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Why Farmers Quit: A County-Level Analysis

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  • Stephan J. Goetz
  • David L. Debertin

Abstract

We identify the effects of alternative explanatory variables on the propensity of U.S. farmers to cease farming, with a particular emphasis on understanding the roles of off-farm employment and federal farm program payments. Conventional ordinary least squares analysis using all counties suggests that off-farm employment has no statistical effect on the (net) number of farmers quitting between 1987 and 1997, ceteris paribus. A more refined analysis, which separates counties losing farmers from those that gained farmers, reveals subtle and less clear-cut effects of off-farm employment (and federal program payments) on farm exits. Copyright 2001, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan J. Goetz & David L. Debertin, 2001. "Why Farmers Quit: A County-Level Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1010-1023.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:83:y:2001:i:4:p:1010-1023
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/0002-9092.00226
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