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Multiple job holdings among dairy farm families in New York and Ontario

  • Weersink, Alfons
  • Nicholson, Charles
  • Weerhewa, Jeeveka

Previous empirical studies of multiple job holding have tended to focus on the characteristics of those obtaining off-fann employment and the factors affecting the hours supplied to those obtaining off-farm activities. None of these studies have explicitly addressed the reasons behind the decision to seek off-farm employment. Neither have they been able to examine in-depth the important issue of how this major component of the farm sector responds to alternative policies, since most studies have used cross-sectional data for a given region. A comparison between countries would permit the analysis of how multiple job holding responds to differing government policies. The purpose of this paper is to examine the reasons for and factors affecting multiple job holdings of dairy farm families in neighboring regions of two counties, United States and Canada. The bordering regions of New York and Ontario have similar geographic conditions but significantly different farm support and social service policies. The results indicate the importance of farm income on why people work off the farm and provide evidence of multiple job holding as a flexible mechanism for coping with changes in the economic environment facing the household. For operators, the driving characteristics influencing off-farm labor participation is the farm's financial position. The supply-managed milk marketing system ensures higher and more stable returns for Ontario dairy farm labor. In contrast, it is family demographics, educational level and social support policy that appears to largely influence spousal off-farm employment decisions. Free medical care in Ontario lowers the reservation wage for household members. The effect of these farm and social support policies on the relative returns to labor in agriculture and non-farm employment explains the lower participation rate and hours supplied in off-farm work by both operators, and hours supplied in off-farm work by both operators and spouses in Ontari

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Article provided by Blackwell in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 127-143

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:18:y:1998:i:2:p:127-143
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  1. Huffman, Wallace E., 1991. "Agricultural Household Models: Survey and Critique," Staff General Research Papers 11008, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Huffman, Wallace E & Lange, Mark D, 1989. "Off-Farm Work Decisions of Husbands and Wives: Joint Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 471-80, August.
  3. Jensen, Helen H. & Salant, P., 1985. "Role of Fringe Benefits in Operator Off-Farm Labor Supply (The)," Staff General Research Papers 11235, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Long, James E & Jones, Ethel B, 1980. "Labor Force Entry and Exit by Married Womem: A Longitudinal Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(1), pages 1-6, February.
  5. Alwang, Jeffrey Roger & Stallmann, Judith I., 1992. "Supply And Demand For Married Female Labor: Rural And Urban Differences In The Southern United States," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(02), December.
  6. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1974. "Multivariate Regression and Simultaneous Equation Models when the Dependent Variables Are Truncated Normal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 999-1012, November.
  7. Huffman, Wallace, 1980. "Farm and Off-Farm Work Decisions: The Role of Human Capital," Staff General Research Papers 10973, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Alfons Weersink, 1992. "Off-farm Labor Decisions by Ontario Swine Producers," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 40(2), pages 235-251, 07.
  9. Ellen Goddard & Alfons Weersink & Kevin Chen & Calum G. Turvey, 1993. "Economics of Structural Change in Agriculture," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 41(4), pages 475-489, December.
  10. Ray D. Bollman, 1979. "Off-Farm Work by Farmers: an Application of the Kinked Demand Curve for Labour," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 27(3), pages 37-60, November.
  11. Fishe, Raymond P. H. & Trost, R. P. & Lurie, Philip M., 1981. "Labor force earnings and college choice of young women: An examination of selectivity bias and comparative advantage," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 169-191, April.
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