Not your average job: measuring household labor on Tanzanian farms
Joachim De Weerdt and
No 569664, Working Papers of LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance from KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance
A good understanding of the constraints on agricultural growth in Africa relies on the accurate measurement of smallholder labor. Yet, serious weaknesses in these statistics persist. The extent of bias in smallholder labor data is examined by conducting a randomized survey experiment among farming households in rural Tanzania. Agricultural labor estimates obtained through weekly surveys are compared with the results of reporting in a single end-of-season recall survey. The findings show strong evidence of recall bias: people in traditional recall-style modules report working up to four times as many hours per person-plot relative to those reporting labor on a weekly basis. If hours are aggregated to the household level, however, this discrepancy disappears, a factor driven by the underreporting by recall households of people and plots active in agricultural work. The evidence suggests that these competing forms of recall bias are driven not only by failures in memory, but also by the mental burdens of reporting on highly variable agricultural work patterns to provide a typical estimate. All things equal, studies suffering from this bias would understate agricultural labor productivity.
Keywords: Recall error; Measurement error; Farm labor; Agricultural productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Published in Policy Research Working Paper Series - Policy Research Working Paper 7773 , pages 1-40
Downloads: (external link)
KU Leuven intranet only, request a copy at https://lirias.kuleuven.be/handle/123456789/569664
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ete:licosp:569664
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers of LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance from KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance
Bibliographic data for series maintained by library EBIB ().