Journal or Book Title
Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy
First Page or Article ID Number
The historical behavior of farmland prices, rental rates, and rates of return are examined by treating farmland as an asset with an infinitely long life. It is found that high (low) farmland prices relative to rents have historically preceded extended periods of low (high) net rates of return, rather than greater (smaller) growth in rents. Our analysis shows that this attribute is shared with stocks and housing, and the financial literature provides ample evidence that other assets feature it as well. The long-run relationship linking farmland prices, rents, and rates of return is analyzed. Based on this relationship, we conclude that recent trends are unlikely to be sustainable. The study explores the expected paths that farmland prices and rates of return might follow if they were to eventually conform to the average values observed in the historical sample, and concludes with a discussion of the policy implications. Recommendations for policy makers include close monitoring of farmland lending practices and institutions to allow early identification of potential problems, and identifying in advance appropriate interventions in case recent farmland market trends were to suddenly change.
Lence, Sergio H., "Farmland Prices: Is This Time Different?" (2014). Economics Publications. 68.