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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Why Do Fewer Agricultural Workers Migrate Now?

  • Author(s): Fan, Maoyong
  • Gabbard, Susan
  • Pena, Anita Alves
  • Perloff, Jeffrey M
  • et al.

The share of agricultural workers who migrate within the United States has fallen by approximately 60% since the late 1990s. To explain this decline in the migration rate, we estimate annual migration - choice models using data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey for 1989 – 2009. On average over the last decade of the sample, one - third of the fall in the migration rate was due to changes in the demographic composition of the workforce, while two - thirds was due to changes in coefficients (“structural” change). In some years, demographic changes were responsible for half of the overall change.

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