Measuring Farm Labor: Survey Experimental Evidence from Ghana

30 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2019 Last revised: 21 May 2020

Date Written: January 23, 2019

Abstract

This study examines recall bias in farm labor by conducting a randomized survey experiment in Ghana. Hours of farm labor obtained from a recall survey conducted at the end of the season are compared with data collected weekly throughout the season. The study finds that the recall method overestimates farm labor per person per plot by about 10 percent, controlling for observable differences at baseline. Recall bias in farm labor per person per plot is accounted for by the fact that households in the recall group report fewer marginal plots and farm workers, denoted here as listing bias. This listing bias also creates a countervailing effect on hours of farm labor at higher levels of aggregation, so that the recall method underestimates farm labor per plot and per household and overestimates the labor productivity of household-operated farms. Consistent with the notion that recall bias is linked to the cognitive burden of reporting on past events, the study finds that recall bias in farm labor has a strong educational gradient.

Keywords: Food Security, Educational Sciences, Gender and Development, Labor Markets

Suggested Citation

Gaddis, Isis and Siwatu, Gbemisola Oseni and Palacios-Lopez, Amparo and Pieters, Janneke, Measuring Farm Labor: Survey Experimental Evidence from Ghana (January 23, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8717, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3321509

Isis Gaddis (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Gbemisola Oseni Siwatu

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Amparo Palacios-Lopez

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Wageningen UR ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

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