Crises and structural change in Australian agriculture

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We present a model of structural change in the farming sector in which natural and economic crises decrease farmers’ work satisfaction, farm profitability, and the decision to stay in farming. Using data from the Australian Regional Well-being survey, activity choice modeling, and a structural equation approach, we test the hypothesis that these crises-induced effects then cause structural change in Australian agriculture. We find that external shocks, such as drought or economic downturn, negatively affect farmers’ welfare, which in turn causes structural change through revised activity choices. Our empirical findings also indicate that specific adjustment strategies such as buying additional water titles or reducing input use are insufficient to mitigate adverse crises effects.

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Mann, S., Freyens, B., & Dinh, H. (2017). Crises and structural change in Australian agriculture. Review of Social Economy, 75(1), 76–87.

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