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Off-Farm Employment, Land, and Life Cycle: Transmigrant Households in South Sumatra, Indonesia

Off-Farm Employment, Land, and Life Cycle: Transmigrant Households in South Sumatra, Indonesia AbstractThis paper examines the role that off-farm employment (OFE) plays in the restructuring of peasant economies. In particular, we examine the incidence and pattern of labor allocation as it relates to landownership and family life cycle (FLC) stages in the Indonesian transmigration program. Our analyses utilize the political economy debate between Lenin and Chayanov regarding the relative importance of demographic and economic differentiation. Using a sample of South Sumatran transmigration schemes, our findings show that both size of landholdings and the life cycle stage of the family influence labor allocation decisions. Near-landless peasants and those in an early stage of the FLC, where the consumer labor ratio is unbalanced, are much more likely to engage in either on-scheme or off-scheme OFE. Beyond landholdings and family life cycle stage, we find that OFE allocation may be understood more fully in terms of the geographic context of the sites. In this analysis, near-landless farmers on poorer tidal rice settlements are much more likely to undertake OFE than are farmers on the oldest and most differentiated irrigated rice schemes. These interpretations are enriched further, however, by considering a series of individual family case histories from the several scheme types. The results show how landownership and other means of production can influence the trade-off between children's education and the use of child labor at various stages in the FLC. Therefore, the dualism established in the Lenin-Chayanov debate needs to be replaced by more locally sensitized analyses that examine human actions within their political-economic contexts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Economic Geography Taylor & Francis

Off-Farm Employment, Land, and Life Cycle: Transmigrant Households in South Sumatra, Indonesia

Economic Geography , Volume 70 (3): 24 – Jul 1, 1994

Off-Farm Employment, Land, and Life Cycle: Transmigrant Households in South Sumatra, Indonesia

Economic Geography , Volume 70 (3): 24 – Jul 1, 1994

Abstract

AbstractThis paper examines the role that off-farm employment (OFE) plays in the restructuring of peasant economies. In particular, we examine the incidence and pattern of labor allocation as it relates to landownership and family life cycle (FLC) stages in the Indonesian transmigration program. Our analyses utilize the political economy debate between Lenin and Chayanov regarding the relative importance of demographic and economic differentiation. Using a sample of South Sumatran transmigration schemes, our findings show that both size of landholdings and the life cycle stage of the family influence labor allocation decisions. Near-landless peasants and those in an early stage of the FLC, where the consumer labor ratio is unbalanced, are much more likely to engage in either on-scheme or off-scheme OFE. Beyond landholdings and family life cycle stage, we find that OFE allocation may be understood more fully in terms of the geographic context of the sites. In this analysis, near-landless farmers on poorer tidal rice settlements are much more likely to undertake OFE than are farmers on the oldest and most differentiated irrigated rice schemes. These interpretations are enriched further, however, by considering a series of individual family case histories from the several scheme types. The results show how landownership and other means of production can influence the trade-off between children's education and the use of child labor at various stages in the FLC. Therefore, the dualism established in the Lenin-Chayanov debate needs to be replaced by more locally sensitized analyses that examine human actions within their political-economic contexts.

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References (21)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 1994 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1944-8287
eISSN
0013-0095
DOI
10.2307/143994
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis paper examines the role that off-farm employment (OFE) plays in the restructuring of peasant economies. In particular, we examine the incidence and pattern of labor allocation as it relates to landownership and family life cycle (FLC) stages in the Indonesian transmigration program. Our analyses utilize the political economy debate between Lenin and Chayanov regarding the relative importance of demographic and economic differentiation. Using a sample of South Sumatran transmigration schemes, our findings show that both size of landholdings and the life cycle stage of the family influence labor allocation decisions. Near-landless peasants and those in an early stage of the FLC, where the consumer labor ratio is unbalanced, are much more likely to engage in either on-scheme or off-scheme OFE. Beyond landholdings and family life cycle stage, we find that OFE allocation may be understood more fully in terms of the geographic context of the sites. In this analysis, near-landless farmers on poorer tidal rice settlements are much more likely to undertake OFE than are farmers on the oldest and most differentiated irrigated rice schemes. These interpretations are enriched further, however, by considering a series of individual family case histories from the several scheme types. The results show how landownership and other means of production can influence the trade-off between children's education and the use of child labor at various stages in the FLC. Therefore, the dualism established in the Lenin-Chayanov debate needs to be replaced by more locally sensitized analyses that examine human actions within their political-economic contexts.

Journal

Economic GeographyTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 1, 1994

Keywords: off-farm employment; landownership; family life cycle; social and demographic differentiation; transmigration; Indonesia; labor allocation

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