Size, supervision, and patterns of labor
Raaj Kumar Sah
Journal of Philippine Development, Volume 13, Number 23, 1986, pages 163-175.
(Post-publication note. This paper does not include an abstract. The excerpts below are from the paper.)
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This paper focuses on the role of supervision in agricultural production and labor transactions. It has been widely recognized that the own labor of a farmer (farm owner or operator) is potentially different from that of hired labor even when there is no significant difference in their skills, and that the productivity of hired labor depends, in part, on the extent of supervision and management provided by the farmer. This is because the labor hired on wages has not only a possible incentive to shirk; he (or she) also does not have the same level of commitment as the farmer to apply his labor in the most productive manner.
This paper develops and analyzes a model in which the choice of supervision (that is, how much to supervise and manage) is determined simultaneously with farmers' other choices, such as family labor supply (on farm and outside farm), inputs and outputs. The most noteworthy aspect of this model is that it predicts patterns of behavior, across different farm sizes, which are strikingly different than those which would arise if supervision had no economic role to play.