2020

Farm Size, Technology Adoption and Agricultural Trade Reform: Evidence from Canada

Reprint No. 2020:60

Author(s): W. Mark Brown, Shon Ferguson and Crina VijuYear: 2020 Title: Journal of Agricultural Economics Volume (No.): 71 (3) Pages: 676–697
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

Farm Size, Technology Adoption and Agricultural Trade Reform: Evidence from Canada W. Mark Brown, Shon Ferguson and Crina Viju


Using detailed census data covering over 30,000 farms in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada, we document the vast and increasing farm size heterogeneity, and analyse the role of farm size in adapting to the removal of an export subsidy in 1995. Consistent with the Alchian‐Allen hypothesis, the increase in per‐unit trade costs due to the reform was associated with farms of all sizes shifting their production of crops from low value wheat to higher value canola. We find that switching to new labour‐saving tillage technologies and away from summerfallow in response to the large negative shock to grain prices caused by the reform varied across the farm size distribution. We develop a theory of heterogenous farms and technology adoption that can explain our findings.


Reference:
Brown, W. Mark, Shon Ferguson and Crina Viju (2020), "Farm Size, Technology Adoption and Agricultural Trade Reform: Evidence from Canada". Journal of Agricultural Economics 71(3), 676–697.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book

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