Where Did All the Migrant Farm Workers Go? by Maoyong Fan and Jeffrey M. Perloff

Aug. 11, 2016

The share of agricultural workers who migrate within the United States has fallen by about 60% since the late 1990s. This reduction in the number of migrant farmworkers increases the risk that fruits and vegetables will not be harvested before they spoil. On average over this period, one-third of the drop in the migration rate was due to changes in the demographic makeup of the workforce, while two-thirds was due to government and institutional changes in the market. However, in recent years, demographic changes were responsible for nearly half of the overall change.