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Measures of fixed capital in agriculture

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  • Butzer, Rita
  • Mundlak, Yair
  • Larson, Donald F.

Abstract

Capital is a fundamental component of agricultural production, and the accumulation of capital is key to growth in agriculture and the process of development. Unfortunately, cross-country data sets on agricultural fixed capital are rare. Using a common methodology that allows comparisons across countries, as well as over time, this paper introduces a data series on fixed capital in agriculture, based on national accounts data. The fixed capital measure differs remarkably from the Food and Agriculture Organization's data series on tractors, which has been widely utilized as a proxy for agricultural fixed capital. The authors construct comparable measures of capital in livestock and tree stock. They examine the evolution of the capital stocks from 1970 to 2000, paying particular attention to the changing composition of agricultural capital, as well as differences in the accumulation of capital for high-income and middle and lower-income countries. Using the capital measures in agricultural productivity analyses, the data yield estimated input elasticities substantially different from those found previously in the literature. The authors show explicitly that this is due to the improved data set on agricultural capital stocks, as well as the methodology used in the study.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5472.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5472

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Investment and Investment Climate; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems; Economic Growth; Emerging Markets;

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References

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  1. Lau, Lawrence J. & Yotopoulos, Pan A., 1989. "The meta-production function approach to technological change in world agriculture," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 241-269, October.
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  3. Larson, Donald & Mundlak, Yair, 1995. "On the intersectoral migration of agricultural labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1425, The World Bank.
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  7. Antle, John M, 1983. "Infrastructure and Aggregate Agricultural Productivity: International Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 609-19, April.
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  19. Crego, Al & Larson, Donald & Butzer, Rita & Mundlak, Yair, 1998. "A new database on investment and capital for agriculture and manufacturing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2013, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Julian M. Alston & Philip G. Pardey, 2014. "Agriculture in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 121-46, Winter.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Bruckner, Markus, 2012. "Distortions to Agriculture and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124908, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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