Using FADN data, we analyse the development of income inequality in Swiss agriculture for the valley, hill and mountain regions over the period 1990–2009. While household income inequality remained stable, farm income inequality increased during this period. Estimated Gini elasticities show that household income inequality is reduced by off-farm income and direct payments but is increased by market income. Both, the introduction of area-based direct payments in 1992 and the abandonment of farm household payments in 1999 have regional different effects. Agricultural policy should opt for measures that comply with regional requirements, as current direct payments cannot avoid that income from farming is drifting further apart.
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