IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Persistence of family farming, learning from its dynamics


  • Calus, Mieke
  • Lauwers, Ludwig H.


Traditionally, the family farm has always been seen as a cornerstone of the agricultural production system. Given social, economic and political evidence (Calus, 2009), this organisational form might still continue to shape agricultural development. However, important changes in social and economic environment (e.g. industrialisation of agriculture, increased risk level and public vision on agriculture) become threats to the traditional model. A SWOT analysis of the family farms indicates the various intrinsic characteristics that make family farms resilient to changing conditions. Even in a changing economic and social landscape these aspects provide them with building blocks for creating new organisational forms or institutional arrangements. This paper shows these building blocks, and is only, prudentially, indicative for possible new institutional arrangements. Creativity may produce numerous outcomes from building blocks. Land tenure is only one example from past and present to show how institutions can deal with a potential threat, such as the large demand for land as production factor. Similar creativity is needed to the exploding capital demand in agriculture. One of the major challenges will be to provide family farms with low-costing capital. Food security and local community viability is the social price for this low cost supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Calus, Mieke & Lauwers, Ludwig H., 2009. "Persistence of family farming, learning from its dynamics," 111th Seminar, June 26-27, 2009, Canterbury, UK 52857, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa111:52857

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    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. Jean-Pierre Butault & Nathalie Delame, 2005. "Concentration de la production agricole et croissance des exploitations," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 390(1), pages 47-64.
    3. Janvry, Alain de & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2001. "Income Strategies Among Rural Households in Mexico: The Role of Off-farm Activities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 467-480, March.
    4. Ayal Kimhi, 2000. "Is Part-Time Farming Really a Step in the Way Out of Agricultural?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 38-48.
    5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    6. Hallam, David & Machado, Fernando, 1996. "Efficiency Analysis with Panel Data: A Study of Portuguese Dairy Farms," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 79-93.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    family farm; corporate farm; peasant; SWOT; 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:eaa111:52857. 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.