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Preferences, personality, aspirations, and farmer behavior

Ladina Knapp, David Wuepper and Robert Finger

Agricultural Economics, 2021, vol. 52, issue 6, 901-913

Abstract: There is a growing literature that incorporates not only economic preferences, such as risk preferences, but also personality and aspirations into economic choice models. Here, we investigate how these concepts relate to each other and can explain observed economic choices. More specifically, we explore the role of risk preferences, personality (self‐efficacy and locus of control), and aspirations for farmers’ choices to adopt preventive measures against pests, buy cropinsurance, and to be entrepreneurially active. To this end, a sample of 568 Swiss fruit growers is analyzed. We find that for the adoption of preventive measures against pests, the best predictors are the farmers’ locus of control and their aspirations. For crop insurance demand, all behavioral variables, and especially risk preferences, contribute to explain farmers’ choices. For farmers’ entrepreneurial choice, we find that locus of control and their risk preferences are the best predictors. Our results reveal considerable domain specificity of preferences, personality, and aspirations in economic choice models.

Date: 2021
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