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Spatial Analysis of Income Inequality in Agriculture


  • Robert Finger

    () (Agri-food & Agri-environmental Economics Group, ETH Zürich, Switzerland)

  • Nadja El Benni

    () (Agri-food & Agri-environmental Economics Group, ETH Zürich, Switzerland)


We investigate the spatial dimension of farm household income inequality as well as the importance of spatial considerations for its development over time using data for the period 1990-2009 on Swiss agriculture. To this end, Gini coefficients are estimated and non-parametric bootstrap is used to construct confidence intervals. We find significant differences between Gini coefficients across space, even though most cantons are characterized by homogeneous farm household income inequality. No significant change of Gini coefficients over time is found at the national level. In contrast, the analyses at the cantonal level show a heterogeneous development of income inequality. We find both increases and decreases in cantonal Gini coefficients.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Finger & Nadja El Benni, 2011. "Spatial Analysis of Income Inequality in Agriculture," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2138-2150.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00434

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mary Keeney, 2000. "The Distributional Impact of Direct Payments on Irish Farm Incomes," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 252-265.
    2. Robert G. Lynch, 2003. "Estimates of Income and Income Inequality in the United States and in Each of the Fifty States: 1988-1999," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 571-588.
    3. El Benni, Nadja & Mann, Stefan & Lehmann, Bernard, 2011. "Distributional effects of direct payments in Switzerland," 122nd Seminar, February 17-18, 2011, Ancona, Italy 99368, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Dorfman, Robert, 1979. "A Formula for the Gini Coefficient," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 146-149, February.
    5. Mishra, Ashok & El-Osta, Hisham & Gillespie, Jeffrey M., 2009. "Effect of agricultural policy on regional income inequality among farm households," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 325-340, May.
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    More about this item


    income inequality; agriculture; Gini coefficient; spatial analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution


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