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The Off-Farm Labour Force Participation of Mayo Farm Households


  • Aoife Brick
  • Eoghan Garvey

    (Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway)


The objective of this paper is to examine the factors affecting both participation in an off-farm job and the number of hours worked off-farm by couples in farm households in an Irish region. Data from 278 farm households in Co. Mayo was analysed to this end. A multivariate examination of key characteristics, using cluster analysis, was carried out to classify households into different clusters. The analysis comes reasonably close to picking out the four regimes suggested by the presented theoretical model, that is a cluster in which neither the operator or spouse work off-farm, one in which only the spouse works off-farm, one in which only the operator works off-farm, and one in which both work off-farm. This analysis is followed by an econometric analysis of farm operator and spouse labour supply decisions. Both bivariate probit models and multivariate logit models are used to estimate the off-farm labour force participation of operators and spouses. The participation models are followed by estimations of off-farm hours of work supplied by the couple, using appropriate sample selection procedures. For operators, the driving characteristics influencing off-farm labour participation and hours supplied are farm and location characteristics. In contrast, family demographics and education level appear to influence off-farm labour participation and hours supplied by the spouse.

Suggested Citation

  • Aoife Brick & Eoghan Garvey, 2005. "The Off-Farm Labour Force Participation of Mayo Farm Households," Working Papers 0100, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:nig:wpaper:0100

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Off-farm labour supply; agricultural household models; probit model; multinomial logit model.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply


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