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Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture?

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  • Todd Schoellman

    (Arizona State University)

  • Berthold Herrendorf

    (Arizona State University)

Abstract

It is well known that poor countries are much less productive in agriculture than in the rest of the economy, and that it is hard to account for these productivity gaps. In this paper, we study US states during 1980–2009. We find that there are large productivity gaps between agriculture and non–agriculture. These productivity gaps are not at all accounted for by gaps in real wages per efficiency unit, which are similar in the two sectors. Instead, they are accounted for by two key factors: human capital is much higher in non–agriculture; and value added is seriously mis–measured in agriculture.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 75.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:75

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References

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  1. Douglas Gollin, 2012. "The Agricultural Productivity Gap in Developing Countries," 2012 Meeting Papers 510, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Diego Restuccia & Dennis Tao Yang & Xiaodong Zhu, 2003. "Agriculture and Aggregate Productivity: A Quantitative Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers diegor-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Tasso Adamopoulos & Diego Restuccia, 2011. "The Size Distribution of Farms and International Productivity Differences," Working Papers tecipa-441, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Douglas Gollin & David Lagakos & Michael E. Waugh, 2014. "Agricultural Productivity Differences across Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 165-70, May.
  3. Douglas Gollin & David Lagakos & Michael E. Waugh, 2013. "The Agricultural Productivity Gap," NBER Working Papers 19628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2014. "The efficiency of human capital allocations in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 106-118.
  5. David Lagakos & Benjamin Moll & Tommaso Porzio & Nancy Qian, 2012. "Experience Matters: Human Capital and Development Accounting," NBER Working Papers 18602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. repec:fip:fedreq:y:2011:i:3q:p:329-357:n:vol.97no.3 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Diego Restuccia & Tasso Adamopoulos, 2012. "Land Reform and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Micro Data," 2012 Meeting Papers 1083, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Wenbiao Cai & Manish Pandey, 2013. "The Agricultural Productivity Gap in Europe," Departmental Working Papers 2013-05, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
  9. Berthold Herrendorf & Akos Valentinyi, 2013. "Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation," 2013 Meeting Papers 349, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Berthold Herrendorf & Christopher Herrington & Akos Valentinyi, 2012. "Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1232, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  11. Diego Restuccia, 2011. "Recent developments in economic growth," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 3Q, pages 329-357.

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