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Colombia: Rural Wages
Country Study > Chapter 2 > The Society and Its Environment > Income Distribution > Rural Wages

RURAL WAGES


Agricultural wages remained stagnant in real terms during the 1935-64 period, and in 1964 they were only 90 percent of the wages of unskilled construction workers and about 33 percent of those of blue-collar industrial workers. Except for a small increase in the early 1960s, real wages in agriculture changed little until the mid-1970s, when they increased substantially until 1980.

In contrast to the dampening effect of a labor surplus in the 1960s, the employment boom of the 1970s began to raise agricultural wages. The introduction of the caturra variety of coffee during the 1970s led to large-scale replanting and land preparation for new plantations, which, combined with the boom in marijuana production and cocaine processing, greatly increased labor demand in rural areas. Rapidly growing urban employment in this period also pulled agricultural workers into the urban economy, thus creating increasing labor scarcity in rural areas. Agricultural labor productivity over the 1974-79 period was estimated to have grown at roughly 3.7 percent per year, providing much of the basis for rising real wages. The booming terms of trade for coffee producers were also captured to some extent by workers in agriculture. In addition, the rise in the real minimum wage beginning in 1973 may also have been a contributing factor. The stagnation in the agricultural real wage after 1978 reflected the substantially slower growth in the sector and the economy during this period.

Data as of December 1988




Last Updated: December 1988


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Colombia was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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