Income Parity Standards for Agriculture

Parity, or "equality for agriculture," has long been a goal for farmers. Several definitions of parity have been used as a guide to the well-being of farmers, as a basis for the farm programs of the Government, and as a guide to general economic programs aimed at high levels of employment, production, and purchasing power. Yet none has proved entirely satisfactory. Parity has been elusive to define and difficult to measure—especially in the postwar period of rapid changes in agriculture and in the rest of the economy. Farmers, agricultural economists, Congressmen, and many others have frequently criticized the measures of parity currently in use. Congress has found it necessary from time to time to direct changes in parity computations to make programs workable, or to avoid serious inequities. The article presents a new concept of income parity standards for agriculture. Other studies were made in the past by the Department, and Iowa State University recently published a study, An Alternative Parity Formula for Agriculture, Research Bulletin 476.

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Journal Article
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Agricultural Economics Research, Volume 14, Number 4
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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