IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Small Farms in the EU: How Small is Small?


  • Hubbard, Carmen


This paper discusses and explores different approaches to the definition of small in relation to farms in the EU. It focuses on distributions of farms using different size criteria, making comparisons of the extent to which one criterion maps onto another. Differences in farm structure that exist between and within both the established and new Member States make it particularly difficult to determine a unique definition of smallness, suggesting perhaps the use of a relative rather than absolute measure of size.

Suggested Citation

  • Hubbard, Carmen, 2009. "Small Farms in the EU: How Small is Small?," 111th Seminar, June 26-27, 2009, Canterbury, UK 52852, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa111:52852

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Binswanger, Hans P. & Elgin, Miranda, 1988. "What are the Prospects for Land Reform?," 1988 Conference, August 24-31, 1988, Buenos Aires, Argentina 183168, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Verma, B N & Bromley, Daniel W, 1987. "The Political Economy of Farm Size in India: The Elusive Quest," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(4), pages 791-808, July.
    3. Louis Putterman & Xiao-Yuan Dong, 1997. "Pre-Reform Industry and The State Monopsony in China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 94, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    4. Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 2001. "Land institutions and land markets," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 288-331 Elsevier.
    5. Vranken, Liesbet & Swinnen, Johan, 2006. "Land rental markets in transition: Theory and evidence from Hungary," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 481-500, March.
    6. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1995. "Power, distortions, revolt and reform in agricultural land relations," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2659-2772 Elsevier.
    7. Titman, Sheridan, 1985. "Urban Land Prices under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 505-514, June.
    8. Feder, Gershon, et al, 1992. "The Determinants of Farm Investment and Residential Construction in Post-Reform China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 1-26, October.
    9. Edward B. Barbier & Joanne C. Burgess, 1997. "The Economics of Tropical Forest Land Use Options," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(2), pages 174-195.
    10. Carter, Michael R, 1984. "Identification of the Inverse Relationship between Farm Size and Productivity: An Empirical Analysis of Peasant Agricultural Production," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 131-145, March.
    11. Newell, Andrew & Pandya, Kiran & Symons, James, 1997. "Farm Size and the Intensity of Land Use in Gujarat," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 307-315, April.
    12. Williams, Joseph T, 1991. "Real Estate Development as an Option," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 191-208, June.
    13. Guang Wan & Enjiang Cheng, 2001. "Effects of land fragmentation and returns to scale in the Chinese farming sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 183-194.
    14. Dong, Xiao-Yuan & Putterman, Louis, 2000. "Prereform Industry and State Monopsony in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 32-60, March.
    15. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
    16. 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.
    17. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea, 1985. "Farm size, land yields and the agricultural production function: An analysis for fifteen developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 513-534, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Maurel, Marie-Claude, 0. "From Disappearance To Recovery: Family Farming In Central Europe. Questioning The Path Dependency Hypothesis," Village and Agriculture (WieÅ› i Rolnictwo), Polish Academy of Sciences (IRWiR PAN), Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development, issue 1.1.

    More about this item


    small farms; European Union; farm size; subsistence; Consumer/Household Economics;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:eaa111:52852. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.