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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1956. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1956, the author. Used by permission.


The significant feature of modern agriculture is that of high productivity of manpower. Machinery and technical equipment are today the substitutes for labor. The development toward mechanization means growing need for capital funds and investment.

The two factors, pressure of technology with fixed obligations on one hand and dependency upon a highly fluctuating marketing system with unstable prices and therefore unstable incomes on the other, are the roots of all problems concerning the credit system for agriculture today.

Particularly in times of depressed farm incomes or adverse weather conditions, the problem of agricultural finance become apparent. American agriculture is in this situations today. The question arises, whether the existing credit system is adequate enough to meet the needs of agriculture. Rising productivity and adaption if new technologies is progress, and progress is one of the functions of any economy. If progress is to continue, agriculture must be able to receive credit in adequate amounts and at reasonable terms.

A comparison between two countries with similarities in economic and political structure that seldom prevail in two countries, should not only be very interesting but useful as well. Dynamic development urges re-examination of existing conditions and proposals for up to date adjustments. This re-examination shall be undertaken in this thesis.

The objectives of the thesis are:

  1. To give a comprehensive outline of the historical development of agriculture in the United States and Switzerland in regard to agricultural credit problems and general agricultural policies.

  2. To analyze problems of agricultural finance from the point of view of the lenders and borrowers.

  3. To describe and appraise the existing credit institutions in both countries.

  4. To develop some useful ideas which could be applied to either system, derived from analysis of the existing institutions and policies in the United States and Switzerland.

Advisor: Howard W. Ottoson