The Diffusion of the Tractor in American Agriculture: 1910-60
AbstractThis paper examines the impact and diffusion of the gasoline tractor in American agriculture. A key feature of the transition from horses to tractors was a long intermediate stage when both modes of power were used on the same farm. This is largely explained in the technical limitations of early tractors. In addition, we explore how rural markets and institutions adjusted to facilitate diffusion. Our simultaneous-equation regression analysis reveals that farm scale and tractor adoption had positive, independent effects on each other. Finally, we analyze diffusion as a capital replacement problem, which reveals that the shift to the new technology came far sooner than has generally been thought.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7947.
Date of creation: Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 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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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N52 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
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