Income, Wealth, and the Economic Well-Being of Farm Households
by Ashok K. Mishra, Hisham S. El-Osta
, Mitch Morehart
, James Johnson, and Jeffrey Hopkins
Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-812) 77 pp, July 2002
Agricultural policy is rooted in the 1930's notion that providing transfers of money to the farm sector translates into increased economic well-being of farm families. This report shows that neither change in income for the farm sector nor for any particular group of farm business can be presumed to reflect changes confronting farm households. Farm households draw income from various sources, including off-farm work, other businesses operated and, increasingly, nonfarm investments. Likewise, focus on a single indicator of well-being, such as income, overlooks other indicators such as the wealth held by the household and the level of consumption expenditures for health care, food, housing, and other items. Using an expanded definition of economic well-being, we show that farm households as a whole are better off than the average U.S. household, but that 6 percent remain economically disadvantaged.
Keywords: farming, farm income, farm households, farm household wealth, off-farm work, farm typology, farm resource regions, operator age, operator education, household consumption, farm business, nonfarm income, ARMS, farm policy
In this publication...
- Table of Contents, 487 kb
- Frontmatter, 526 kb
- Executive Summary, 506 kb
- Introduction, 493 kb
- Income and Well-Being of Farm Households, 553 kb
- Composition of Farm Household Income and Wealth, 539 kb
- Farm Household Heterogeneity, 689 kb
- Variability in Farm Household Income and Wealth, 911 kb
- Farm and Nonfarm Household Comparability, 503 kb
- Findings and Policy Implications, 1,082 kb
- Appendix A, 1,003 kb
- References, 433 kb
- Entire report, 1,547 kb
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