Labor Supply Elasticity of US Farm Workers

Alexandra Hill, UC Davis
Thursday, October 27, 2016

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Comments by Zach Rutledge

Discussion notes by Heidi Schweizer

ARE grad student Alexandra Hill used the NAWS to estimate the labor supply elasticity of various types of workers, US citizen, legal, and unauthorized, and found that unauthorized males are least responsive to wage-inducements to offer more hours of work.  This is consistent with grower behavior, which aims to satisfy current workers via end-of-season and other bonuses rather than raising wages, which most farm employers believe will shift workers from farm to farm rather than add to the labor supply. Graduate students Zach Rutledge and Heidi Schweizer reviewed the data and methods used by Hill, and concluded that Hill was tackling an important question of public policy interest.