The Ethics of Constrained Choice: How the Industrialization of Agriculture Impacts Farming and Farmer Behavior

University of Missouri Agricultural Economics Working Paper No. AEWP 2004-3

29 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2004

See all articles by Mary Hendrickson

Mary Hendrickson

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences

Harvey S. James, Jr.

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences

Date Written: July 2004

Abstract

The industrialization of agriculture not only alters the ways in which agricultural production occurs, but also impacts the decisions farmers make in important ways. First, constraints created by the economic environment of farming limit what options a farmer has available to him. Second, because of the industrialization of agriculture and the resulting economic pressures it creates for farmers, the fact that decision are constrained creates new ethical challenges for farmers. Having fewer options when faced with severe economic pressures is a very different situation for farmers than having many options available. We discuss the implications of constrained choice and show that it increases the likelihood that farmers will consider unethical behavior.

Keywords: Agricultural industrialization, farmer ethics

JEL Classification: Q12, Q18, Q19, Z13

Suggested Citation

Hendrickson, Mary and James, Harvey S., The Ethics of Constrained Choice: How the Industrialization of Agriculture Impacts Farming and Farmer Behavior (July 2004). University of Missouri Agricultural Economics Working Paper No. AEWP 2004-3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=567423 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.567423

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

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

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