What economic effect would mechanical orange pickers have on human orange pickers & price of oranges?
Florida Citrus growers say the recent crackdown on illegal immigration is increasing the market wage rates necessary to get their oranges picked. Some are turning to $100-$300k mechanical harvesters known as trunk, shake and catch pickers which vigorously shake oranges from trees. If widely adopted, what will be the effect on the demand for human orange pickers? Do you think this will reduce the illegal immigration to the US? What will be the impact on citrus prices?
1. Mechanization would reduce the need for human pickers. It may or may not reduce the price of citrus.
2. If it is a problem for class say the price will go down. If it is for real life then the cost might not change because they know that people are willing to pay a higher price for oranges.
3. You might know, only fruit pickers can hardly be replaced by machine. It needs nice works with human hands.But it is because the pressure of the crackdown, the cheap labors cannot be found.That is why they have to using mechanical pickers.The crackdown has raised the wage rates,not by the the mechanical pickers.The mechanical pickers will have more productivity,but low quality which will press the price of orange down.Consumers will not offer higher price if they know that the oranges are not picked by human. The price of the relating business such as orange juice will be down,too.The crackdown will reduce the immigrants.If the crackdown stops, they will come back.I do believe that the cross price elasticity between lemon and orange is positive.If the price of orange goes down,people will buy more oranges,less lemon.