Zachariah Rutledge, University of California, Davis
No Farm Workers, No Food? Evidence from Specialty Crop Production
Date and Location
Thursday, October 22, 2020, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
This study provides reduced-form estimates of the effects of shifts in the farm labor supply on hand-harvested fruit and vegetable production. Using crop production and employment data from California, I estimate fixed-effects panel regressions linking farm employment (measured at the county-year level) to crop production outcomes (measured at the crop-county-year level). Because I use variation in equilibrium employment, as opposed to exogenous variation in the labor supply, I use an equilibrium displacement model to identify plausible sources of bias that may affect my empirical estimates. This exercise reveals that my point estimates should be interpreted as upper bounds for the effects of interest. Empirically, these bounds indicate that a one percent decrease in the farm labor supply (in terms of the number of workers) causes at most a 0.38% reduction in production in the top 10 producing counties, which together produce 86% of the total value of hand-harvested crops in the state. Production effects are channeled primarily through a reduction in harvested acreage, although there are some effects on yield.
Subscribe to Upcoming Seminars
Individual seminar and workshop announcements are circulated via separate mailing lists. To subscribe, send an email to the relevant list:
- Click here to subscribe to the Departmental Seminars.
- Click here to subscribe to the Agricultural Economics Workshop.
- Click here to subscribe to the Development Workshop.
- Click here to subscribe to the Econometrics Seminars.
- Click here to subscribe to the Environmental and Resource Economics Workshop and the Environmental and Energy Economics Workshop.
Contact Us2116 Social Sciences and Humanities
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Main Office: 530-752-1515
Student Advising Services: 530-754-9536
DeLoach Conference Room: 530-752-2916
Main Conference Room: 530-754-1850