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Contradictory Evidence as a Guide for Future Research: Investigating the Relationship Between Pastoral Labour and Production

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While there is a general agreement that labour has a significant effect on agricultural production, questions have been raised as to whether this is the case for pastoral production. While a review of the literature reveals a prevalent assumption of a positive effect of labour inputs, studies quantifying the relationship have found contradictory evidence for this assumption. Consequently, it could be questioned if it is still justifiable to maintain the assumption of a positive relationship between pastoral labour and production. This article argues that this position is still tenable as previous studies raise important unanswered questions. First, previous studies have been characterized by varying sample sizes, an important issue if the effect of pastoral labour is marginal as some evidence suggests. Second, previous studies have used different measures of pastoral production and as such do not represent clear-cut evidence for or against the assumed positive relationship.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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