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Feast or flee: Government payments and labor migration from U.S. agriculture

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  • D’Antoni, Jeremy M.
  • Mishra, Ashok K.
  • Barkley, Andrew P.

Abstract

Government payments have been a part of agriculture since 1933 and at no time has the government stated a policy objective of decreasing the agricultural labor force. The reality of the matter may be considerably different. Using time series data and new econometric techniques, this study finds agricultural policy may have an unintended impact on labor migration. Specifically, we find that government payments increased labor migration from the farm. From 1939 to 2007, increased direct government payments resulted in greater migration of labor from agriculture. Government policy appears to have shown limited success at sustaining the agricultural labor force.

Suggested Citation

  • D’Antoni, Jeremy M. & Mishra, Ashok K. & Barkley, Andrew P., 2012. "Feast or flee: Government payments and labor migration from U.S. agriculture," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 181-192.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:181-192 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2011.10.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ashok K. Mishra & Barry K. Goodwin, 1997. "Farm Income Variability and the Supply of Off-Farm Labor," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 880-887.
    2. Dewbre, Joe & Mishra, Ashok K., 2007. "Impact of Program Payments on Time Allocation and Farm Household Income," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(03), December.
    3. Hisham S. El-Osta & Ashok K. Mishra & Mitchell J. Morehart, 2008. "Off-Farm Labor Participation Decisions of Married Farm Couples and the Role of Government Payments," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 311-332.
    4. Mishra, Ashok & El-Osta, Hisham & Gillespie, Jeffrey M., 2009. "Effect of agricultural policy on regional income inequality among farm households," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 325-340, May.
    5. Anonymous & Hopkins, Jeffrey W., 2003. "Decoupled Payments: Household Income Transfers In Contemporary U.S. Agriculture," Agricultural Economics Reports 34057, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    6. Bloom, David E. & Freeman, Richard B., 1988. "Economic development and the timing and components of population growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 57-81, April.
    7. Hisham El-Osta & Ashok Mishra & Mary Ahearn, 2004. "Labor Supply by Farm Operators Under “Decoupled” Farm Program Payments," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 367-385, August.
    8. Barry K. Goodwin & Ashok K. Mishra, 2004. "Farming Efficiency and the Determinants of Multiple Job Holding by Farm Operators," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 722-729.
    9. Gardner, Bruce L., 2008. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in the United States and Canada," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48573, World Bank.
    10. H. Frederick Gale, 1994. "Longitudinal Analysis of Farm Size over the Farmer's Life Cycle," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 113-123.
    11. Mundlak, Yair, 1979. "Intersectoral factor mobility and agricultural growth:," Research reports 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. D'Antoni, Jeremy M. & Mishra, Ashok K. & Joo, Hyunjeong, 2012. "Welfare Implications of a Reduction in Government Payments: The Role of Fringe Benefits," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124766, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor migration; Agricultural policy; Direct government payments; Farm income; Farm households; Time-series analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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