Statistical evidence shows that farm families in most of the developed countries are increasingly dependent on income from off-farm sources. In the United States, for example, over 50 percent of all farm operators worked off the farm in 1969, which is almost twice the percentage of forty years ago. The percentage of income from off-farm sources, as a result, increased from 29 percent in 1935 to 54 percent in 1976 (U.S. Department of Agriculture). The taking up of off-farm employment by one or more members of a farm family is probably one way to counteract the cost-price squeeze and to adjust to the rapidly changing economy and technology of a modern society. Little attention has been paid, however, to the nature and mechanism of adjustments through off-farm employment, especially at the micro level. Furthermore, very few economists have attempted to make intercountry comparisons of part-time farming from this viewpoint, due mainly to the lack of comparable data in most developed countries (Gasson). Taking the farm family as the unit of account, the main objective of this paper is to present and discuss the direction of on-farm and off-farm adjustments, labour allocation decisions, and the life cycle pattern of employment and income of the part-time farm family.


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