On- and off-farm labor decisions by slash-and-burn farmers in Yucatan (Mexico)
AbstractThe availability of basic assets influences peasants’ economic behavior, their livelihood diversification strategies and their responses to land degradation. In addition, when pressed by economic hardships households can also expected to work more than better off ones. Whether this implies more or less on- or off-farm labor supply is an empirical question. This in turn can have an asymmetric effect on poverty traps and the extent of forest clearing under slash-and-burn farming. This paper examines the determinants of labor allocation among forest based shifting cultivating households in two communities from Yucatan (Mexico). The effects of wage rates and structural socio-economic factors are tested for both farming household heads and other family members and their implications discussed. While the former seems to be bound by structural factors, the latter are very sensitive to labor market signals and show a negative elasticity to off-farm labor supply. This calls for providing specialized training and education programs to increase human and social capital for household heads in order to reduce pressure on forest land and to assist households to avoid poverty traps arising from the predicted falling wage rates due to post-NAFTA liberalization of rural labor markets.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics in its series Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers with number 06.2005.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision: 2005
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2005-11-05 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2005-11-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2005-11-05 (Education)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Unai Pascual).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.