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Government policies and farm size: does the size concept matter?


  • Jet Yee
  • Mary Clare Ahearn


This paper employs a panel data set of 48 states from 1960 to 1996 to investigate the relationships of government policies (public agricultural research and development (R&D), extension, and government commodity program payments) to changes in farm size. Five different farm size measures are considered (acres operated per farm, real land and building value per farm, real cash receipts per farm, real cash receipts plus government payments per farm, and an imputed measure of the real capital service flow per farm) in order to make a more general statement about the impacts of government policies on farm size. It was found that the impacts of government policies on farm size are in general robust to the measure of farm size considered. More specifically, it was found that R&D, extension, and government payments all have positive effects on farm size.

Suggested Citation

  • Jet Yee & Mary Clare Ahearn, 2005. "Government policies and farm size: does the size concept matter?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(19), pages 2231-2238.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:19:p:2231-2238
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500293904

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan McCunn & Wallace E. Huffman, 2000. "Convergence in U.S. Productivity Growth for Agriculture: Implications of Interstate Research Spillovers for Funding Agricultural Research," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 370-388.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sabasi, Darlington & Shumway, C. Richard, 2014. "Technical Change, Efficiency, and Total Factor Productivity in U.S. Agriculture," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170225, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Yucan Liu & C. Richard Shumway & Robert Rosenman & Virgil Eldon Ball, 2011. "Productivity growth and convergence in US agriculture: new cointegration panel data results," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 91-102.
    3. Piet, Laurent, 2016. "Recent trends in the distribution of farm sizes in the EU," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 245075, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Dolev, Yuval & Kimhi, Ayal, 2010. "Do family farms really converge to a uniform size? The role of unobserved farm efficiency," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(1), March.
    5. Dolev, Yuval & Kimhi, Ayal, 2006. "Survival And Growth Of Family Farms In Israel: 1971-1995," Discussion Papers 7146, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    6. Dolev, Yuval & Kimhi, Ayal, 2008. "Does Farm Size Really Converge? The Role of Unobserved Farm Efficiency," Discussion Papers 45778, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.

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