This paper empirically analyses a dataset of more than 7,300 agricultural land sales transactions from 2001 and 2007 to identify the factors influencing agricultural land prices in Bavaria. We use a general spatial model, which combines a spatial lag and a spatial error model, and in addition account for endogeneity introduced by the spatially lagged dependent variable as well as other explanatory variables. Our findings confirm the strong influence of agricultural factors such as land productivity, of variables describing the regional land market structure, and of non-agricultural factors such as urban pressure on agricultural land prices. Moreover, the involvement of public authorities as a seller or buyer increases sales prices in Bavaria. We find a significant capitalisation of government support payments into agricultural land, where a decrease of direct payments by 1% would decrease land prices in 2007 and 2001 by 0.27% and 0.06%, respectively. In addition, we confirm strong spatial relationships in our dataset. Neglecting this leads to biased estimates, especially if aggregated data is used. We find that the price of a specific plot increases by 0.24% when sales prices in surrounding areas increase by 1%.
Paul Feichtinger is a PhD student and Klaus Salhofer a Professor in the Environmental Economics and Agricultural Policy Group at Technische Universität, Munich.