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Part-Time Farming And Farm Resilience: Evidence From Australia

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  • Freyens, Ben
  • Mann, Stefan

Abstract

The literature on part-time farming suggests that off-farm income reduces risk and improves resilience. Our paper challenges this popular view. Our hypothesis is that the pursuit of off-farm activities may have negative effects on farm productivity by reducing scale and dissipating the gains from labour specialization. These productivity losses may more than offset the benefits derived from risk diversification. If this hypothesis is correct, we should observe that farmers who rely more intensely on off-farm income are also the ones least likely to adopt scale-expanding production strategies when faced with unexpected challenges. Using recent survey data from Australia, we examine the strategic reaction of farmers affected by major challenges such as drought and price volatility, distinguishing between adoption of defensive and offensive adjustment strategies. We find that off-farm income significantly reduces the likelihood of adopting offensive adaptation strategies, which supports our working hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Freyens, Ben & Mann, Stefan, 2016. "Part-Time Farming And Farm Resilience: Evidence From Australia," 56th Annual Conference, Bonn, Germany, September 28-30, 2016 244863, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:gewi16:244863
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.244863
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. G. M.P. Swann, 2009. "The Economics of Innovation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13211.
    2. Weiss, Yoram, 1971. "Learning by doing and occupational specialization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 189-198, June.
    3. Nadja El Benni & Robert Finger & Stefan Mann, 2012. "Effects of agricultural policy reforms and farm characteristics on income risk in Swiss agriculture," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 72(3), pages 301-324, November.
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    Keywords

    Farm Management; Productivity Analysis; Risk and Uncertainty;
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