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Weather Risk and the Off-­Farm Labor Supply of Agricultural Households in India

  • Ito, Takahiro
  • Kurosaki, Takashi

As one of the measures to smooth income, this paper focuses on the diversification of labor allocation across activities. A key feature of this paper is that it pays particular attention to differences in the covariance between weather risk and agricultural wages and between weather risk and nonagricultural wages. We estimate a multivariate tobit model of labor allocation using household data from rural areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India. The regression results show that the share of the off­farm labor supply increases with the weather risk, and the increase is much larger in the case of nonagricultural wage work than in the case of agricultural wage work. Simulation results based on the regression estimates show that the sectoral difference is substantial, implying that empirical and theoretical studies on farmers' labor supply response to risk should distinguish between the types of off-­farm work involved.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/25774
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Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia with number 25774.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25774
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  1. Rose, Elaina, 2001. "Ex ante and ex post labor supply response to risk in a low-income area," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 371-388, April.
  2. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  3. Takashi Kurosaki & Marcel Fafchamps, 1998. "Insurance Market Efficiency and Crop Choices in Pakistan," Discussion Paper Series a358, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Anjini Kochar, 1999. "Smoothing Consumption by Smoothing Income: Hours-of-Work Responses to Idiosyncratic Agricultural Shocks in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 50-61, February.
  5. Lisa A. Cameron & Christopher Worswick, 2003. "The Labor Market as a Smoothing Device: Labor Supply Responses to Crop Loss," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 327-341, 05.
  6. Kochar, Anjini, 1997. "An empirical investigation of rationing constraints in rural credit markets in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 339-371, August.
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