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Title:Migrant labor and farm technical efficiency: Empirical evidence from Lesotho
Author(s):Mochebelele, Motsamai T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bullock, David S.
Department / Program:Agricultural Economics
Discipline:Agricultural Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, Agricultural
Economics, Labor
Abstract:The study estimates and tests for differences in technical inefficiencies for farms with and without migrant workers in Lesotho. It also considers farm size and gender implications for inefficiencies. The stochastic production frontier and logit models are estimated using maximum likelihood procedure.
The results showed that all farms were technically inefficient overall, irrespective of whether they participated in migrant labor or not. This suggests opportunities for substantial improvement in productivity given the current farming technology. Based on migrancy status, farms participating in migrant mine employment were found to be significantly less inefficient than the nonmigrant farms. This implies that the benefit from migrant incomes more than offsets the loss of farm labor due to mine employment. A study that fails to account for differences in farms according to their migrancy status could result in misleading policy recommendations because inefficiencies are non-neutral to migrancy status. Moreover, the study points to the importance of improved credit procedures to allow farmers take advantage of timely land preparation and seeding.
An analysis carried out for small, medium and large farms for migrant and nonmigrant sample strata showed productivity was independent of farm size. This implies that increased land holding due to permanent migration to South Africa or collectivization would not guarantee higher productivity across the board.
The results showed that success of farms is invariant to gender of the farm operator. First, a dichotomous analysis led to conclusion that gender did not lead to significant differences in the choice of management practices. Secondly, based on the frontier production analysis, no significant differences were found in average technical inefficiencies between farms managed by women and men.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Mochebelele, Motsamai T.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702612
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702612

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