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The Role of Agriculture in Development

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  • Douglas Gollin
  • Stephen Parente
  • Richard Rogerson

Abstract

A longstanding question in economics is why some countries are so much richer than others. Today, for example, income per capita in the worldÂ’s richest countries is roughly thirty-five times greater than it is in the worldÂ’s poorest countries. Recent work (e.g., Robert E. Lucas 2001, and Rachel Ngai 1999) argues that the proximate cause of this disparity is that todayÂ’s poor countries began the process of industrialization much later and that this process is slow. In this paper we argue that a model of structural transformation provides a useful theory of both why industrialization occurs at different dates, and why it proceeds slowly. A key implication of this model is that growth in agricultural productivity is central to development, a message that also appears prominently in the traditional development literature. (See, e.g., Peter Timmer (1986)).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 160-164

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:2:p:160-164

Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802320189177
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  1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "The Poverty of Nations: A Quantitative Exploration," NBER Working Papers 5414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Piyabha Kongsamut & Sergio Rebelo & Danyang Xie, 1997. "Beyond Balanced Growth," NBER Working Papers 6159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Goodfriend, Marvin & McDermott, John, 1995. "Early Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 116-33, March.
  4. Peter Timmer, C., 1988. "The agricultural transformation," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 275-331 Elsevier.
  5. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
  7. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  8. Liwa Rachel Ngai, 2000. "Barriers and the Transition to Modern Growth," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1578, Econometric Society.
  9. Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 2000. "Homework in Development Economics: Household Production and the Wealth of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 680-687, August.
  10. Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-52, May.
  11. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
  12. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  13. Laitner, John, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 545-61, July.
  14. Robert E. Lucas, 2000. "Some Macroeconomics for the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 159-168, Winter.
  15. repec:fth:stanho:e-92-3 is not listed on IDEAS
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