The End of Farm Labor Abundance
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
New data from the Mexico National Rural Household Survey reveal that the same shift out of farm work that characterized U.S. farm labor history is well underway in Mexico. Meanwhile, the demand for farm and non-farm workers in Mexico is rising, and a combination of recession and border enforcement has discouraged new Mexico-to-U.S. migration. The decline in foreign farm labor supply to the United States has far-reaching implications for farm production, immigration policy, and rural poverty in California and other labor-intensive agricultural regions.
J. Edward Taylor is Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Director of the Center on Rural Economies of the Americas and Pacific Rim (REAP) at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches courses on international development economics and econometric methods. He is also co-editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and founder of the alternative textbook initiative, RebelText.org. Taylor has written extensively on the economy-wide impacts of agricultural and development policies and on immigration. He co-authored Village Economies: The Design, Estimation and Use of Villagewide Economic Models (Cambridge University Press) and Worlds in Motion: Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millennium (Oxford University Press). He is listed in Who’s Who in Economics and has advised a number of foreign governments and international development agencies on matters related to economic development. His website is: http://jetaylor.ucdavis.edu.
Diane Charlton is a PhD student in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis. Her areas of focus are international economic development and migration. In the spring of 2012 she received a grant from the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research to investigate how the U.S. recession in 2008 affected migration from rural Mexico to U.S. farm work and the subsequent impacts on poverty. She received another grant from the Center for Poverty Research in fall of 2012 to research how variation in the number of agricultural migrant students affect the school outcomes of their non-migrant peers in California elementary schools. Prior to her graduate studies at Davis, Diane worked as a research assistant on two projects for the non-profit, Innovations for Poverty Action. She analyzed primary health care in rural India and assessed the viability of using chlorine dispensers to disinfect drinking water at community water sources in developing countries.