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Abstract

This study provides empirical support for the H2A workers‘ importance as replacement for former undocumented farm workers. A county-level instrumental variable estimation identified determinants of the farmers’ H2A labor demand and its relative value in enhancing business growth. Results indicate that growth can be hampered by higher labor dependence as domestic workers have become more expensive, difficult to hire, and less reliable. Moreover, this study confirms the need for H2A replacement workers, yet this demand is tempered by program patronage issues, such as high attendant costs and timing of workers‘ availability, even if such workers provide the required output productivity.

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