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Structural Change Out of Agriculture: Labor Push versus Labor Pull

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  • Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado
  • Markus Poschke

Abstract

A declining agricultural employment share is a key feature of economic development. Its main drivers are: improvements in agricultural technology combined with Engel's law release resources from agriculture ("labor push"), and improvements in industrial technology attract labor out of agriculture ("labor pull"). We present a model with both channels and evaluate the importance using data on 12 industrialized countries since the nineteenth century. Results suggest that the "pull" channel dominated until 1920 and the "push" channel dominated after 1960. The "pull" channel mattered more in countries in early stages of the structural transformation. This contrasts with modeling choices in recent literature. (JEL E23, N10, N53, O10, O47).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 127-58

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:127-58

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.3.127
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  1. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  2. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1991. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2009. "Structural Change in an Interdependent World: A Global View of Manufacturing Decline," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 478-486, 04-05.
  8. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Markus Poschke, 2011. "Structural Change Out of Agriculture: Labor Push versus Labor Pull," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 127-58, July.
  9. Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2001. "Reshaping The Landscape: The Impact And Diffusion Of The Tractor In American Agriculture, 1910 1960," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 663-698, September.
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  12. Magnac, Thierry & Postel-Vinay, Gilles, 1997. "Wage Competition between Agriculture and Industry in Mid-Nineteenth Century France," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-26, January.
  13. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-67, May.
  14. Benjamin N. Dennis & Talan Iscan, 2007. "Accounting for Structural Change: Evidence from Two Centuries of U.S. Data," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive account7, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  15. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," Center for Development Economics 2002-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  16. repec:fth:stanho:e-92-3 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Huang, Zongye, 2011. "The Decline of the U.S. Manufacturing: An Explanation from Structural Change," MPRA Paper 29919, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Dijk, Michiel van, 2013. "Productivity growth at the sectoral level: measurement and projections," Proceedings Issues, 2013: Productivity and Its Impacts on Global Trade, June 2-4, 2013. Seville, Spain 152269, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  3. Üngör, Murat, 2013. "De-agriculturalization as a result of productivity growth in agriculture," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 141-145.
  4. Tounsi, Said & Ezzahid, El hadj & Alaoui, Aicha El & Nihou, Abdelaziz, 2013. "Key sectors in the Moroccan economy: An application of input-output analysis," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 7(18), pages 1-19.
  5. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2011. "Capital-Labor Substitution, Structural Change and Growth," Cahiers de recherche 12-2011, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  6. Martina Kirchberger, 2014. "Natural disasters and labour markets," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & Ákos Valentinyi, 2013. "Growth and Structural Transformation," NBER Working Papers 18996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Markus Poschke, 2009. "Structural Change Out Of Agriculture: Labor Push Versus Labor Pull," Departmental Working Papers 2009-08, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  9. Seyfettin Gursel & Zumrut Imamoglu, 2011. "Why is Agricultural Employment Increasing in Turkey?," Working Papers 004, Bahcesehir University, Betam, revised Apr 2013.
  10. Margolis, David N., 2014. "By Choice and by Necessity: Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment in the Developing World," IZA Discussion Papers 8273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Tounsi, Said & Ezzahid, El Hadj & El Alaoui, Aicha & Nihou, Abdelaziz, 2012. "Key sectors in the Moroccan economy: An application of input-output analysis," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-59, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  12. Aizenman, Joshua & Lee, Minsoo & Park, Donghyun, 2012. "The Relationship between Structural Change and Inequality: A Conceptual Overview with Special Reference to Developing Asia," ADBI Working Papers 396, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  13. Arias-Vazquez , Francisco Javier & Lee, Jean N. & Newhouse, David, 2012. "The role of sectoral growth patterns in labor market development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6250, The World Bank.
  14. Markus Eberhardt & Dietrich Vollrath, 2014. "Agricultural Technology and Structural Change," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-21, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

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