Seminario CEDE - Julieta Caunedo
Economic activity in developing countries is labor-intensive, low-scale, and fam- ily run, with substantial family managerial time spent supervising hired labor. We use a randomized control trial that subsidizes access to rental equipment markets to study the impact of the adoption of mechanized practices on labor demand, productivity and managerial span of control. The intervention induces greater mechanization in the upstream production stage, and labor savings con- centrated in downstream, non-mechanized stages. The reduction in worker su- pervision needs increases the span of control and allows households to increase non-agricultural income. We use the experimental elasticities to estimate a struc- tural model where farmers make labor supply decisions in the family enterprise and outside of it. The consumption-equivalent welfare from the intervention amounts to 0.9%. The model provides structural estimates of the marginal re- turn to capital at 8.8%, and the shadow value of family labor, 20% below their outside option in non-agriculture.