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Abstract

Participation rates for farm women in off-farm labor markets continue to increase, as does their participation in making major farm decisions such as whether to buy or sell land, adopt a new production practice or invest in farm equipment. Data from the Survey of U.S. Farm Women conducted in 2001 by Penn State in collaboration with researchers at the Economic Research Service and in collaboration with NASS are used to examine the multiple work roles of farm women off the farm and in farming. Descriptive statistics for the results of the 2001 survey are compared to those from the last major survey of U.S. farm women conducted by Rosenfeld in 1980. Then, using data limited to farm couples, models of job choice considering jointness in participation are estimated and tested under conditions of presence or absence of children, followed by estimation of models of on-farm decision-making using a household bargaining approach. Of particular interest is the effect of the >path= of intergenerational farm transfer (i.e., if inherited or purchased through her family or through her spouse=s/partner=s family) on job choice and farm decision-making. Results show that the work decisions of farm couples are correlated, both when children are present and when they are not. Further, the >path= of farm transfer influences the choices that women make. The transferof the farm through her family has in some cases a positive influence on her choices, both in terms of her involvement on the farm and her participation in farm decisions. Farm transfer through the husband=s/partner=s family generally has strong negative influences on her participation in farm decision-making. Keywords: bargaining models, multiple job-holding, decision-making, intergenerational transfer, farm women, off-farm employment, employment, labor

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