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Publications (2)0 Total impact

  • Latika Bharadwaj, Jill L. Findeis
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    ABSTRACT: The diversity of farmwomen's lives today reflects the diversity of agriculture itself. In the past century, farming has undergone dramatic structural, technological and managerial changes (Ahearn and Lee, 1991; Gardner, 1992). One of the major changes has been a decline in the number of farms and an increase in the multiple job-holding by farm household members, especially among women on U.S. farms (Hallberg et al., 1991). In the United States, around 71 percent households have either the principal farm operator or spouse or both employed in off-farm jobs (Mishra, El-Osta, Morehart, Johnson and Hopkins, 2002). Families combine farming with other off-farm activities for different objectives such as career development, lifestyle or personal fulfillment (Barlett, 1986). According to several studies, the growth of small farms in the United States and Canada may be due to the motivation of farm members to seek off-farm employment to support a favored lifestyle (Coughenour and Swanson, 1983; Bryden, 1994; Bessant, 2000). Fuller and Madge (1976) note that off-farm employment gives farm families a chance to interact with new people and to stabilize farm incomes. Mishra and Goodwin (1997) and Mishra (1996) found a positive correlation between off-farm employment and farm income variability, indicating that off-farm employment helps many farm households to diversify income risks. Studies have documented womenÂ’s extensive participation in farm and off-farm work. Rosenfeld (1985), studying on U.S. farm women in 1980, concluded that higher average education levels, advances in labor-saving technologies in the home, and smaller family sizes have contributed to the trend toward more U.S farm women being employed off the farm. The off-farm income contributions of women have increased, due to both higher participation rates of farm women in external (off-farm) labor markets and to the higher real wages earned by women today (Olfert, 1993; Findeis, 2002). In the 1980 U.S. National Farm Survey (Rosenfeld, 1985), reasons for working off-farm varied: 57% of farm women reported financial reasons, 18% stated social reasons, 16% acknowledged maintenance of career skills, and the remaining 9% gave other (miscellaneous) reasons for working off-farm. The larger proportion of women employed off the farm for financial reasons suggests that working women have an important role in keeping the farm financially secure. Several studies also indicate that farm women prefer to work off-farm as it is associated with better living conditions, more stable income, economic independence, social security, better work conditions and social acknowledgment and respect (Efstratoglou, 1998; OÂ’Hara, 1998). Different motivations to work off-farm exist and depend on the prevailing circumstances of the farm household and available off-farm job opportunities. But very few studies have analyzed the factors affecting work motivations, and the impacts of these motivations on individual behavior, e.g., the decision to engage in off-farm employment. Researchers have divided work motivations into economic and non-economic, or extrinsic and intrinsic, motivations. A person is extrinsically motivated when he/she works because of the monetary compensation for work; in contrast, an intrinsically-motivated individual derives direct utility from the work per se (Cappellari and Turati, 2004). Theories have been developed in relation to extrinsic and intrinsic motivations and how motivations, individually or the relationship between these motivations, might affect individual behavior (Ambrose and Kulik, 1999). Working at a non-farm job requires both motivation to enter the rural non-farm economy and ability to extract a continuous and rewarding livelihood from it. Factors such as the policy environment, institutions and vulnerability context in combination with individual characteristics, family characteristics, farm-related factors, financial, and locational characteristics of different households, will result in differing rural non-farm economy entry motivations, access capabilities and livelihood trajectories. Methodology and Data Given the above perspective, this paper examines factors affecting motivations for off-farm work among farm women in the U.S. Women were asked to rank different reasons for working in an off-farm job varying from not important, to somewhat important, to very important. Models are estimated in response to the motivation questions in the 2001 Penn State survey. Since the motivation questions on the 2001 Women on Farms Survey are answered by only farm women working off-farm, the problem of sample selection bias may exist. Hence, ordered probit models corrected for sample selection bias are estimated for the motivation choices. Further, few studies have estimated the impact of extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivations on individual work/activity participation. Hence, for this paper, motivations to work off-farm are divided into intrinsic and extrinsic motivations using the technique of factor analysis and then a multinomial logit model is estimated to understand the influence of selected factors on intrinsic and extrinsic work motivations in the case of off-farm work decision. The paper uses data from a national survey of U.S. farm women conducted by Pennsylvania State University in collaboration with researchers at the Economic Research Service (ERS, USDA) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS, USDA). The analysis outlined above will further our understanding of farm household off-farm work choices, with a strong focus on the labor decisions of farm women. Contribution The study not only improves understanding of how individual, human capital, farm and family, and labor market characteristics as well as regional variations affect individual work motivations, but also motivations to work for intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. If U.S. farm households are diversifying their economic activities to a greater extent now than in the past, then it is important to understand the motivations, means and outcomes of this heterogeneous diversifying process, so that appropriate rural development initiatives can be introduced to facilitate off-farm job opportunities and higher non-farm wages.
