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Staff Paper No. 580 - Abstract

An Exploratory Analysis of Women Farmers and Rural Economic Growth and Development

Steven Deller [scdeller@wisc.edu]
Tessa Conroy [tessa.conroy@wisc.edu]

Staff Paper No. 580, September 2015, 27p.

Abstract

This exploratory research seeks to better understand the changing role of women farmers in rural US economic growth and development. Within the US the number of farms operated by women has grown from five percent of all farms in 1978 to almost 14% in 2012. Over the 1978-2012 time-frame nearly all the growth in number of farms and acres farmed has been from women farmers. It is unclear how this shift in farming across the US impacts the economic performance of rural communities. We explore temporal and spatial patterns of women owned farms using Census of Agriculture data then use an expanded Carlino-Mills partial adjustment growth framework to model how concentrations of women farmers in 2007 influence growth patterns over the 2007 to 2013 period. We find higher concentrations of women farmers do not influence employment or population growth but do have a negative association with income growth.
Last updated on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 11:44am