Portfolio entrepreneurship in farming: empirical evidence from the 1881 census for England and Wales

Radicic, Dragana and Bennett, Robert and Newton, Gill (2017) Portfolio entrepreneurship in farming: empirical evidence from the 1881 census for England and Wales. Journal of Rural Studies, 55 . pp. 289-302. ISSN 0743-0167

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.08.019

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Abstract

Existing research on portfolio entrepreneurship seldom focuses on empirical evidence of the determinants of portfolio activities in farming (i.e. pluriactivity). Most studies report the incidence of this type of entrepreneurship rather than seeking to explain it. Insights from an early period of portfolio development are used here to demonstrate the prevalence of portfolio farming activity in the past at levels similar to modern development. Using the 1881 census for England and Wales, the paper explores factors that influence the decision to pursue a single or multiple occupations, such as farm areal size, number of employees, market potential measured by population density, and demographic characteristics of farmers. Empirical findings from a multi-level logit model suggest that farm size, population density and farmers’ age have a non-linear relationship with the probability of pluriactivity. With respect to gender and marital status, single men and women as well as widows are less likely to engage in pluriactivity than married men. The estimates are consistent with historical and modern literature evidencing the key role of family resources and locational opportunity. We also estimate the model for each of eleven regions separately. Results are broadly consistent with those from the full population. However, exceptions for London indicate generally weaker demographic relationships and greater impacts of market opportunities.

Keywords:small business, portfolio entrepreneurs, farming, urban markets
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:28712
Deposited On:02 Oct 2017 15:05

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