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Effects on Employment, Wages, and Labor Standards of Non-Traditional Export Crops in Northeast Brazil

From: Latin American Research Review
Volume 38, Number 1, 2003
pp. 83-112 | 10.1353/lar.2003.0004


This article analyzes the effects on employment, wages, and labor standards of the growth of non-traditional, export-oriented, high-value crops in the Petrolina-Juazeiro region in Northeast Brazil. It focuses on understanding why these crops were accompanied by job creation, upskilling of labor, and improvements in wages and labor standards among rural wage workers. These labor effects can be explained by: (1) the type of crops involved and their high demand for skilled workers to meet high quality demands from consumers; (2) the limited supply of skilled workers in the region involved; (3) the consumer concerns for the labor conditions of production; (4) the characteristics of labor institutions, including laws and regulations, government agencies, and rural workers' unions; and (5) how labor institutions, crop and technology characteristics, and consumer concerns affected the balance of power between growers and rural wage workers and their respective organizations.

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