    02/2007;
  • Latika Bharadwaj, Jill L. Findeis
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    ABSTRACT: One of the most important changes affecting the agricultural sector in the U.S. has been the increase in off-farm employment and multiple job-holding, especially among women on U.S. farms. This paper examines motivations for off-farm work among farm women in different farm production regions in the U.S. Further, the determinants of off-farm earnings of farm women (and their spouses) are analyzed as well as the receipt of employee benefits by either (or both) the farm woman and farm man. The paper goes beyond assessment of the important role of using off-farm work as a means of accessing health insurance and examines other types of benefits as well, including income for retirement. Background Based on a national survey of farm women conducted in 1980, Rosenfeld (1985) concluded that higher average education levels, advances in labor-saving technologies, and smaller family sizes contributed to 37 percent of U.S. farm women working in off-farm jobs at that time. Data from a recent national survey conducted by Pennsylvania State University showed that in the past two decades this percentage has increased to 52 percent of all farm women, and 62 percent of all working-age farm women. A recent study by Mishra, El-Osta, Morehart, Johnson and Hopkins (2002) concludes that around 71 percent of households in the United States have either the principal farm operator or spouse or both employed in off-farm jobs. Fuller and Madge (1976) observe that off-farm employment gives farm families a chance to interact with new people and to stabilize farm incomes. Mishra and Goodwin (1997) and Mishra (1996) found a positive correlation between off-farm employment and farm income variability, showing that off-farm employment helps many farm households to diversify their income risks. Further, one of the most important reasons for farm family members to work off the farm is to provide the family financial protection that is generally not economical for the farm business to purchase. These non-wage compensations include group health insurance, and group life insurance, as examples (Scholl, 1983; Jensen and Salant, 1985). Fringe benefits are important as they are not taxed as income and can be purchased by groups for lower per unit costs. Methodology Data. In 2001, a national survey of U.S. farm women was conducted by Pennsylvania State University in collaboration with researchers at the Economic Research Service (ERS, USDA) and in conjunction with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS, USDA). The national survey was carried out by telephone. A total of 2,661 farm women responded to the survey that included questions on different motivations or reasons for off-farm work, off-farm wages and days worked, and receipt of employee benefits for both farm men and women. This information was collected in addition to data on characteristics of the farm household, the characteristics of the farm operation, and individual characteristics of both the farm woman and farm man, when present in the household. The data have been disaggregated by the nine production regions used by the USDA, and secondary data to reflect the effects of off-farm labor markets have been appended to the household dataset. Estimation Strategy. To assess those factors that affect the woman's reason for working off the farm, probit models are estimated. Responses range from not important, to somewhat important, to very important. Following this, models of the earnings of the farm man and farm woman in the household are estimated for the U.S. sample, using data on annual off-farm earnings. A Heckman-type approach is used for the earnings functions, since sample selectivity is likely to be a problem. In addition, the participation equations for men and women are jointly estimated, following Huffman (1991 ); Corsi and Findeis (2000 ); and Oluwole (2000). In the first stage, a bivariate probit model of participation in off-farm work is estimated and, if the work decisions between the farm man and women are shown to be jointly determined, the second stage estimation requires simultaneous estimation of the earnings functions of men and women. If sample selectivity is shown to be a problem, the inverse Mill's ratios are included in the second-stage model. Finally, data are available on whether the individual received employee benefits (overall and by type) from their off-farm employment. The following work choices are possible: no work, work in a part-time job with benefits, work in a part-time job without benefits, work in a full-time job with benefits, and work in a full-time job without benefits. A multinomial logit model is used to analyze the alternative work/benefit outcomes. The independent variables in the models include characteristics of the individual, the household, the farm and off-farm labor markets. The method of maximum likelihood is used for estimating the coefficients of the estimators. Preliminary Results Descriptive statistics show that working off the farm for benefits is an important or very important reason for the off-farm employment for many farm women in the United States. About one-third of women note that they work off the farm to help finance the farm operation. Further, preliminary models of earnings from off-farm work show that using a simultaneous equation model with corrections for sample selectivity is an appropriate approach. Earnings of U.S. farm woman are significantly affected by her level of education (as expected) and importantly by the characteristics of the off-farm labor market. The data also reveal that both farm women and men in the U.S. often receive employee benefits from their off-farm jobs, and that receipt of benefits tend to be in 'packages' - i.e., if the individual receives health insurance, they are also very likely to receive other benefits from their employer as well. The survey shows that among women with off-farm work, the following employee benefits from off-farm work were more common: health insurance (59%), life insurance (52%), a pension (54%), paid vacation leave (56%) and paid sick leave (58%). Among men with off-farm work, the following benefits were among the most commonly received: health insurance (67%), life insurance (58%), a retirement pension (59%), paid vacation leave (62%) and paid sick leave (53 %). Preliminary models again show that both education and labor market characteristics strongly affect benefit receipt and full-time job status, and that full-time work without benefits is more common than anticipated.
    02/2003;