Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Leveraging Wealth from Farmland Appreciation: Borrowing, Land Ownership, and Farm Expansion

Weber, Jeremy and Key, Nigel (2014): Leveraging Wealth from Farmland Appreciation: Borrowing, Land Ownership, and Farm Expansion. Forthcoming in: Land Economics (May 2015)

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Abstract

We study how increases in wealth from rapid appreciation of farmland influenced farmer decisions to borrow, buy land, and expand. Exploiting periods of high and low appreciation and a panel data model that allows for correlation between prior growth trends and the share of land owned, we find that a dollar increase in paper wealth led younger farmers to increase real-estate-secured borrowing by 48 cents. Land purchases accompanied the increase in borrowing, supporting the view that collateral-based lending may be contributing to the recent run-up in farmland prices. We find no effect of land wealth on production or acres harvested.

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