Spatial expansion of farm types and neighborhood influence - conversions to specialized suckler cow farms in Switzerland

Since the introduction of direct payments for suckler cows in 1999, the number of specialized suckler cow farms in Switzerland has seen a significant increase. This paper explains the farm conversions to accommodate suckler cows, specifically taking into account neighborhood influences in traditional and non-traditional suckler cow regions. It confirms the hypothesis that changes in production made by farmers are influenced by their neighboring peers. In the interests of achieving a better understanding of the dynamics of this development, the analysis takes into account different time periods. As far as changes in production were con-cerned, a positive neighborhood influence could be confirmed only for the time periods soon after the political change and for regions where the production technologies were not well-established and consequently represented a technological innovation. In regions where the technology is already well-established, no neighborhood influence in the early phase could be confirmed. The results provide evidence that, from a sociological point of view, neighborhood influence plays a specific role in the expansion of production changes. For all regions, no agglomeration economies for suckler cow production based on a persistent neighborhood influence were verified until the later periods of adoption.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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