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Reconsidering Conventional Explanations of the Inverse Productivity-Size Relationship

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Author Info

  • Barrett, Christopher B.
  • Bellemare, Marc F.
  • Hou, Janet Y.

Abstract

Summary The inverse productivity-size relationship is one of the oldest puzzles in development economics. Two conventional explanations for the inverse relationship have emerged in the literature: (i) factor market imperfections that cause cross-sectional variation in household-specific shadow prices and (ii) the omission of soil quality measurements. This study employs precise soil quality measurements at the plot level with multiple plots per household so as to test both conventional explanations simultaneously. Empirical results show that only a small portion of the inverse productivity-size relationship is explained by market imperfections and none of it seems attributable to the omission of soil quality measurements.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 88-97

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:1:p:88-97

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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Keywords: inverse relationship productivity market failures soil characteristics sub-Saharan Africa Madagascar;

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References

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  1. Lamb, Russell L., 2003. "Inverse productivity: land quality, labor markets, and measurement error," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 71-95, June.
  2. Minten, Bart & Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Agricultural Technology, Productivity, and Poverty in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 797-822, May.
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  4. Barrett, Christopher B., 1996. "On price risk and the inverse farm size-productivity relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 193-215, December.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The Inverse Farm Size–Productivity Relationship: “Proof” that Smallholders Can Feed the World?
    by Marc F. Bellemare in Marc F. Bellemare on 2012-10-22 09:00:05
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