IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Weather Risk, Wages in Kind, and the Off-Farm Labor Supply of Agricultural Households in a Developing Country


  • Takahiro Ito
  • Takashi Kurosaki


This paper investigates the effects of weather risk on the off-farm labor supply of agricultural households in a developing country. Faced with the uninsurable risk of output and food price fluctuations, poor farmers in developing countries may diversify labor allocation across activities in order to smooth income in real terms.A key feature of this paper is that it distinguishes different types of off-farm labor markets: agriculture and nonagriculture on the one hand, and, wages paid in cash and wages paid in kind on the other. We develop a theoretical model of household optimization, which predicts that when farmers are faced with more production risk in their farm production, they find it more attractive to engage in nonagricultural work as a means of risk diversification, but the agricultural wage sector becomes more attractive when food security is an important issue for the farmers and agricultural wages are paid in kind. To test this prediction, we estimate a multivariate twolimit 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 off-farm labor supply increases with weather risk, the increase is much larger in the case of nonagricultural work than in the case of agricultural wage work, and the increase is much larger in the case of agricultural wages paid in kind than in the cash wage case. 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

  • Takahiro Ito & Takashi Kurosaki, 2007. "Weather Risk, Wages in Kind, and the Off-Farm Labor Supply of Agricultural Households in a Developing Country," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d07-226, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hst:hstdps:d07-226

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anjini Kochar, 1997. "Does Lack of Access to Formal Credit Constrain Agricultural Production? Evidence from the Land Tenancy Market in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 754-763.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Gaurav, Sarthak, 2015. "Are Rainfed Agricultural Households Insured? Evidence from Five Villages in Vidarbha, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 719-736.
    2. Ana María Ibañez Londoño & Juan Carlos Muñoz Mora & Philip Verwimp, 2013. "Abandoning Coffee under the Threat of Violence and the Presence of Illicit Crops. Evidence from Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 150, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. Kevin Donovan, 2011. "Risk, Farm Ownership, and International Productivity Differences," 2011 Meeting Papers 1088, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Veronesi, Marcella & Reutemann, Tim & Zabel, Astrid & Engel, Stefanie, 2015. "Designing REDD+ schemes when forest users are not forest landowners: Evidence from a survey-based experiment in Kenya," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 46-57.
    5. Günther Fink & B. Kelsey Jack & Felix Masiye, 2014. "Seasonal Credit Constraints and Agricultural Labor Supply: Evidence from Zambia," NBER Working Papers 20218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kurosaki, Takashi, 2013. "Vulnerability of Household Consumption to Floods and Droughts in Developing Countries: Evidence from Pakistan," CEI Working Paper Series 2012-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    7. 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.
    8. Witt, Rudolf & Waibel, Hermann, 2011. "Constraints to diversification of poor fishery-dependent households in Cameroon," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 6(2), September.
    9. Kurosaki, Takashi, 2011. "Wages in Kind and Economic Development: Historical and Contemporary Evidence from Asia," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 11, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    10. Djanibekov, Utkur & Djanibekov, Nodir & Khamzina, Asia, 2012. "CDM afforestation for managing water, energy and rural income nexus in irrigated drylands," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126765, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item


    covariate risk; non-farm employment; self-employment; food security; India;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:hst:hstdps:d07-226. 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: (Tatsuji Makino). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.