Immigrant Workers and Technological Change in U.S. Agriculture: A Profit Maximization Approach of Induced Innovation
AbstractThis paper analyzes changes in U.S. agricultural technology during 1960-1999, emphasizing the role of immigrant workers on farm mechanization. The rates and directions of biased technological change based on the induced innovation theory are compared before and after the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 which was intended to reduce employment of unauthorized workers. Unlike previous studies of induced innovation, this paper develops a new theoretical and empirical model of induced innovation using a profit maximization approach. The contribution of the profit maximization approach is that it allows changes in output combinations as a result of technological change. We found that the technology was biased against hired and self-employed labor, and toward capital during the study period. Although the bias against labor diminished considerably after 1986, the bias toward capital did not change appreciably after 1986. An important insight via the profit maximization approach is that the technology became biased in favor of labor intensive, perishable crops after 1986.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia with number 25505.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
immigrant workers; farm mechanization; technological change; induced innovation; profit function model; Labor and Human Capital; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; J43; J6; O3; Q55;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
- J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
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