Micro-level analyses of the farm sector may be conducted at intra-household, household or village levels. Most economists have preferred to work at the household level because of the existence of a well-developed farm-household theory. Empirical studies at the micro level have mostly used econometric or mathematical programming approaches. For both, but especially the former, the strong assumption of separability of production and consumption decisions is usually crucial. While the number and sophistication of empirical studies continue to grow, operational shortcomings remain severe. The limited use in policy making of many analyses is noted and the merits of combining comprehensive formal models with less formal and relatively simple approaches are canvassed.


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