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Does agriculture matter? Revisiting the farm income problem in Italy

  • Gianluca Stefani

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

  • Benedetto Rocchi

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

  • Donato Romano

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

The prevalence of low income among agricultural households has long been known as the “farm problem”. Although revisited by a number of recent studies the farm problem is still one of the rationales of agricultural policies. We apply the Oaxaca decomposition to investigate how differences in well-being between agricultural and non agricultural households in Italy are affected by the structural characteristics of households rather than specificities of the agricultural sector. Findings indicate that the latter component accounts only for one third of the difference in well-being. Therefore, tackling the adverse mix of characteristics that negatively impact well-being in agricultural households would seem to require the implementation of targeted – but not necessarily sector-specific – policies.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2012_18.rdf.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2012_18.rdf
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  1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  2. Ben Jann, 2008. "A Stata implementation of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 5, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology, revised 14 May 2008.
  3. Ani L. Katchova, 2008. "A Comparison of the Economic Well-Being of Farm and Nonfarm Households," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 733-747.
  4. Weichselbaumer, Doris & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 4127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Nguyen, Binh T. & Albrecht, James W. & Vroman, Susan B. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 2007. "A quantile regression decomposition of urban-rural inequality in Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 466-490, July.
  6. Peake, Whitney O. & Marshall, Maria I., 2009. "Has the "Farm Problem" Disappeared? A Comparison of Household and Self-Employment Income Levels of the Farm and Nonfarm Self-Employed," 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia 46304, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  7. Gardner, Bruce L, 1992. "Changing Economic Perspectives on the Farm Problem," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 62-101, March.
  8. Frahan, Bruno Henry de & Nkunzimana, Tharcisse & De Blander, Rembert & Gaspart, Frederic & Sumner, Daniel A., 2008. "Farm Household Incomes And Reforming The Cap," 109th Seminar, November 20-21, 2008, Viterbo, Italy 44814, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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