Journal Article

Comparative Advantage, Information and the Allocation of Workers to Tasks: Evidence from an Agricultural Labour Market

Andrew D. Foster and Mark R. Rosenzweig

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 63, issue 3, pages 347-374
Published in print July 1996 | ISSN: 0034-6527
e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2297887
Comparative Advantage, Information and the Allocation of Workers to Tasks: Evidence from an Agricultural Labour Market

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We use data from an agricultural labour market in which workers receive both time- and piece-rate wages and shift frequently among employers and tasks, to assess the roles of comparative advantage, information problems and preferences in determining the allocation of workers. The estimates which impose minimal structure not implied by economic theory are consistent with a one-factor productivity model, and indicate that information asymmetries are present but workers are sorted according to comparative advantage. In particular, the disproportionate presence of female workers in weeding activities is due not to worker or employer preferences but to comparative advantage and statistical discrimination.

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Subjects: Economics

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