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Abstract

Employment in agriculture has changed drastically over the last fifty years. While the share of self-employed farmers has remained relatively stable over that period, the contribution of paid workers and of unpaid family workers to agricultural employment has reversed. Fifty years ago, unpaid family workers contributed significantly to farm work while paid workers were not as common. Now, the share of paid workers is converging towards that of self-employed farmers while unpaid family workers have basically disappeared. The increase in paid work can also be observed at the individual level. Almost half of all farmers reported another professional activity, be it paid off-farm work or a nonagricultural business. Changes affecting farming can also be observed in the income composition of farming families. Net farm income now accounts for roughly one-fourth of the family's total income. Wages and salaries which have always contributed significantly to the farming family's income is now, and by far, the largest contributor.

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