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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ito, Takahiro & Kurosaki, Takashi, 2006. "Weather Risk and the Off-­Farm Labor Supply of Agricultural Households in India," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25774, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25774

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Kurosaki, Takashi & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2002. "Insurance market efficiency and crop choices in Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 419-453, April.
    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, May.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy D. Foltz & Ousman Gajigo, 2012. "Working Paper 145 - Assessing the Returns to Education in the Gambia," Working Paper Series 376, African Development Bank.
    2. Ito, Takahiro, 2009. "Caste discrimination and transaction costs in the labor market: Evidence from rural North India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 292-300, March.
    3. Jeremy D. Foltz & Ousman Gajigo, 2012. "Assessing the Returns to Education in The Gambia-super- †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(4), pages 580-608, August.
    4. Laura Jeanet Martínez Rodríguez, 2017. "Impacto de la ola invernal sobre las dinámicas de uso del tiempo de hogares rurales," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 015603, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

    More about this item


    covariate risk; nonfarm employment; selfemployment; food security; India; Labor and Human Capital; Q12; O15; J22;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply


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