Revisiting the Role of Education for Agricultural Productivity
AbstractWhile the majority of micro studies finds that rural education increases agricultural productivity, various recent cross‐country regressions analyzing the determinants of agricultural productivity were only able to detect an insignificant or even surprisingly negative effect of schooling. In this paper, we show that this failure to find a positive impact of education in the international context appears to be a data problem related to the inappropriate use of enrolment and literacy indicators. Using a panel of 95 developing and middle‐income countries from 1961 to 2002 that includes data on educational attainment, we show that education indeed has a highly significant, positive effect on agricultural productivity which is robust to the use of different control variables, databases and econometric methods. Distinguishing between different levels of education further reveals that only primary and secondary schooling attainment has a significant positive impact while the effect of tertiary education is insignificant. When distinguishing between income groups, our results indicate that even though the coefficient of the education variable is highly significant and positive for all quintiles, the returns to education are higher for the countries belonging to the richest three quintiles. This finding can be interpreted as support for the claim that education will have larger impacts on agricultural productivity in the presence of rapid technical change since it helps farmers to adjust more readily to the new opportunities provided by technological innovations.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research in its series Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers with number 214.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 18 Nov 2011
Date of revision: 27 Jul 2012
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More information through EDIRC
Agricultural productivity; agricultural production function; cross‐country regression; education; human capital;
Other versions of this item:
- Malte Reimers & Stephan Klasen, 2013. "Revisiting the Role of Education for Agricultural Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(1), pages 131-152.
- Malte Reimers & Stephan Klasen, 2011. "Revisiting the Role of Education for Agricultural Productivity," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 90, Courant Research Centre PEG.
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2011-12-13 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2011-12-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2011-12-13 (Education)
- NEP-EFF-2011-12-13 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-LAB-2011-12-13 (Labour Economics)
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