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Intra-household labor supply, migration, and subsistence constraints in a risky environment: Evidence from rural El salvador

  • Halliday, Timothy J.

We investigate the use of intra-household labor allocation as a means of risk coping when subsistence constraints matter in rural El Salvador. We show that households increase the labor supply of its male members to the family farm and abroad in the US after being subjected to adverse agricultural productivity shocks. The latter is the result of a standard substitution effect, whereas the former is the result of subsistence concerns. Theoretically, these results are not at odds with each other if these events differentially impacted rich and poor households. We also show that the earthquakes of 2001 resulted in large reductions in the number of female members who were sent abroad and large increases in hours of domestic labor supplied by female members. We argue that this result is a consequence of subsistence motives because female labor supply at home increased despite lower remuneration.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 56 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1001-1019

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:6:p:1001-1019
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