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Labor markets and income generation in rural Argentina

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  • Verner, Dorte

Abstract

This paper addresses three areas of the rural labor market-employment, labor wages, and agriculture producer incomes. Findings show that the poor allocate a lower share of their labor to farm sectors than the nonpoor do, but still around 70 percent work in agriculture, and the vast majority of rural workers are engaged in the informal sector. When examining nonfarm employment in rural Argentina, findings suggest that key determinants of access to employment and productivity in nonfarm activities are education, skills, land access, location, and gender. Employment analyses show that women have higher probability than men to participate in rural nonfarm activities and they are not confined to low-return employment. Moreover, workers living in poorer regions with land access are less likely to be employed in the nonfarm sector. There is strong evidence that educated people have better prospects in both the farm and nonfarm sectors, and that education is an important determinant of employment in the better-paid nonfarm activities. Labor wage analyses reveal that labor markets pay lower returns to poorer than to richer women and returns to education are increasing with increased level of completed education and income level. And nonfarm income and employment are highly correlated with gender, skills, household size, and education. This analysis also shows a rather heterogeneous impact pattern of individual characteristics across the income distribution, but education is important for all levels of income. Agricultural producer income analyses reveal that producers'income monotonically increases with land size and with completed education level, and positively correlates with road access and use of electricity, fertilizer, and irrigation. Finally, farms operated by women are slightly more productive than farms operated by men.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4095.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4095

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Related research

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Labor Markets; Population Policies; Work&Working Conditions;

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References

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  1. Omar Arias & Walter Sosa-Escudero & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Individual heterogeneity in the returns to schooling: instrumental variables quantile regression using twins data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 7-40.
  2. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  3. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
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  5. Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain, 2002. "Measuring the poverty reduction potential of land in rural Mexico," CUDARE Working Paper Series 983, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  6. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  7. Schultz, T.P. & Mwabu, G., 1995. "Education Returns Across Quantiles of the Wage Function: Alternative Explanation for Returns to Education by Race in South Africa," Papers 744, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  8. Estanislao Gacitua-Mario & Quentin Wodon, 2001. "Measurement and Meaning : Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for the Analysis of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14035, October.
  9. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  10. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  11. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "The rural non-farm sector: issues and evidence from developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, October.
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