Credit booms and financial instability in US agriculture

Todd Kuethe, Todd Hubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study examines the relationship between economic fluctuations and financial distress in the US agricultural sector, which is associated with a large degree of financial instability. Design/methodology/approach: The authors developed a parsimonious model of economic fluctuations in the US agricultural sector. The authors used statistical filter methods to identify the co-movement in cyclical fluctuations in real, cumulative growth rates in farm real estate values, farm sector debt and leverage. Findings: The proposed model closely approximated the financial evolution of the US agricultural sector between 1960 and 2018. In addition, the authors proved that the proposed model is an early warning indicator of farm loan delinquencies and farm bankruptcies. Originality/value: This study exploits recent advances in economic theory and empirical macroeconomic modeling to develop a model that is a robust predictor of financial distress in the agricultural sector. Further, the authors demonstrate that the policy interventions following the 1980s farm financial crisis demonstrate the likely long-run economic response to the policies enacted following the 2008 financial crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAgricultural Finance Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 21 2021


  • Agriculture
  • Credit
  • Cycles
  • Farmland prices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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