IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Immigration and the US farm labour supply


  • J. Edward Taylor1

    () (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, USA)

  • Stephen R. Boucher

    (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, USA)

  • Aaron Smith

    (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, USA)

  • Peri L. Fletcher

    (Institute of Governmental Affairs, University of California, Davis, USA)

  • Antonio Yúnez-Naude

    (Centre for Economic Studies at El Colegio de México, Mexico)


This paper uses unique data from rural Mexico to examine the supply of immigrant hired labour to US farms. Econometric evidence indicates that immigration policy reforms had unintended consequences for farm labour supply. The long-term trend in migration from rural Mexico to US farms is decreasing, and in recent years, US farms have drawn more labour from remote and less developed areas of rural Mexico. Other high income countries, as well as some developing nations, mirror the US in reliance on foreign agricultural workers. Our analysis questions the sustainability of an agricultural system that depends on foreign sources of labour, and highlights the importance of labour productivity-enhancing technological change.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Edward Taylor1 & Stephen R. Boucher & Aaron Smith & Peri L. Fletcher & Antonio Yúnez-Naude, 2012. "Immigration and the US farm labour supply," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 9(1), pages 87-99, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:9:y:2012:i:1:p:87-99

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Marquez Alcala, German A., 2016. "Examining the Labor Market Consequences of Endogenous Low-skill Migration with a Market-based Immigration Policy," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236275, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Kimhi, Ayal, 2015. "Is foreign farm labor a blessing or a curse? Evidence from Israel," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211852, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Brady, Michael P. & Gallardo, R. Karina & Badruddozza, Syed & Jiang, Xiaojiao, 2016. "Regional Equilibrium Wage Rate for Hired Farm Workers in the Tree Fruit Industry," Western Economics Forum, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 15(1), pages 1-12.
    4. Kabir, Kayenat & Keeney, Roman M., 2017. "Modeling undocumented migration from Mexico to the United States – A structural examination of available information and options for analysis," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258376, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:9:y:2012:i:1:p:87-99. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (TPLondon). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.