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Abstract

This paper studies the dependence of the off-farm participation behavior of farm operators and their spouses on the demographic composition of the household. Specifically, we focus on farm families without parents, siblings or partners, and examine the effects of the existence and work decisions of elderly children of the farm couple. We find that both the father and the mother tend to reduce their participation in off-farm work as the number of elderly children rises. This result holds even after controlling for observed characteristics. We also find that the effect of elderly children stems from considerations related to both farm production and household production.

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