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Abstract

The greater reliance of U.S. farm families on off-farm income has implications for the structure of agriculture and the distribution of income within agriculture. Using annual data on farm households from the Current Population Survey, the degree of income inequality for the U.S. and by region is assessed for 1984. The distribution of income among farm families is decomposed by income source. Off-farm income is shown to contribute to higher average incomes and reduce income inequality at the margin, but only in regions where full-time farming predominates. In the Northeast and South, increases in off-farm income increase regional income inequality.

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