The Impact of Weather on Agricultural Labor Supply
21 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 17, 2017
Recent work shows that the weather affects U.S. labor productivity and supply (e.g., Deryugina and Hsiang, 2016). Although agricultural economists have identified factors that affect farmers’ allocation of labor between on- and off- farm work, they have not related labor supply to weather. We estimate the impact of temperature and precipitation on individual on-farm labor supply using 10 years of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey data. We find that temperature and farm operator labor supply have a parabolic relationship with a minimum at 61oF. We compute that one 1oF increase in annual temperature translates into 8.5 million hours of reduced country-wide farm operator labor valued at about $188 million. Precipitation has a significant but negligible marginal impact on the operator labor supply, consistent with the existing literature.
Keywords: farm, labor supply, weather
JEL Classification: J43, Q1, Q10, Q12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation