Verena Preusse, Manuel Santos Silva, Linda Steinhübel, Meike Wollni

Covid‐19 and agricultural labor supply: Evidence from the rural–urban interface of an Indian mega‐city

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Food Science

AbstractThis paper examines how India's national lockdown (March 25–May 31, 2020), in response to the spread of Covid‐19, affected the on‐farm family labor supply of 351 farm households in the rural–urban interface of Bangalore. We combine face‐to‐face survey data collected just before the start of the lockdown with phone survey data collected during the last 2 weeks of the lockdown. We find that 66% of farm households reduced their daily on‐farm family labor supply during the lockdown, by on average almost 40% compared with prelockdown levels. Changes in on‐farm family labor supply differed by key pre‐Covid‐19 household characteristics. Farm households that were engaged in crop marketing decreased their on‐farm family labor supply by an average of 3–4 h/day. In turn, farm households that relied on off‐farm income increased their on‐farm family labor supply by on average 3–4 h/day [EconLit Citations: J22, J43, Q12, Q13, Q54].

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