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Labor constraints on choosing profitable products for part-time farmers in Swiss agriculture

  • Laure Latruffe
  • Stefan Mann

Based on a conceptual framework, we develop the hypothesis that part-time farmers invest in less profitable products than full-time farms, due to the necessary minimum labour requirements which entering and running profitable production processes require. Descriptive statistics for Swiss farms show some indications for this hypothesis, like a much lower total revenue and lower agricultural income of part-time farms, despite a comparable value of the farm’s assets. A regression analysis for the period 1996-2005 confirms that Swiss part-time farms tend to focus on products with low labour profitability. This may explain why part-time farming in Switzerland is less developed than in most other European countries, and raises the question whether part-time farming offers a solution for structural change process in small-structured agricultural systems affected by imperfections on factor markets.

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Paper provided by INRA UMR SMART in its series Working Papers SMART - LERECO with number 08-03.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:rae:wpaper:200803
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  1. Ahearn, Mary Clare & Collender, Robert N. & Morehart, Mitchell J. & Roberts, Michael J., 2004. "How Do Decoupled Payments Affect Resource Allocations Within the Farm Sector?," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November.
  2. Luka Juvančič & Emil Erjavec, 2005. "Intertemporal analysis of employment decisions on agricultural holdings in Slovenia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 33(2), pages 153-161, 09.
  3. Shah, Anwar, 1992. "Dynamics of Public Infrastructure, Industrial Productivity and Profitability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 28-36, February.
  4. Huffman, Wallace E, 1980. "Farm and Off-Farm Work Decisions: The Role of Human Capital," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(1), pages 14-23, February.
  5. Mann, Stefan & Mack, Gabriele & Ferjani, Ali, 2003. "Können Produktionsentscheidungen als Investitionsentscheidungen modelliert werden?," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 52(7).
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