Project Description

Minimum wages in agriculture

In the period between the abolition of the Wages Councils and the introduction of the National Minimum Wage, agricultural workers were unique in their wages continuing to be subject to a legal minimum.  The level of the minimum varied according to the worker’s grade.  In this project, we used cross-section data collected for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the minimum wage to examine the determinants of wages for agricultural craft workers over the period 1991–1994. Applying limited dependent variable models to take account of the censoring in the data resulting from the minimum wage, we investigated the degree to which agricultural and broader labour markets are integrated, the impact of tied housing on wages, and the extent to which the minimum wage truncates the wage distribution.


Burton, M. and  Dorsett, R. (2001) The degree of monopsony power in agricultural labour markets, and the impact of the agricultural minimum wage: an application to craft workers in England and Wales.  Applied Economics 33(14): 1775-1784.  PDF – gated


Economic and Social Research Council