Labor Pains: Valuing Seasonal versus Year-Round Labor on Organic Farms

Although organic farm activities seem to demand year-round employees, seasonal workers dominate the organic labor market. We use the elasticity of complementarity to assess input substitutability and predict adjustments. Farm size and farm workers are complementary inputs. Incentives that encourage farmers to expand employment of year-round and seasonal workers raise the marginal product and rates of return to organic acreage in relative wage payments. A commitment to local sales reduces organic farm incomes. A shift to local sales leads to decreased use of seasonal workers but at higher wages, with smaller adjustments in the wages of year-round workers.
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Lohr, Luanne; Park, Timothy A., Labor Pains: Valuing Seasonal versus Year-Round Labor on Organic Farms, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 34, Issue 2, August 2009, Pages 316–331

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