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

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lohr, Luanne & Park, Timothy A., 2009. "Labor Pains: Valuing Seasonal versus Year-Round Labor on Organic Farms," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(2), August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:54549
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/54549
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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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    6. 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.
    7. I. Fraser & W. Horrace, 2003. "Technical Efficiency of Australian Wool Production: Point and Confidence Interval Estimates," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 169-190, September.
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