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Determinants and Dynamics of Farm Diversification

  • Weiss, Christoph R.
  • Briglauer, Wolfgang

This paper examines the impact of various farm and household characteristics (such as farm size, the off-farm employment status, the farm operator's age and schooling and the number of family members) on the level as well as the dynamics of on-farm diversification. Using linked census data for Upper-Austria from 1980, 1985 and 1990 we provide evidence that smaller farms are more specialised and also tend to increase the degree of specialisation over time more quickly than large farms. A significantly lower degree of diversification (higher degree of specialisation) as well as a stronger reduction in diversification over time is also reported for businesses operated by older, less educated, part-time farm operators. The analysis of diversification dynamics also suggests that (a) farms adjust to changes in their environment by steadily approaching their long-run equilibrium level of diversification (b-convergence), and (b) the variance of the diversification distribution declines over time (s-convergence).

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Paper provided by Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Food Economics and Consumption Studies in its series FE Working Papers with number 0002.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:caufew:0002
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  1. Merlin M. Hackbart & Donald A. Anderson, 1978. ""On Measuring Economic Diversification": Reply," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(1), pages 110-112.
  2. Christoph R. Weiss, 1999. "Farm Growth and Survival: Econometric Evidence for Individual Farms in Upper Austria," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 103-116.
  3. Quiroz, Jorge A. & Valdes, Alberto, 1995. "Agricultural diversification and policy reform," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 245-255, June.
  4. S. Martin & F. McLeay, 1998. "The Diversity of Farmers' Risk Management Strategies in a Deregulated New Zealand Environment," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 218-233.
  5. Knutson, Ronald D. & Smith, Edward G. & Anderson, David P. & Richardson, James W., 1998. "Southern Farmers' Exposure To Income Risk Under The 1996 Farm Bill," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(01), July.
  6. Berry, Charles H, 1971. "Corporate Growth and Diversification," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 371-84, October.
  7. Teece, David J., 1980. "Economies of scope and the scope of the enterprise," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 223-247, September.
  8. Knutson, Ronald D. & Smith, Edward G. & Anderson, David P., 1998. "Southern Farmers Exposure To Income Risk Under The 1996 Farm Bill," Working Papers 24025, Texas A&M University, Agricultural and Food Policy Center.
  9. Levy, David T. & Haber, Lawrence J., 1986. "An advantage of the multiproduct firm : The transferability of firm-specific capital," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 291-302, September.
  10. Wolfgang Briglauer, . "Motives for Firm Diversification. A Survey on Theory and Empirical Evidence," WIFO Working Papers 126, WIFO.
  11. Teece, David J., 1982. "Towards an economic theory of the multiproduct firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 39-63, March.
  12. Yakov Amihud & Baruch Lev, 1981. "Risk Reduction as a Managerial Motive for Conglomerate Mergers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 605-617, Autumn.
  13. R. W. Fraser, 1990. "Producer Risk, Product Complementarity And Product Diversification," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 103-107.
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