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Agricultural Productivity and Structural Transformation: Evidence from Brazil

Author

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  • Paula Bustos
  • Bruno Caprettini
  • Jacopo Ponticelli

Abstract

We study the effects of the adoption of new agricultural technologies on structural transformation. To guide empirical work, we present a simple model where the effect of agricultural productivity on industrial development depends on the factor-bias of technical change. We test the predictions of the model by studying the introduction of genetically engineered soybean seeds in Brazil, which had heterogeneous effects on agricultural productivity across areas with different soil and weather characteristics. We find that technical change in soy production was strongly labor-saving and led to industrial growth, as predicted by the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Paula Bustos & Bruno Caprettini & Jacopo Ponticelli, 2016. "Agricultural Productivity and Structural Transformation: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1320-1365, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:6:p:1320-65
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20131061
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
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    4. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "Structural Change in a Multisector Model of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 429-443, March.
    5. Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge & Hendricks, Chad & Mishra, Ashok K., 2005. "Technology Adoption and Off-Farm Household Income: The Case of Herbicide-Tolerant Soybeans," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(03), December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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