Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics


Labor Organization and the Adoption of IPM

Beginn: 12/2004
Ende: 10/2007

The research project has the main goal to test theoretically derived hypotheses on the effect of opportunity costs and organization of labor on technology adoption empirically. The hypotheses to be tested are derived from the theoretical model of Beckmann and Wesseler (2003). The model allows the identification of the threshold for adopting an IPM strategy at farm level conditional on among other factors the organization and the opportunity costs of labor. The model predicts that under owner operated pesticide application an overall increase in opportunity costs of labor decreases the competitiveness of IPM compared to farmer's best practice (FBP). The results change if division of labor is assumed, a common observation in agriculture. Depending on the organization of agricultural labor, an increase in labor costs can increase the competitive advantage of IPM.

The results of the study will contribute to three lines of research: First, to the exploration of the relationship between labor organization and innovation in general, which is a neglected area of research in economics, second, to the improvement of our understanding about the different factors that can explain farmers' adoption of IPM, third, to the improvement of the measurement and estimation technique for technological adoption studies.

The case of integrated pest management (IPM) is in particular relevant, since this technology is highly supported by governments because of its positive environmental and health effects. If our research confirms our hypotheses than labor market policies that increase the minimum wage rate of hired farm labor will increase the probability of IPM adoption, while polices that increase the opportunities of the decision maker will decrease the probability of IPM adoption. Under a differentiated organization of labor, the possibility exists that agricultural policies, environmental policies and labor market policies can go hand in hand.

MitarbeiterInnen: Evi Irawan

Projektpartner: Dr. Justus Wesseler, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Dr. Suwanna Praneetvatakul, Kasetsart University, Thailand

Leiter: Dr. Volker Beckmann

How labour organization may affect technology adoption: an analytical framework analysing the case of integrated pest management