15 Feb 2012

Drivers of Agricultural Physical Capital Development: Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses

Karin Kataria / Jarmila Curtiss / Alfons Balmann

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This Deliverable aims to identify drivers of physical capital adjustments in agriculture. It begins with a review of some of the most important theories and modelling approaches regarding firms’ adjustments of physical capital, ranging from output-based models to more recent approaches that consider irreversibility and uncertainty. Thereafter, it is suggested that determinants of physical capital adjustments in agriculture can be divided into three main groups, namely drivers related to: (I) Expected (risk-adjusted) profit, (II) Expected societal benefits and costs, and (III) Expected private non-pecuniary benefits and costs. The discussion that follows focuses on the determinants belonging to the first group and covers aspects related to product market conditions, technological conditions, financial conditions and the role of firm structure and organization. Furthermore, the role of subjective beliefs is emphasized. The main part of this paper is concerned with the demand side of the physical capital market but one section also briefly discusses some aspects related to supply of farm assets.