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An investigation into factors affecting the occupational choices of nominated farm heirs in Ireland

Hennessy, T. C. and Rehman, T. (2007) An investigation into factors affecting the occupational choices of nominated farm heirs in Ireland. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 58 (1). pp. 61-75. ISSN 0021-857X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2007.00078.x


The resilience of family farming is an important feature of the structure of the farming industry in many countries, due largely to the 'smooth' succession of farms from one generation to the next. The stability of this structure is now threatened by the widening gap between the income expected from farming when compared with non-farming occupations in an economy like Ireland, operating at almost full employment. Nominated farm heirs are increasingly unlikely to choose full-time farming as their preferred occupation. To identify the factors that affect this occupational choice, a multinomial logit model is developed and applied to Irish data to examine the farm, economic and personal characteristics that influence a nominated heir's decision to enter farming as opposed to some non-farming occupation. The results show a significant negative relationship between higher education and the choice of full-time farming as an occupation. The interdependence between education and occupational choices is further explored using a bivariate probit model. The main findings are: the occupational choice and the decision to continue with higher education are made jointly; the nominated heirs on more profitable farms are less likely to pursue tertiary education and therefore more likely to enter full-time farming. The model developed is sufficiently general for studying the phenomenon of succession on farms.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8648
Uncontrolled Keywords:bivariate probit, farm succession, multinomial logit, occupational, choice, SUCCESSION, TRANSFERS, INCOME, ENTRY, LABOR

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