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Does off-farm employment contribute to agriculture-based environmental pollution? New insights from a village-level analysis in Jiangxi Province, China

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  • Shi, Xiaoping
  • HEERINK, Nico
  • QU, Futian

Abstract

This study examines the conventional wisdom that off-farm employment contributes to environmental pollution by increasing the use of agro-chemicals. In order to analyse the role of household decision making and village factor markets in more detail, we run simulations with a hybrid farm household/village computable general equilibrium model that is applied to a village in Northeast Jiangxi Province. We find that the negative lost-labour effect of off-farm employment on agricultural incomes is much stronger than the (small) positive income effect. As a result of reduced labour resources and increased leisure consumption, farm households reduce the intensity of rice cultivation as well as the production of (especially) cash crops. The shift in production activities is stronger for migration than for off-farm employment, because migrants cannot combine off-farm work with onfarm work, and because migration reduces the village market price of oxen services. The shift towards less intensive rice production means that off-farm employment (and migration in particular) reduces the levels of chemical inputs and manure used in agricultural production. The decline in fertilizer input is much larger than the decline in manure use, because manure is a nontradable commodity and is applied only once per year. We therefore conclude that migration and, to a lesser extent, local off-farm employment lead to lower incomes from agricultural production, but have benign effects on environmental quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Shi, Xiaoping & HEERINK, Nico & QU, Futian, 2011. "Does off-farm employment contribute to agriculture-based environmental pollution? New insights from a village-level analysis in Jiangxi Province, China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 524-533.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:524-533
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2010.08.003
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:2:p:186:d:64186 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Xianlei Ma & Nico Heerink & Ekko Ierland & Xiaoping Shi, 2016. "Land tenure insecurity and rural-urban migration in rural China," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(2), pages 383-406, June.
    3. Tian, Qing & Holland, John H. & Brown, Daniel G., 2016. "Social and economic impacts of subsidy policies on rural development in the Poyang Lake Region, China: Insights from an agent-based model," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 12-27.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:398:d:68705 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Li Jiang & Zhihui Li, 2016. "Urbanization and the Change of Fertilizer Use Intensity for Agricultural Production in Henan Province," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-12, February.
    6. Jiaxing Pang & Xingpeng Chen & Zilong Zhang & Hengji Li, 2016. "Measuring Eco-Efficiency of Agriculture in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-15, April.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1757-:d:113589 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Qu, Futian & Kuyvenhoven, Arie & Shi, Xiaoping & Heerink, Nico, 2011. "Sustainable natural resource use in rural China: Recent trends and policies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 444-460.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Off-farm employment; Agriculture-based environmental pollution; Input use; CGE model;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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