Policy and low-wage labor supply: a case study of policy and farm labor markets in New York state

Elizabeth Nisbet
Farmers and industry groups often advocate for change in immigration policy to address farm labor shortages. Such calls for intervention raise questions about the range of policies that relate to labor supply and affect farmworkers in local markets. This paper describes a case study of policies related to farmworker supply and how these play out in labor markets in New York, drawing from government and interest group records, statistics from the National Agricultural Workers Survey, and qualitative interviews. Results illustrate the complexity of policies influencing labor supply and workforce organization and point to challenges inherent in maintaining workforces while attending to the quality of farm work.
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