The reflexive relationship between land markets and farmers’ strategies in Germany
The specific conditions of local land markets could support strategic interaction among farmers. In this case, ideas from strategic competition imply that currently observed regional differences in farmers’ strategies should partly be explainable by reference to historical farm size distributions. We test respective hypotheses in a regression approach based on data on the Landkreis (district) level (NUTS 3) in Germany from a standardised survey among farm advisors and from secondary statistics. The results confirm the expected reflexive relationship between local land markets and farmers’ strategic orientation. Moreover, a complex relationship between farmers’ strategies, their general attitudes and farm development dynamics is identified. Thereby those explanations of regional differences among farmers’ strategies which rely solely on factors exogenous to agricultural production, be it alternative employment possibilities or cultural differences, are contested.