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The Inequality of Farmland Size in Western Europe

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  • Loughrey, Jason
  • Donnellan, Trevor
  • Lennon, John

Abstract

In this paper, we seek to identify spatial clusters of farmland size inequality across Western Europe and to discuss the implications for the future of agriculture and agricultural policy reform in the region. We utilise Eurostat data to estimate the degree of inequality in farmland size at the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) 2 level. We utilise geographical information systems software to illustrate the spatial distribution of farm size inequality and conduct exploratory spatial data analysis techniques to identify spatial dependence between neighbouring NUTS 2 regions. The findings show that there are clusters of low inequality in the countries of Northern Europe and clusters with high inequality in much of Southern Europe. The highlands of Scotland are a notable exception to the general trend in Northern Europe. The variation in farmland size is a key determinant in the distribution of farm income. In combination with high farmland prices and sparse land rental opportunities, a highly unequal farm size distribution can militate against the progress of new-entrant farmers and small farmers wishing to expand their production and increase their farm incomes. A highly unequal farm size distribution can therefore grant an elevated importance to land inheritance as a determinant of relative economic success at the farm level.

Suggested Citation

  • Loughrey, Jason & Donnellan, Trevor & Lennon, John, 2016. "The Inequality of Farmland Size in Western Europe," 90th Annual Conference, April 4-6, 2016, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 236341, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc16:236341
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.236341
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/236341/files/Jason_Loughrey_Farm%20Size%20Inequality%20Paper%20AES%20Final%20Submitted%20Paper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Allanson, 2006. "The Redistributive Effects of Agricultural Policy on Scottish Farm Incomes," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 117-128, March.
    2. Laurent Piet & Laure Latruffe & Chantal Le Mouël & Yann Desjeux, 2012. "How do agricultural policies influence farm size inequality? The example of France," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 5-28, February.
    3. Anil B. Deolalikar, 1981. "The Inverse Relationship between Productivity and Farm Size: A Test Using Regional Data from India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 63(2), pages 275-279.
    4. Mugera, Amin W. & Langemeier, Michael R., 2011. "Does Farm Size and Specialization Matter for Productive Efficiency? Results from Kansas," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(4), pages 515-528, November.
    5. Bhalla, Surjit S & Roy, Prannoy L, 1988. "Mis-specification in Farm Productivity Analysis: The Role of Land Quality," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 55-73, March.
    6. Franz Sinabell & Erwin Schmid & Markus Hofreither, 2013. "Exploring the distribution of direct payments of the Common Agricultural Policy," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 325-341, May.
    7. Catherine Moreddu, 2011. "Distribution of Support and Income in Agriculture," OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers 46, OECD Publishing.
    8. Laurent Piet & Laure Latruffe & Chantal Le Mouël & Yann Desjeux, 2012. "How do agricultural policies influence farm size inequality? The example of France," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 5-28, February.
    9. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
    10. Esmaiel Abounoori & Patrick McCloughan, 2003. "A simple way to calculate the Gini Coefficient for grouped as well as ungrouped data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(8), pages 505-509.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Piet, Laurent, 2017. "Concentration of the agricultural production in the EU: the two sides of a coin," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 261439, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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    Keywords

    Agricultural and Food Policy;

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