Impact of off-farm labor supply on food expenditures of the farm household

Hung Hao Chang, Ashok Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Farm households diversify their income sources by working off the farm. This is a risk management strategy that is used by farm households in both developed and developing countries. Income diversification via off-farm work is associated with higher incomes and food consumption. However, little is known about the association between off-farm work and farm household food expenditures. In an effort to bridge this gap, this study attempts to assess the impact of off-farm work decisions by the operator and/or the spouse on the food expenditures of the farm household. Using a nationwide farm household survey in the United States and new econometric method, we find that the decisions of the operator and/or the spouse to work off the farm are significantly interrelated (29%). However, these two decisions affect food expenditures in different ways. The operator's off-farm work decision is positively related to food expenditures, while the spouse's decision is negatively associated with expenditures on food by the farm household.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-664
Number of pages8
JournalFood Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Farm household
  • Food expenditures
  • Government farm policy
  • Income diversification
  • Off-farm income
  • Off-farm work
  • Tobit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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