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Moving off the farm and intensifying agricultural production in Shandong: a case study of rural labor market linkages in China


  • Jikun Huang
  • Yunhua Wu
  • Scott Rozelle


This study examines linkages between off-farm labor markets and the labor allocated by farmers to on-farm production of fruit crops. Using a stratified random sample of rural households in Shandong Province, we find that young and educated members of the labor force tend to work more frequently in the off-farm labor market, and that off-farm employment reduces the likelihood and intensity of fruit production. Fruit production is associated with lower levels of off-farm employment. Households and individuals who are less likely (or able) to find off-farm employment can benefit from shifting into fruit production. Although off-farm employment is an important avenue out of poverty, fruit production provides ways for the less educated and older households to raise their income. Copyright (c) 2009 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Jikun Huang & Yunhua Wu & Scott Rozelle, 2009. "Moving off the farm and intensifying agricultural production in Shandong: a case study of rural labor market linkages in China," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 203-218, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:40:y:2009:i:2:p:203-218

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bowlus, Audra J. & Sicular, Terry, 2003. "Moving toward markets? Labor allocation in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 561-583, August.
    2. Jian Zhang & Linxiu Zhang & Scott Rozelle & Steve Boucher, 2006. "Self-Employment With Chinese Characteristics: The Forgotten Engine Of Rural China'S Growth," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(3), pages 446-458, July.
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    6. Tao Yang, Dennis, 2004. "Education and allocative efficiency: household income growth during rural reforms in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 137-162, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katsushi S. Imai & Jing You, 2014. "Poverty Dynamics of Households in Rural China," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 76(6), pages 898-923, December.
    2. Hernandez, Ricardo & Reardon, Thomas, 2012. "Tomato Farmers and Modern Markets in Nicaragua: a Duration Analysis," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124587, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Asfaw, Solomon & McCarthy, Nancy & Paolantonio, Adriana & Cavatassi, Romina & Amare, Mulubrhan & Lipper, Leslie, 2015. "Diversification, Climate Risk and Vulnerability to Poverty: Evidence from Rural Malawi," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 230216, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Sharma, Govinda & Pandit, Ram & White, Ben & Polyakov, Maksym, 2015. "The Income Diversification Strategies of Smallholder Coffee Producers in Nepal," 2015 Conference (59th), February 10-13, 2015, Rotorua, New Zealand 202580, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    5. Zhang, Yuquan W. & Beach, Robert H. & Cai, Yongxia, 2013. "China’s Agriculture under Urbanization: A Partial Equilibrium Analysis," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150782, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2290-:d:122309 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jia, Lili & Petrick, Martin, 2011. "How land fragmentation affects off-farm labor supply in China: Evidence from household panel data," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011 114522, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    8. Jia, Lili & Petrick, Martin, 2014. "How does land fragmentation affect off-farm labor supply: panel data evidence from China," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 369-380.
    9. Babatunde, Raphael O. & Qaim, Matin, 2010. "Impact of off-farm income on food security and nutrition in Nigeria," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 303-311, August.
    10. Asfaw, Solomon & Savastano, Sara, 2015. "Topic: Building Resilience to Climate Change Through Social Protection and Climate-Smart Agriculture: Synergies and Trade-offs," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 210963, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Hernandez, Ricardo & Reardon, Thomas & Guan, Zhengfei, 2012. "Rural Nonfarm Employment and Farm Technology in Guatemala," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126849, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Hohfeld, Lena & Waibel, Hermann, 0. "Investments of Rural Households in Northeast Thailand and the Future of Small Scale Farming," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 52.
    13. Tuyen, Tran Quang, 2013. "Farmland and peri-urban livelihoods in Hanoi, Vietnam: evidence from household survey data," MPRA Paper 60847, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Dec 2014.
    14. Katsushi S. Imai & Jing You, 2011. "Poverty Dynamics of Households in Rural China: Identifying Multiple Pathways for Poverty Transition," Discussion Paper Series DP2011-35, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    15. Babatunde, Raphael O. & Qaim, Matin, 2010. "Impact of Off-farm Income on Food Security and Nutrition in Nigeria," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 97332, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
    16. Jessica Leight, 2016. "Grain into Gold? The Impact of Agricultural Income Shocks on Rural Chinese Households," Department of Economics Working Papers 2016-13, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    17. Benjamin Davis & Paul Winters & Thomas Reardon & Kostas Stamoulis, 2009. "Rural nonfarm employment and farming: household-level linkages," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 119-123, March.
    18. Rammohan, Anu & Pritchard, Bill, 2014. "The Role of Landholding as a Determinant of Food and Nutrition Insecurity in Rural Myanmar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 597-608.
    19. Chamberlin, Jordan & Jayne, T.S., 2013. "Unpacking the Meaning of ‘Market Access’: Evidence from Rural Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 245-264.
    20. Tran Quang, Tuyen, 2014. "Determinants of nonfarm participation among ethnic minorities in the Northwest Mountains, Vietnam," MPRA Paper 59158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Oct 2014.
    21. Adebayo Shittu, 2014. "Off-farm labour supply and production efficiency of farm household in rural Southwest Nigeria," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, December.

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