Governing of Labor Supply in Bulgarian Farms
24 Pages Posted: 23 May 2006
Date Written: 2004
This is the second paper from a series of articles on governing of different types of transactions in Bulgarian farming applying the framework of New Institutional and Transaction Cost Economics. It is based on a large scale microeconomic data from 194 typical commercial farms of different sizes and types from all regions of the country. This study concentrates on factors and modes for organization of labor supply in Bulgarian farms. Structure of kind of labor (permanent, seasonal, irregular, others), and type of labor use (in production, in administration, in management, for protection, others), and labor source (own labor, family labor, hired labor, cooperative members, others) in farms of different types and sizes has been determined. Microeconomic factors responsible for various organizational and contract choices for labor supply (own cultivation, using of family labor, hiring of workers, cooperation etc.) have been specified. Dominant governing modes have been explained by comparative advantages for saving on transacting costs (for finding partners, contracting, monitoring of hired labor, conflict resolutions, renewal of contracts etc). Limits of farm extension (optimization) through effective alternative (to outside labor supply) modes for "internal" service, and inputs, and land supply have been determined. Transaction costs economizing framework has been used through analysis of: types of wage formation (time based, output based, mixed) for different categories of labor; reasons for hiring labor (extension of business, support of own labor, support of family labor, replace of family labor, others); ways of application of hired labor (in production, in administration, in management, in protection, others); personality of different types of hired labor (relatives; close friends; known before hiring; unknown before first hiring; same persons every time; from universities, agricultural schools etc; others); frequency of experiencing problems leading to suspension of labor contracts; main reasons for conflicts with hired labor (lack of qualification; lack of desire for hard work; lack of entrepreneurial spirit; cheating, stealing etc); kind of contracts with different types of labor (informal, written) and extend of specifications of contract obligations; ways of income formation (fixed monthly wages, daily based, output based, based on final year results, others) of different categories of labor in crop, livestock, services and management. Relative level of farms transaction costs associated with labor supply (for finding needed labor, negotiation and contracting, for directing and monitoring of hired labor, for contract enforcement and disputing etc.) has been determined. Besides high governing costs associated with labor contracts other factors restricting farm enlargement of Bulgarian farms as present stage are: high enforcement costs of contracts in general, and enormous credit supply and marketing costs. According to estimate of farm managers most important factors for future development of farms relate to improvement of institutional environment (guaranteed marketing, enforcement of Laws and private contracts, macro-economic stability, legislation framework, access to free markets) and own and family experience in farm management.
Keywords: type of labor and service contract, organization of labor, governing of labor and service supply, farm organization, transaction costs, transitional farming structure
JEL Classification: D23, J41, J43, L22, M13, 017, Q13
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