Labor markets and income generation in rural Argentina
This paper addresses three areas of the rural labor market-employment, labor wages, and agriculture producer incomes. Findings show that the poor allocate a lower share of their labor to farm sectors than the nonpoor do, but still around 70 percent work in agriculture, and the vast majority of rural workers are engaged in the informal sector. When examining nonfarm employment in rural Argentina, findings suggest that key determinants of access to employment and productivity in nonfarm activities are education, skills, land access, location, and gender. Employment analyses show that women have higher probability than men to participate in rural nonfarm activities and they are not confined to low-return employment. Moreover, workers living in poorer regions with land access are less likely to be employed in the nonfarm sector. There is strong evidence that educated people have better prospects in both the farm and nonfarm sectors, and that education is an important determinant of employment in the better-paid nonfarm activities. Labor wage analyses reveal that labor markets pay lower returns to poorer than to richer women and returns to education are increasing with increased level of completed education and income level. And nonfarm income and employment are highly correlated with gender, skills, household size, and education. This analysis also shows a rather heterogeneous impact pattern of individual characteristics across the income distribution, but education is important for all levels of income. Agricultural producer income analyses reveal that producers'income monotonically increases with land size and with completed education level, and positively correlates with road access and use of electricity, fertilizer, and irrigation. Finally, farms operated by women are slightly more productive than farms operated by men.
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