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Closing down the Farm: An Experimental Analysis of Disinvestment Timing

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  • Maart, Syster Christin
  • Musshoff, Oliver
  • Odening, Martin
  • Schade, Christian

Abstract

Agrarian structures are often characterized by some kind of economic inertia. It is particularly puzzling why unprofitable farms persist over time instead of being sold. In this paper we analyze the exit decision of farmers using the real options approach. The validity of the real options theory is assessed by means of laboratory experiments. Our results show that real options models are able to predict actual disinvestment decisions better than traditional investment theory. Nevertheless, the observed disinvestment reluctance was even more pronounced as predicted by theory. This finding suggests the inclusion of bounded rationality into normative disinvestment models.

Suggested Citation

  • Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver & Odening, Martin & Schade, Christian, 2011. "Closing down the Farm: An Experimental Analysis of Disinvestment Timing," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114375, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae11:114375
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/114375
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ryan Oprea & Daniel Friedman & Steven T. Anderson, 2009. "Learning to Wait: A Laboratory Investigation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1103-1124.
    2. Abdullah Yavas & C. Sirmans, 2005. "Real Options: Experimental Evidence," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 27-52, August.
    3. Gardebroek, Cornelis & Oude Lansink, Alfons G.J.M., 2008. "Dynamic Microeconometric Approaches To Analysing Agricultural Policy," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6592, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Brian E. Roe & David R. Just, 2009. "Internal and External Validity in Economics Research: Tradeoffs between Experiments, Field Experiments, Natural Experiments, and Field Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1266-1271.
    5. Mahmud Yesuf & Randall A. Bluffstone, 2009. "Poverty, Risk Aversion, and Path Dependence in Low-Income Countries: Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1022-1037.
    6. Jan Hinrichs & Oliver Musshoff & Martin Odening, 2008. "Economic hysteresis in hog production," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 333-340.
    7. Turvey, Calum G., 2002. "Can Hysteresis And Real Options Explain The Farmland Valuation Puzzle?," Working Papers 34131, University of Guelph, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    8. Martin Odening & Oliver Mußhoff & Alfons Balmann, 2005. "Investment decisions in hog finishing: an application of the real options approach," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 47-60, January.
    9. Richards, Timothy J. & Green, Gareth P., 2003. "Economic Hysteresis in Variety Selection," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(01), pages 1-14, April.
    10. Richards, Timothy J. & Green, Gareth P., 2003. "Economic Hysteresis in Variety Selection," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 35(01), April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ihli, Hanna Julia & Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver, 2012. "Investment and Disinvestment in Irrigation Technology – An Experimental Analysis of Farmers’ Decision Behavior –," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124532, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Disinvestment; Real Options; Experimental Economics; Agricultural Finance; Farm Management; C91; D81; D92;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing

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