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Tracing the process of becoming a farm successor on Swiss family farms


  • Stefan Mann



A theoretical model for farm succession is developed in which identity-related variables such as preferences for working autonomously or with animals influence occupational choice at the outset of the process, while environmental factors such as farm size and income prospects gain in importance during the latter stages of succession. A survey of 14-to-34-year-old potential farm successors in Switzerland is carried out to test the model. While female respondents focus on identity-related factors when making occupational choices, the model can be verified for several influencing variables for male successors, such as continuing the family tradition and the potential conversion of farmland to building land. For both men and women, the prospect of working alongside their parents is an important factor in the decision to take over the family farm. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Mann, 2007. "Tracing the process of becoming a farm successor on Swiss family farms," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 24(4), pages 435-443, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:24:y:2007:i:4:p:435-443
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-007-9087-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christoph R. Weiss, 1999. "Farm Growth and Survival: Econometric Evidence for Individual Farms in Upper Austria," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 103-116.
    2. Ayal Kimhi & Noga Nachlieli, 2001. "Intergenerational Succession on Israeli Family Farms," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 42-58.
    3. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    4. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 33-58, January.
    5. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-1120, December.
    6. Dolton, P J & Makepeace, G H & Van Der Klaauw, W, 1989. "Occupational Choice and Earnings Determination: The Role of Sample Selection and Non-pecuniary Factors," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 573-594, July.
    7. repec:oup:revage:v:25:y:2003:i:1:p:168-186. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. H. Fred Gale, 1993. "Why Did the Number of Young Farm Entrants Decline?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(1), pages 138-146.
    9. Mann, Stefan, 2003. "Theorie und Empirie agrarstrukturellen Wandels?," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 52(3).
    10. André Drost, 2002. "The Dynamics of Occupational Choice: Theory and Evidence," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 16(2), pages 201-233, June.
    11. Mann, Stefan & Mante, Juliane, 2004. "Occupational Choice And Structural Change," Working Papers 30707, Agroscope Reckenholz Tanikon (ART).
    12. H. Frederick Gale, 2003. "Age-Specific Patterns of Exit and Entry in U.S. Farming, 1978–1997," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 168-186.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Finger & Niklaus Lehmann, 2012. "The influence of direct payments on farmers’ hail insurance decisions," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 343-354, May.
    2. Mann, Stefan & Besser, Tim, 2016. "Diversifikation und Arbeitszufriedenheit – trifft die These von Marx und Engels auf Landwirte zu?," 56th Annual Conference, Bonn, Germany, September 28-30, 2016 244808, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    3. Zagata & HaÌ dková & Mikovcová, 2015. "Basic Outline of the Problem of the "Ageing Population of Farmers" in the Czech Republic," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 7(1), March.
    4. Mira Lehberger & Norbert Hirschauer, 2016. "Recruitment problems and the shortage of junior corporate farm managers in Germany: the role of gender-specific assessments and life aspirations," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(3), pages 611-624, September.
    5. Finger, Robert & Lehmann, Niklaus, 2011. "Do Direct Payments Influence Farmers' Hail Insurance Decisions?," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114355, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Kathrin Happe & Hauke Schnicke & Christoph Sahrbacher & Konrad Kellermann, 2009. "Will They Stay or Will They Go? Simulating the Dynamics of Single-Holder Farms in a Dualistic Farm Structure in Slovakia," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(4), pages 497-511, December.


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