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Title:Wife's off-farm employment and its impact on perceived economic welfare of farm households
Author(s):Whittaker, Wesley Lloyd
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hafstrom, Jeanne
Department / Program:Human and Community Development
Discipline:Human and Community Development
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Economics, Agricultural
Economics, Labor
Abstract:Specific objectives were (1) to explore the extent to which nonfarm labor force participation of the wife contributes to the economic welfare of the farm household, (2) to identify the relative importance of a subset of variables most likely to affect the economic welfare of the farm household, and (3) to determine the relative importance of socioeconomic and social-psychological variables as groups in explaining perceived income adequacy.
Data were from the Illinois sample of the S-191 regional research project on the effect of nonfarm employment on family economic productivity and functioning. Eligibility for the survey required that at least one spouse be involved in farming. The sample included 240 respondents. The dependent variable was perceived income adequacy, obtained from the Illinois portion of the instrument.
Three models of perceived well-being were tested. The primary mode of analysis was ordinary least squares. A stepwise regression analysis (Model II) also was used to isolate an important subset of variables.
Results for Model I (general model) showed that the independent variables did well in explaining the dependent variable. They explained 45% of the variation in perceived income adequacy. Five of the fourteen variables in the general model were statistically significant (p $\leq$.05). Significant variables included: total household income, net worth, satisfaction with farm income, and satisfaction with housing. Also significant was the reason the wife has a nonfarm job. It was a dummy variable set with two categories: (a) monetary reason, and (b) nonmonetary reason; wives not employed was the omitted category. Signs for both categories were negative. Only category "a" was statistically significant. Nonfarm income also was significant but only at the.10 level.
Labor force variables contributed significantly to explaining perceived economic welfare of farm households. However, the remuneration from the wives' off-farm employment does not necessarily improve the well-being of the farm household. Additional research is suggested.
Model III results showed that the group of social-psychological variables explained a larger proportion of variance in the dependent variable than the group of socioeconomic variables. Satisfaction with farm income explained the largest variance in perceived income adequacy than any other explanatory variable.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Whittaker, Wesley Lloyd
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9211032
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9211032

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