Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Committee Chair

Michael S. Delgado

Committee Member 1

Maria I. Marshall

Committee Member 2

Graig L. Dobbins


The goal of this thesis is to examine the relationship among succession progress, generational conflict, and generational shadow and concentrate on the effects of the latter two on succession planning progress in small and medium sized family farms. Generational shadow refers to “the prior generation’s excessive and inappropriate involvement in a farm” (Davis & Harveston, 1999) – essentially, it reflects the incumbent’s unwillingness to transfer the business. Because of the suspected simultaneity, I employ a multivariate probit model and test for endogeneity. I found that the level of generational shadow is exogenous to the level of conflict and the succession outcome. In addition, conflict does not significantly affect the stage of succession. However, simultaneity exists between conflict and the succession outcome. The results of the empirical analysis indicate that businesses with more advanced progress towards succession also have a high level of conflict.