ERIC Number: ED362366
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of Wage Differentials on Choosing To Work in Agriculture: Implications for the Immigration Control and Reform Act.
Perloff, Jeffrey M.
This report examines the wage differential necessary to induce nonagricultural workers to work in agriculture. The responsiveness of labor supply to wage changes is important because the Immigration Reform and Control Act may reduce the supply of immigrant farm labor in the United States. A random sample of 931 males with a ninth grade education or less, living outside of major metropolitan areas, was selected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey. Nineteen percent were hired agricultural workers. Subjects are described in terms of region, state, ethnicity, marital status, job characteristics, number of children, years of schooling (tables 2 and 3), years of experience, earnings, and weekly hours of work. Compared to nonagricultural workers, agricultural workers averaged 1 year less of education and 6 years less of work experience, and they were seven times as likely to be Mexican and about twice as likely to be Mexican-American or "other Hispanic." An empirical model was used to estimate the change in the number of agricultural workers given an increase in the agricultural wage. Results indicate that inducing nonagricultural workers to switch to agriculture may not be as costly as some have suggested. A 10 percent increase in wages may increase the numbers in agriculture of rural male workers with a ninth grade education by nearly 25 percent. However, in California, and especially in certain crops, a large percentage of the agricultural work force has traditionally been undocumented workers, so larger wage increases may be required to produce the same effects. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California State Dept. of Employment Development, Sacramento.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Immigration Reform and Control Act 1986