Journal Article

Immigration Reform: What Does It Mean for Agriculture and Rural America?

Philip Martin and Linda Calvin

in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 32, issue 2, pages 232-253
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 2040-5790
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 2040-5804 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aepp/ppq006
Immigration Reform: What Does It Mean for Agriculture and Rural America?

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  • Particular Labour Markets
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Over half of the hired workers employed on U.S. crop farms have been unauthorized to work since the mid-1990s, thereby increasing risk for employers if increased immigration law enforcement reduces the availability and raises the cost of farm labor. Immigration reform that legalizes farm workers could speed exits from the farm workforce, thus putting upward pressure on farm wages. Better enforcement of existing immigration laws would reduce the supply of farm workers, also putting upward pressure on wages. Producer response to higher wages depends, in part, on the availability of guest workers and alternatives to hand labor such as labor-saving machinery.

Keywords: Immigration reform; U.S. agriculture; J61; J43; Q16

Journal Article.  9587 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Particular Labour Markets ; Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies ; Agricultural Economics

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