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Hidden underemployment among Irish farm holders 2002–2011

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This article examines the scale of hidden underemployment on Irish farms from 2002 to 2011. We provide a measure of hidden underemployment that is not captured by the national-level statistics. Hidden underemployment can be attributed to a number of factors relating to inadequate employment situations as described at the 16th International Conference of Labour Statisticians such as low productivity, the poor utilization of skills and other factors specific to agriculture. We place particular attention upon the potential role of off-farm labour supply in solving the underemployment problem. We utilize a two-stage residual inclusion model and a random effects probit model to examine the forces behind farm underemployment. We utilize a fixed effects model to examine the factors driving the severity of farm underemployment. Our findings suggest that instances of hidden underemployment increased between 2002 and 2011. Hidden underemployment appears to be a stubborn problem and is related to the absence of off-farm employment, low yield, livestock intensity and smaller than average farm size in the sheep and drystock cattle sectors in particular.

Keywords: J22; J43; J48; Q12; agriculture; inadequate employment; job quality; time-use; underemployment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Agricultural Economics and Farm Survey Department, Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Galway, Ireland

Publication date: 2014-09-12

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