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The influence of agricultural policies on agriculture structure adjustment in Taiwan: An analysis of off-farm labor movement

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  • Tsai-Yu Chang
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on labor movement in the agricultural sector of Taiwan to clarify the relationship between agricultural policy and the agricultural adjustment problem by estimating the labor movement function. Design/methodology/approach – The relationship between agricultural policy and the adjustment process of agricultural labor in Taiwan was analyzed by modeling labor movement between the agricultural sector and other sectors. Through empirical analysis of labor migration function, it is clear that the following policy factors, affect the incentive for labor migration, and obstruct off-farm labor migration: the price support policy; the incomplete farmland conversion regulations, which increase farmers' farmland possession motive; and government agricultural expenditure, which includes direct transfers to the agricultural sector. Findings – The study confirms that after the late 1980s the factors that obstruct agricultural adjustment much more than the price support policy are the incomplete farmland conversion regulations and increasing government agricultural payments, from the result of the simulation with the influence of the policy eliminated. Research limitations/implications – The implication of this paper is that even though Taiwan has been participating in World Trade Organization from 2002 and consented to cut the tariff on agricultural products and reduce agriculture support policies not linked to production, a delay in labor adjustment between the agricultural sector and other sectors may not necessarily be eliminated if there are other policy factors that affect the incentive for off-farm migration by farmers. Originality/value – Many studies use the labor migration function for empirical analysis, but most of them estimated the function by a simple single regression which shows that the labor movement from the agricultural sector to the other sectors increases as a result of an expanding wage gap. However, off-farm labor movement reduces the wage gap between sectors adversely. Therefore, a reverse causal relation exists between labor movement and the wage gap between sectors. The endogeneity problem was considered as analyzing the measurement of the labor migration function.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal China Agricultural Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 67-79

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:3:y:2010:i:1:67-79

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    Related research

    Keywords: Agriculture; Economic sectors; Government policy; Labour mobility; Taiwan;

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    1. Goldsmith, Peter D. & Gunjal, Kisan & Ndarishikanye, Barnabe, 2004. "Rural-urban migration and agricultural productivity: the case of Senegal," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 33-45, July.
    2. Larson, Donald & Mundlak, Yair, 1997. "On the Intersectoral Migration of Agricultural Labor," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 295-319, January.
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