Swiss Federal Research Station for Agricultural Economics and Engineering, Tänikon

Determinants of structural change in agriculture

The change of Swiss agricultural structures 1985-2001 is explained by macroeconomic, sectoral and farm-specific variables. Expected explanatory patterns arise (eg. the influence of the farmer’s age), but also unexpected ones. The off-farm income, for example, plays a more important role to preserve agricultural structures than agricultural income. Acreage as a size variable has a stabilising impact, while rather the opposite can be said about number of animals per farm.

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