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Shadow wages, allocative inefficiency, and labor supply in smallholder agriculture

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  • Christopher B. Barrett
  • Shane M. Sherlund
  • Akinwumi A. Adesina

Abstract

This article introduces a method for estimating structural labor supply models in the presence of unobservable wages and deviations of households' marginal revenue product of self-employed labor from their shadow wage. This method is therefore robust to a wide range of assumptions about labor allocation decisions in the presence of uncertainty, market frictions, locational preferences, etc. We illustrate the method using data from rice producers in Côte d'Ivoire. These data, like previous studies, reveal significant systematic differences between shadow wages and the marginal revenue product of family farm labor. We demonstrate how one can exploit systematic deviations, in the present case related to household characteristics such as the land/labor endowment ratio, to control for both unobservable wages and prospective allocative inefficiency in labor allocation in structural household labor supply estimation. Copyright 2008 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher B. Barrett & Shane M. Sherlund & Akinwumi A. Adesina, 2008. "Shadow wages, allocative inefficiency, and labor supply in smallholder agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(1), pages 21-34, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:38:y:2008:i:1:p:21-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chikwama, Cornilius, 2010. "The role of rural off-farm employment in agricultural development among farm households in low-income countries: Evidence from Zimbabwe," Journal of Cooperatives, NCERA-210, vol. 4(1), March.
    2. Nafziger, Steven, 2010. "Peasant communes and factor markets in late nineteenth-century Russia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 381-402, October.
    3. Nin-Pratt, Alejandro & McBride, Linden, 2014. "Agricultural intensification in Ghana: Evaluating the optimist’s case for a Green Revolution," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 153-167.
    4. John Cockburn, 2002. "Income Contributions of Child Work in Rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Stifel, David, 2010. "The rural non-farm economy, livelihood strategies and household welfare," Journal of Cooperatives, NCERA-210, vol. 4(1), March.
    6. Chiara Del Bo & Carlo Fiorio & Massimo Florio, 2011. "Shadow Wages for the EU Regions," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 32(1), pages 109-143, March.
    7. Christopher Barrett & Daniel Clay, 2003. "How Accurate is Food-for-Work Self-Targeting in the Presence of Imperfect Factor Markets? Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 152-180.
    8. Dillon, Brian & Barrett, Christopher B., 2017. "Agricultural factor markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: An updated view with formal tests for market failure," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 64-77.
    9. Sauer, Johannes & Balint, Borbala, 2006. "Romanian Maize - Distorted Prices and Producer Efficiency," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21410, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Mukasa Adamon N. & Adeleke Oluwole Salami, 2016. "Working Paper 231 - Gender productivity differentials among smallholder farmers in Africa: A cross-country comparison," Working Paper Series 2324, African Development Bank.
    11. Palacios-López, Amparo & López, Ramon E., 2014. "Gender Differences in Agricultural Productivity: The Role of Market Imperfections," Working Papers 164061, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    12. Bezu, Sosina & Barrett, Christopher B. & Holden, Stein T., 2012. "Does the Nonfarm Economy Offer Pathways for Upward Mobility? Evidence from a Panel Data Study in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1634-1646.
    13. Alex Almeida & Boris Bravo-Ureta, 2011. "Agricultural Productivity And Off-Farm Labor Decisions By Heads And Spouses In Nicaragua: A Semiparametric Analysis Using Panel Data," ERSA conference papers ersa11p508, European Regional Science Association.
    14. Hernandez, Ricardo & Berdegue, Julio A. & Reardon, Thomas, 2012. "Modern Markets and Guava Farmers in Mexico," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 127649, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Palacios-Lopez,Amparo & López,Ramón, 2015. "Market imperfections exacerbate the gender gap: the case of Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7300, The World Bank.

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