Title page for ETD etd-04242012-215407

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Uematsu, Hiroki
Author's Email Address huemat1@lsu.edu
URN etd-04242012-215407
Title Three Essays on Technology Adoption and the Roles of Off-Farm Labor, Human Capital and Risk in Contemporary US Agriculture
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mishra, Ashok K. Committee Chair
Gillespie, Jeffrey M. Committee Member
Kazmierczak, Richard F., Jr Committee Member
Paudel, Krishna P. Committee Member
Brian, Marx D. Dean's Representative
  • human capital
  • off-farm labor
  • risk
  • agriculture
  • technology adoption
Date of Defense 2012-03-23
Availability unrestricted
Agriculture can be defined as the domestication and farming of plant and animal species to produce food and fiber products. Our society is fundamentally dependent on agriculture as it is the primary source of nutrients essential to human activities. Historically, the introduction of agriculture and technological development thereafter drastically changed the way human civilization has evolved into what it is today. New technologies allow farmers to produce more outputs with fewer inputs. Saved resources from agricultural production, such as land, labor and time, were used elsewhere to produce other goods and services that enrich the quality of our life.

The primary focus of my dissertation is how new agricultural technology is adopted by U.S. farmers in the face of risk and uncertainty surrounding today’s agriculture. This dissertation contributes to the existing literature by reflecting the important recent trends in U.S. agriculture. In the first essay, I explore the implication of genetically modified crop varieties on farm households’ income from off-farm sources, which explains approximately 90% of total farm household income in the United States. The second essay studies the relationship between farm operators’ formal education and technology adoption. It reconsiders the conventional human capital theory and demonstrates that formal education can have a negative impact on technology adoption. The final essay focuses on the impact of farm producers’ attitude toward risk on their use of various risk management strategies.

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