Following the Market? Hedonic Farmland Valuation Using Sales Prices versus Self-reported Values

Daniel P. Bigelow, Jennifer Ifft and Todd Kuethe


Many farmland valuation studies rely on survey estimates to form the dependent variable in a first-stage hedonic model. This study, based in New York State, provides a microscale comparison of transaction prices and producers’ market value estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s June Area Survey. Although we find similar weighted value distributions, regression results identify differences in marginal effect estimates and illustrate how market thinness plays a role in the comparability of observed transaction prices and self-reported values. The findings have implications for future hedonic studies, including insights into behavioral differences concerning how farmers and market participants perceive the value of farmland. (JEL Q11, Q51)