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Income, Wealth, And The Economic Well-Being Of Farm Households

Author

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  • Mishra, Ashok K.
  • El-Osta, Hisham S.
  • Morehart, Mitchell J.
  • Johnson, James D.
  • Hopkins, Jeffrey W.

Abstract

Agricultural policy is rooted in the 1930s notion that providing transfers of money to the farm sector translates into increased economic well-being of farm families. This report shows that changes in income for the farm sector or for any particular group of farm businesses do not necessarily reflect changes confronting farm households. Farm households draw income from various sources, including off-farm work, other businesses operated, and increasingly nonfarm investments. Likewise, focus on a single indicator of well-being, like income, overlooks other indicators such as the wealth held by the household and the level of consumption expenditures for health care, food, housing, and other items. Using an expanded definition of economic well-being, we show that farm households as a whole are relatively better off than the average U.S. household, but that about 6 percent remain economically disadvantaged relative to the rest of the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Mishra, Ashok K. & El-Osta, Hisham S. & Morehart, Mitchell J. & Johnson, James D. & Hopkins, Jeffrey W., 2002. "Income, Wealth, And The Economic Well-Being Of Farm Households," Agricultural Economics Reports 33967, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uerser:33967
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/33967
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mario F. Crisostomo & Allen M. Featherstone, 1990. "A Portfolio Analysis of Returns to Farm Equity and Assets," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 12(1), pages 9-21.
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