IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Agricultural Employment Patterns of Immigrant Workers in the United States


  • Cairns, Jennifer
  • Smart, Francis
  • Kandel, William
  • Zahniser, Steven


Despite of the important role international migration fills in the United States’ labor-intensive agricultural sector, few studies have addressed the individual characteristics and circumstances surrounding entry and exit by farm laborers. With increasing public attention on international migrant labor, policymakers have a need to understand the labor market patterns of these workers if they are to formulate appropriate immigration reforms, including temporary worker programs geared towards agriculture. In this analysis, we model the likelihood of entering agricultural employment by migrants to the United States. Using data from the Mexican Migration Project we find that migrants with higher levels of education and a greater command of English are less likely to work as agricultural laborers. Those that do enter agricultural occupation stay in the United States for shorter periods of time per trip than those who enter non-agricultural occupation. In future analysis we will attempt to model the demand for agricultural farm work as a determinant of the decision by migrants to enter the U.S. market for hired farm labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Cairns, Jennifer & Smart, Francis & Kandel, William & Zahniser, Steven, 2010. "Agricultural Employment Patterns of Immigrant Workers in the United States," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61327, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea10:61327
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.61327

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    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:ags:aaea10:61327. 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: (AgEcon Search). 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.