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Firms and Farms: The Local Effects of Farm Income on Firms’ Demand

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  • Santangelo, G.

Abstract

How do changes in agricultural productivity affect firms? Using the predictions of a simple multi-sector general equilibrium model of the local economy and exploiting weather-induced agricultural volatility across India, I estimate the response of manufacturing firms to changes in agricultural productivity. I show that negative agricultural productivity shocks lower the cost of labor but that this does not cause firms to hire more. Firms’ production and employment in fact decrease because the shocks also reduce local income and hence the demand that firms face. My estimates provide evidence for a significant local demand effect. I then use my framework to show that this has key policy implications. I examine the introduction of a rural workfare program and assess how it affects firms. I show that the program attenuates the impact of negative agricultural shocks on firms because of its counter-cyclical effects on local wage and demand for manufacturing goods. The results highlight how policies that target households and increase their income can affect local market size and therefore the industrial sector through their general equilibrium effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Santangelo, G., 2019. "Firms and Farms: The Local Effects of Farm Income on Firms’ Demand," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1924, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1924
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Colmer, 2018. "Temperature, labor reallocation and industrial production: evidence from India," CEP Discussion Papers dp1544, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Demand; Agricultural Labor Market; Farms; Economic Development; Firms; Agriculture; Manufacturing; Rural; Agricultural Productivity; Regional Economic Activity; Regional General Equilibrium; Regional Labor Markets; NREGA; India; Workfare Programs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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