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Labor Pains: Valuing Seasonal versus Year-Round Labor on Organic Farms

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  • Lohr, Luanne
  • Park, Timothy A.

Abstract

Although organic farm activities seem to demand year-round employees, seasonal workers dominate the organic labor market. We use the elasticity of complementarity to assess input substitutability and predict adjustments. Farm size and farm workers are complementary inputs. Incentives that encourage farmers to expand employment of year-round and seasonal workers raise the marginal product and rates of return to organic acreage in relative wage payments. A commitment to local sales reduces organic farm incomes. A shift to local sales leads to decreased use of seasonal workers but at higher wages, with smaller adjustments in the wages of year-round workers.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/54549
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Agricultural Economics Association in its journal Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:54549

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Web page: http://waeaonline.org/
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Related research

Keywords: elasticity of complementarity; labor management; organic farming; returns to scale; seasonal workers; Labor and Human Capital;

References

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  1. Ariel Dinar & Giannis Karagiannis & Vangelis Tzouvelekas, 2007. "Evaluating the impact of agricultural extension on farms' performance in Crete: a nonneutral stochastic frontier approach," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 135-146, 03.
  2. Dennis Tao Yang, 1997. "Education in Production: Measuring Labor Quality and Management," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 764-772.
  3. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Iain Fraser & William C. Horrace, 2002. "Technical Efficiency of Australian Wool Production: Point and Confidence Interval Estimates," Public Economics 0206001, EconWPA, revised 11 May 2003.
  5. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
  6. Jacques Mairesse & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2005. "Panel-data Estimates of the Production Function and the Revenue Function: What Difference Does It Make?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 651-672, December.
  7. McBride, William D. & Greene, Catherine R., 2008. "The Profitability of Organic Soybean Production," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6449, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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