at their opportunity cost and the farm's income capacity have been used in a principal component analysis (PCA) to build an economic sustainability index (SI). The index was used to describe Italian farms' economic sustainability levels but was also the cue to discuss problems related to identifying economic sustainability thresholds and the trade-off between efficiency and income components.

Suggested Citation

  • Adele Coppola & Mario Amato & Domenico Vistocco & Fabio Verneau, 2022. "Measuring the economic sustainability of Italian farms using FADN data," Agricultural Economics, Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences, vol. 68(9), pages 327-337.
  • Handle: RePEc:caa:jnlage:v:68:y:2022:i:9:id:169-2022-agricecon
    DOI: 10.17221/169/2022-AGRICECON

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. José A. Gómez‐Limón & Sandra Sánchez‐Cañizares & Amalia Hidalgo‐Fernández & Ana M. Castillo‐Canalejo, 2023. "Profit and viability persistence: Evidence from the Spanish agricultural sector," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(4), pages 1300-1332, October.
    2. Paola Sau & Brunella Arru & Federica Cisilino & Roberto Furesi & Pietro Pulina & Fabio A. Madau, 2023. "Economic and Environmental Sustainability Trade-Off Analysis in Sheep Farming Using the Farm Accountancy Data Network Database," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(24), pages 1-24, December.
    3. Katarína Novotná & Ľubomír Gurčík & Zuzana Lušňáková, 2023. "Economic determinants of the development and sustainability of family farms in Slovakia," Agricultural Economics, Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences, vol. 69(7), pages 291-299.

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