are150-review-questions-1-answers - University of...

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University of California, Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ARE 150 Fall 2019 Philip Martin Dist 9/23/10 [email protected] Due 9/30/10 Answers to Review Questions 1 1. A revolving-door labor market attracts entry-level workers, often unauthorized foreigners, to replace workers who leave for better jobs. The seasonal farm labor market resembles a revolving door in the sense that annual earnings are low because hourly wages are relatively low and seasonality often limits how many hours a worker can work during the year. Low annual earnings encourage 10 to 20 percent of the seasonal farm workers employed in e.g. 2010 not to return in 2011, with exits faster when more nonfarm jobs are available. Implications of a revolving door labor market include: (1) a keen employer interest in immigration policy to ensure an inflow of newcomers to replace workers who exit; (2) difficulties for unions because experienced workers who could be union leaders leave for better jobs; and (3) tension between government programs that aim to reduce poverty among seasonal farm workers and their children by helping them to “escape” from seasonal farm work and resulting “farm labor shortages” that prompt the migration of replacement workers from abroad. 2. A. Definitions of socio-economic problems often contain solutions. Farmers seeking to minimize production costs often define the seasonal farm labor problem in terms of costs—they want to pay relatively low wages to workers when they are needed and employed to hold down costs and remain competitive. The farmers’ preferred solution to the farm labor cost/competitiveness issue is to have government open border gates to allow the entry of newcomers willing to accept farm wages and conditions (or tolerate unauthorized migration). Worker advocates usually have a different starting point. They begin with “bad” farm labor market outcomes such as low wages, poor working conditions, and poor housing and ask government to (1) raise wages by increasing the minimum wage or enacting laws that tighten labor law regulations and encourage workers to join unions and (2) create programs that assist poor farm workers and their families with housing, training, health and other services. In the past, many unions urged restrictions on immigration to put upward pressure on farm wages, but today most farm worker unions see immigrants as a source of new members if they are workers with full US labor rights. Key--Employers want government to increase the supply of labor via immigration to avoid higher wages and costs. Worker advocates argue that low farm worker wages are bad, but most would rather have the government directly reduce farm worker poverty via higher minimum wages or with social programs
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that provide services to farm workers and their families rather than by restricting immigration. These different employer and worker definitions of the farm labor problem suggest different solutions—for farmers an open door for migrants, and
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This note was uploaded on 10/04/2011 for the course ARE 150 taught by Professor Martin during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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are150-review-questions-1-answers - University of...

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