Effects of the Great Recession on the U.S. Agricultural Labor Market


Anita Alves Pena, Jeffrey Perloff, Maoyong Fan


agriculture, farm worker, labor, labor supply, recession, undocumented immigrants


Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

Year Published:


Policy Summary

Perloff et al examines the effect that recessions have on agriculture labor supply and on agriculture output. To do this, they examine the 1990-1991, 2001, and 2008 recessions to see how the pay, probability of receiving a bonus, and hours worked weekly change for documented and undocumented farm workers. They conclude that agriculture yields remain constant during recessions, yet pay for undocumented farm workers often increases. This paper provides insight as to how the agricultural labor force and compensation for labor performed can be expected to change during the next recession.  

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