THE LABOUR MARKET IMPACT IN THE DOURO VITICULTURE: A FUZZY CLUSTER DISTRIBUTION APPROACH

Cátia SANTOS

Research fellow. University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) and Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD)

cisantos@utad.pt

Aníbal GALINDRO

Research fellow. University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) and Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD)

anibalg@utad.pt

Ana MARTA-COSTA

Corresponding author. Assistant Professor. University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) and Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD), Portugal, www.utad.pt

amarta@utad.pt

Abstract

Demography and the labour market dynamics are recognized as a key factor for the development of a region. Performing labour market insights can be even more disjointed on mountain and steep slope regions where the hand labour is usually sparse and scarce. This study intends to find the labour influence into the core variables of a vineyard productive system such as production or overall revenues and realize their importance in the sustainability of the Douro region. Simultaneously, the sensibility of each variable upon external shocks was determined. The data was collected performing face-to-face inquiries directly from 50 Douro vine-farms and the Fuzzy Average with Fuzzy Cluster Distribution methodology was used for rank the variables. The results have shown that the labour costs seem to be the most influential variable on the vineyard production followed up by the steepness and terrain orientation. Nonetheless, the familiar labour also gains some prominence when the revenues are selected as the core variable. This study showed that the labour force plays an important role on the grape farm output and due to the current demographic trend in the region, the hand labour availability might be an alarming problem that threatens the sustainability of the Douro.

Keywords: Douro Region, fuzzy cluster distribution, labour influence, population dynamics, sustainable development

JEL classification: J43, Q12, Q19
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