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Government policies and farm size: does the size concept matter?

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This paper employs a panel data set of 48 states from 1960 to 1996 to investigate the relationships of government policies (public agricultural research and development (R&D), extension, and government commodity program payments) to changes in farm size. Five different farm size measures are considered (acres operated per farm, real land and building value per farm, real cash receipts per farm, real cash receipts plus government payments per farm, and an imputed measure of the real capital service flow per farm) in order to make a more general statement about the impacts of government policies on farm size. It was found that the impacts of government policies on farm size are in general robust to the measure of farm size considered. More specifically, it was found that R&D, extension, and government payments all have positive effects on farm size.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Economic Research Service, 1800M Street, NW, Washington, DC, USA

Publication date: October 20, 2005

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