Abstract The literature on the Goldschmidt (1978a) hypothesis has passed through distinct stages. This article is a commentary on the present status of the literature and particularly on a recent article by Barnes and Blevins (1992). Our arguments draw in large part from our previous work. Researchers in the 1970s and early 1980s were concerned mainly with replicating Goldschmidt's work. However, these studies had a number of methodological and conceptual limitations that limited closure on the debate. A new generation of research from the mid-1980s onward was premised upon addressing the limitations, including the need to incorporate indicators of nonfarm economic structure, to take spatial or geographic features into account, and to adequately conceptualize farm structure. Barnes and Blevins (1992) disregard these inroads, evident in that their article repeats earlier arguments, offers solutions to problems addressed a decade earlier, and is vulnerable to its own methodological problems. To move inquiry forward, new directions for studies concerned with the broader issues raised by Goldschmidt are suggested.