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The Labour Allocation Decisions of Farm Households: Defining a theoretical model

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  • Donnellan, Trevor
  • Hennessy, Thia C.

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical model for the analysis of decisions regarding farm household labour allocation. The agricultural household model is selected as the most appropriate theoretical framework; a model based on the assumption that households behave to maximise utility, which is a function of consumption and leisure, and is subject to time and budget constraints. The model can be used to describe the role of government subsidies in farm household labour allocation decisions; in particular the impact of decoupled subsidies on labour allocation can be examined. Decoupled subsidies are a labour-free payment and as such represent an increase in labour-free income or wealth. An increase in wealth allows farm households to work less while maintaining consumption. On the other hand, decoupled subsidies represent a decline in the return to farm labour and may lead to a substitution effect, i.e. farmers may choose to substitute non-farm work for farm work. The theoretical framework proposed in this paper allows us to examine these two conflicting effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Donnellan, Trevor & Hennessy, Thia C., 2012. "The Labour Allocation Decisions of Farm Households: Defining a theoretical model," Working Papers 137021, Factor Markets, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:famawp:137021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Weersink, Alfons & Nicholson, Charles & Weerhewa, Jeeveka, 1998. "Multiple job holdings among dairy farm families in New York and Ontario," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 127-143, March.
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    3. Huffman, Wallace E & Lange, Mark D, 1989. "Off-Farm Work Decisions of Husbands and Wives: Joint Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 471-480, August.
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    7. Ashok K. Mishra & Barry K. Goodwin, 1997. "Farm Income Variability and the Supply of Off-Farm Labor," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 880-887.
    8. Thia C. Hennessy & Tahir Rehman, 2007. "An Investigation into Factors Affecting the Occupational Choices of Nominated Farm Heirs in Ireland," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 61-75, February.
    9. J. G. Tokle & Wallace E. Huffman, 1991. "Local Economic Conditions and Wage Labor Decisions of Farm and Rural Nonfarm Couples," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 73(3), pages 652-670.
    10. Kilkenny, Maureen, 1993. "Rural vs. Urban Effects of Terminating Farm Subsidies," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11121, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    11. Anonymous & Hopkins, Jeffrey W., 2003. "Decoupled Payments: Household Income Transfers In Contemporary U.S. Agriculture," Agricultural Economics Reports 34057, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    12. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    13. Ahearn, Mary Clare & El-Osta, Hisham S. & Dewbre, Joe, 2002. "The Impact Of Government Subsidies On The Off-Farm Labor Supply Of Farm Operators," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19825, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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    Cited by:

    1. Tocco, Barbara & Davidova, Sophia & Bailey, Alastair, 2013. "The Impact of CAP Payments on the Exodus of Labour from Agriculture in Selected EU Member States," Working Papers 160742, Factor Markets, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    2. Loughrey, Jason & Hennessy, Thia & Hanrahan, Kevin & Donnellan, Trevor & Raimondi, Valentina & Olper, Alessandro, 2013. "Determinants of Farm Labour Use: A Comparison between Ireland and Italy," Working Papers 157119, Factor Markets, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    3. Loughrey, Jason & Hennessy, Thia, 2016. "The Common Agricultural Policy and Farmers’ Off-farm Labour Supply," 160th Seminar, December 1-2, 2016, Warsaw, Poland 249796, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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