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Title:Rural Labor Productivity on Small Farms in the State of Rio Grande Do Sul - Brazil
Author(s):Quintana, Flavio
Department / Program:Agricultural Economics
Discipline:Agricultural Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, Agricultural
Abstract:This study identifies agricultural production lines, access and use of rural credit, agricultural labor marginal productivity and effects of agricultural labor migration to urban areas in microregion 325 in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The study is related to the agricultural year of 1978/1979 and data was collected in the municipio of Frederico Westphalen. The sample is constituted by 124 farms sized between four and fifty hectares.
A Cobb-Douglas production function was estimated and marginal value product of labor was equated to the minimum wage to identify disguised underemployment. Effects on labor wages in both sectors from a transfer of agricultural labor surplus to the urban sector were estimated.
The analysis leads to the following major findings: (1) Independent of farm size, the basic agricultural production lines are corn, soybeans, and hogs. (2) Cropping concentration, understood as average with crops, is greater in farms 25 hectares or under than in farms 25-50 hectares sized. (3) Independent of farm size all farms had access to rural credit. Farmers who had not made use of rural credit presented personal reasons unrelated to farm size for this. (4) Working capital investment is strongly related to soybeans. More than 72% of the number of loans were related to soybeans. (5) Disguised underemployment was found in the farms which constitute the sample. In 0-25 hectares sized farms the marginal value product of labor was found to be negative and in 25-50 hectares sized farms it was less than the minimum wage. (6) Transfer of surplus agricultural labor to the urban sector implied reductions in the value of the minimum wage. These reductions, depending on the urban labor demand elasticities, varied between 63.25% and 99.95% of the current minimum wage.
Changes in agricultural government policies from these findings are suggested. Agrarian reform, restructuring of the rural credit system to allow crop diversification and changes in agricultural research emphasis, introduction of a more efficient system of agricultural product price guarantee, training of rural labor force and institutional changes are some of the measures indicated, among others.
Issue Date:1982
Description:226 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8209621
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1982

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