An econometric analysis of the Canadian agricultural labour market with specific reference to the prairie region

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Jones, Wayne Douglas
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The agricultural labour force declined by 713 thousand persons (60 percent) during the 1946 to 1974 period. This continual depletion of the agricultural labour force has led to a nation-wide shortage of qualified farm labour in recent years. Several reports have indicated that the lack of farm labour adversely affects the ability of Canadian agriculture to expand and develop. In view of possible world food shortages, the value of agriculture to the Canadian economy and the number of farm families affected, the problem of labour shortages restricting farm growth has become an important issue. The present study provides quantitative information about the market structure for farm labour in an attempt to aid policy-makers in the indentification of specific economic problems, the selection of short-run and long-run solutions, the evaluation of existing policies and programs and the forecasting of future conditions. The specific objectives of this study were: (1) to develop statical estimates of the demand for and supply of hired, unpaid family and operator labour in agriculture for the Prairie provinces, the Prairie region and Canada as a whole; (2) to analyze the interrelations among the three components of the agricultural labour force; (3) to obtain short-run and long-run elasticities of demand and supply for each agricultural labour... These relationships generally held true in both the demand and supply equations. Hired labour and operator labour did not exhibit a consitent interdependent relationship... The study concludes with a discussion on policy implications in the light of information obtained with respect to elasticities, component substitution and lagged responses.