Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Walters, Lurleen M.

Committee Member

Williams, Brian

Committee Member

Harri, Ardian

Committee Member

Medina, Dominga Elizabeth Canales

Committee Member

Orozco-Aleman, Sandra L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Labor intensive sectors such as the specialty crop sector have historically had strong reliance on foreign labor, constituting roughly oneifth of all U.S. farms while incurring roughly two-thirds of direct-hire expenses. It is estimated that more than half unauthorized of the foreign-born labor force in the specialty crop sector are unauthorized for US employment. Using data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey for 1989-2014, this study uses a treatment effects approach (via propensity score matching and minimum-biased estimation) to evaluate the farm wage implications of legalization of foreign-born specialty crop farm workers nationally, as well as specifically in California. Positive wage effects are estimated in nationally and in California, with higher magnitude effects observed in California.