Perceived Economic Pressures and Farmer Ethics

28 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2007

See all articles by Harvey S. James, Jr.

Harvey S. James, Jr.

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences

Mary Hendrickson

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences

Date Written: August 2007

Abstract

We consider the effect of perceived economic pressures on the ethical attitudes of farmers. We hypothesize that an increase in the economic pressures a farmer faces could result in that farmer being more tolerant of unethical conduct than farmers not experiencing economic pressures. To test this hypothesis, we use data from a survey of 3,000 Missouri farmers with farm sales in excess of $10,000 in 2005 in which farmers were asked how acceptable they considered various unethical or questionable farming practices. The survey also contained questions designed to measure perceived economic pressures. We find evidence that economic pressures result in a greater willingness of farmers to tolerate unethical conduct, particularly in the case of actions that have the potential of causing harm or that are influenced by law or contract. We also find that the more frequently a farmer reports observing an unethical action, the more acceptable he is of it.

Keywords: Business ethics, farmer attitudes, economic pressures, agricultural industrialization, survey

JEL Classification: D63, Q13, Z13

Suggested Citation

James, Harvey S. and Hendrickson, Mary, Perceived Economic Pressures and Farmer Ethics (August 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1007080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1007080

Harvey S. James (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences ( email )

Columbia, MO
United States
573-884-9682 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://hsjames2.wordpress.com

Mary Hendrickson

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences ( email )

200b Gentry Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-7463 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://maryhendrickson.wordpress.com

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