Graduate student affiliate, Diane Charlton was awarded a Provost’s Dissertation Year Fellowship by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics. This fellowship supports promising doctoral students in their final year of graduate study in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and enables awardees to devote their full time to the completion of their dissertation.
Charlton has been awarded this fellowship for both the 2015-16 and the 2016-17 academic year. This fellowship will provide support as she continues her research in labor and agricultural economics. You can read Charlton's description of her dissertation below:
"I am investigating the transition of the rural Mexican labor force out of agriculture. The transition of the labor force out of agriculture is a fundamental stage of economic development that is observed worldwide. The United States labor force transitioned out of agriculture in the mid-twentieth century and averted a farm labor shortage by importing farm workers from a more labor abundant country, Mexico. The rural labor force in Mexico is now transitioning out of agricultural work and the U.S. and Mexico will have to compete for a shrinking supply of farm labor. Agriculture will likely move towards less labor-intensive crops and farms are expected to invest in new labor-saving technologies that make existing labor more productive, which will increase farm wages.
I identify the trend in the farm labor supply using household survey data that are nationally representative of rural Mexico. The data include work histories for all household members between 1980 and 2010. I unpack the trend into the underlying components that affect the probability that individuals work in agriculture. I am also working on a paper to identify the impacts of education on the probability that an individual from rural Mexico works in agriculture since access to secondary education has improved vastly in rural Mexico over the past several decades and the expected returns to education appear greater in the non-farm sector."