Insect Population Dynamics, Pesticide Use, and Farmworker Health

Posted: 11 Sep 2000

See all articles by David L. Sunding

David L. Sunding

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

Joshua Graff Zivin

Columbia University - Department of Health Policy and Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

We address the impacts of regulations designed to reduce pesticide poisoning of farmers and farm laborers. Attention is concentrated on pre-harvest interval regulations that impose a time interval between pesticide application and harvest. The incidence of poisoning is determined by aggregate pesticide use, worker exposure, and toxicity. A dynamic, stochastic model of insect population growth is developed and used to measure the incentives for pesticide use. Increasing the pre-harvest interval has an ambiguous effect on the number of harvest worker poisonings. Pesticide taxation unambiguously reduces the number of worker poisonings. Theoretical results are quantified in a case study of mevinphos application on leaf lettuce in California's Salinas Valley.

JEL Classification: Q12

Suggested Citation

Sunding, David L. and Zivin, Joshua Graff, Insect Population Dynamics, Pesticide Use, and Farmworker Health. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235955

David L. Sunding

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )

Center for Sustainable Resource Development and Cooperative
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Joshua Graff Zivin (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

600 West 168th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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