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Demographic composition of farm households and its effect on time allocation


  • Ayal Kimhi

    (Department of Agricultural Economics and Management, Hebrew University, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel)


The decisions of farmers to work on or off the farm depend in part on household composition and the participation patterns of other family members. This is because of the differential income effects resulting from the household`s joint budget constraint and the time and money costs imposed by different household members, and because of the substitutability or complementarity between the farm labor inputs of different household members. This paper demonstrates this point by estimating a joint labor participation model of farm operators and their spouses, in which participation decisions are conditioned on household composition. The model is estimated as a multivariate probit model with fixed effects, by quasi maximum likelihood methods. The results are consistent with the hypotheses that the time costs imposed on the household by small children are larger than the money costs; that the relative importance of time costs is decreasing as children grow up; and that the farm labor inputs of older children are complements to the couple`s farm labor inputs but those of prime-age adults are substitutes. JEL classification: J22, J43

Suggested Citation

  • Ayal Kimhi, 1996. "Demographic composition of farm households and its effect on time allocation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(4), pages 429-439.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:9:y:1996:i:4:p:429-439
    Note: Received September 1, 1994 / Accepted March 19, 1996

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Gaby Wunderlich, 2002. "Gender Wage Differences in West Germany: A Cohort Analysis," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(4), pages 379-414, November.
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    7. Antecol, Heather, 2000. "An examination of cross-country differences in the gender gap in labor force participation rates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 409-426, July.
    8. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
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    10. David Shapiro & Frank L. Mott, 1994. "Long-Term Employment and Earnings of Women in Relation to Employment Behavior Surrounding the First Birth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 248-275.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dries, Liesbeth & Pascucci, Stefano & Gardebroek, Cornelis, 2011. "Pluriactivity in Italian Agriculture: Are Farmers Using Interlinked Strategies?," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114429, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Jan Fałkowski & Maciej Jakubowski & Paweł Strawiński, 2014. "Returns from income strategies in rural Poland," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 22(1), pages 139-178, January.
    3. Pascucci, Stefano & de-Magistris, Tiziana, 2011. "The effects of changing regional Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System on Italian farmers’ strategies," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(9), pages 746-754.
    4. Ayal Kimhi, 2004. "Family Composition and Off-Farm Participation Decisions in Israeli Farm Households," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 502-512.
    5. Kimhi, Ayal & Rapaport, Eliel, 2001. "Time Allocation Between Farm And Off-Farm Activities In Israeli Farm Households - 1995," Discussion Papers 15002, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    6. Kimhi, Ayal, 2001. "Off-Farm Participation And Family Composition: Comparing 1995 With 1981 In Moshavim," Discussion Papers 14988, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    7. Ravallion, Martin*Wodon, Quentin, 1997. "Banking on the poor? Branch placement and nonfarm rural development in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1858, The World Bank.
    8. Ringelberg, Josiah & Gunderson, Michael & Widmar, David, 2016. "Strategies and Time Allocation of Large, Commercial Agricultural Producers," Journal of the ASFMRA, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
    9. Ayal Kimhi, 2003. "Family Composition and Off-Farm Participation Decisions in Israeli Farm Households," Labor and Demography 0307001, EconWPA.

    More about this item


    Farm labor · allocation of time · multivariate probit;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets


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