IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmac/v3y2011i3p127-58.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Structural Change Out of Agriculture: Labor Push versus Labor Pull

Author

Listed:
  • Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado
  • Markus Poschke

Abstract

A declining agricultural employment share is a key feature of economic development. Its main drivers are: improvements in agricultural technology combined with Engel's law release resources from agriculture ("labor push"), and improvements in industrial technology attract labor out of agriculture ("labor pull"). We present a model with both channels and evaluate the importance using data on 12 industrialized countries since the nineteenth century. Results suggest that the "pull" channel dominated until 1920 and the "push" channel dominated after 1960. The "pull" channel mattered more in countries in early stages of the structural transformation. This contrasts with modeling choices in recent literature. (JEL E23, N10, N53, O10, O47).

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Markus Poschke, 2011. "Structural Change Out of Agriculture: Labor Push versus Labor Pull," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 127-158, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:127-58
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.3.127
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.3.3.127
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/data/2010-0032_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/app/2010-0032_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2009. "Labor Markets and Productivity in Developing Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 183-204, January.
    4. 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(3), pages 663-698, September.
    5. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Markus Poschke, 2011. "Structural Change Out of Agriculture: Labor Push versus Labor Pull," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 127-158, July.
    6. Paul Krugman, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-667.
    7. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
    8. Magnac, Thierry & Postel-Vinay, Gilles, 1997. "Wage Competition between Agriculture and Industry in Mid-Nineteenth Century France," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-26, January.
    9. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2002. "Production and Consumption in Post-Unification Italy: New Evidence, New Conjectures," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 251-300.
    10. Michael J. Boskin, 1998. "Consumer Prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the Cost of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
    11. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2009. "Structural Change in an Interdependent World: A Global View of Manufacturing Decline," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 478-486, 04-05.
    12. Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2009. "Labor Markets and Productivity in Developing Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 183-204, January.
    13. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 160-164, May.
    14. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2008. "The Depressing Effect of Agricultural Institutions on the Prewar Japanese Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 573-632, August.
    15. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-92-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, May.
    17. Smits, J.-P. & Woltjer, P. & Ma, D., 2009. "A Dataset on Comparative Historical National Accounts, ca.1870-1950: A Time-Series Perspective," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-107, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    18. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    19. Thomas Weiss, 1993. "Long-term changes in US agricultural output per worker, 1800-1800," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(2), pages 324-341, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Monteforte, Fabio, 2020. "Structural change, the push-pull hypothesis and the Spanish labour market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 148-169.
    2. Herrendorf, Berthold & Rogerson, Richard & Valentinyi, Ákos, 2014. "Growth and Structural Transformation," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 855-941, Elsevier.
    3. Teignier, Marc, 2018. "The role of trade in structural transformation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 45-65.
    4. Gangopadhyay, Kausik & Mondal, Debasis, 2021. "Productivity, relative sectoral prices, and total factor productivity: Theory and evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    5. Barker, Tom & Üngör, Murat, 2019. "Vietnam: The next asian Tiger?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 96-118.
    6. Jung, Yeonha, 2020. "The long reach of cotton in the US South: Tenant farming, mechanization, and low-skill manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    7. Ho, Chi Pui, 2015. "Population growth and structural transformation," MPRA Paper 68014, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Liao, Junmin, 2020. "The rise of the service sector in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    9. Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2013. "Modernization of agriculture and long-term growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 367-382.
    10. Chen, Chaoran, 2020. "Technology adoption, capital deepening, and international productivity differences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    11. Fabio Monteforte, 2015. "Structural Transformation, the Push-Pull Hypothesis and the Labour Market," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 15/654, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 01 Dec 2017.
    12. Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "The dual economy in long-run development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 287-312, December.
    13. Kjetil Storesletten & Bo Zhao & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2019. "Business Cycle during Structural Change: Arthur Lewis' Theory from a Neoclassical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 26181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Eberhardt, Markus & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2018. "The Effect of Agricultural Technology on the Speed of Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 483-496.
    15. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long & Markus Poschke, 2016. "Capital-Labor Substitution, Structural Change and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 5928, CESifo.
    16. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Long, Ngo & Poschke, Markus, 2017. "Capital-labor substitution, structural change and growth," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(3), September.
    17. Ju, Jiandong & Lin, Justin Yifu & Wang, Yong, 2015. "Endowment structures, industrial dynamics, and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 244-263.
    18. Uy, Timothy & Yi, Kei-Mu & Zhang, Jing, 2013. "Structural change in an open economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 667-682.
    19. Cao, Kang Hua & Birchenall, Javier A., 2013. "Agricultural productivity, structural change, and economic growth in post-reform China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 165-180.
    20. Dessy, Sylvain & Mbiekop, Flaubert & Pallage, Stéphane, 2010. "On the mechanics of trade-induced structural transformation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 251-264, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Structural Change Out of Agriculture: Labor Push versus Labor Pull (AEJ:MA 2011) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:127-58. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.