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Abstract

This paper explores the phenomenon of part-time farming in Italy and investigates the drivers of farm holders’ labour supply based on the farm size. Since the definition of ‘small farm’ is arbitrary, the study explores different criteria taking into account the farm type and the utilised agricultural area. A random effects ordered probit is estimated using micro-data from the Italian Agricultural Business Survey for the period 2003-2009. The findings indicate significant differences in labour market responses between small and large farms, highlighting structural diversity in the farming systems and thus different incentives and business requirements. The conclusions support the policy claim that for smaller farmers rural development policies which encourage diversification activities and support commercialisation are much more important than farm subsidies.

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