IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmac/v7y2015i3p226-58.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Missing Food Problem: Trade, Agriculture, and International Productivity Differences

Author

Listed:
  • Trevor Tombe

Abstract

Agriculture in poor countries has low productivity, high employment, and negligible trade flows relative to other sectors. These facts motivate a multisector, open-economy view of international productivity differences. With a quantitative multicountry model featuring nonhomothetic preferences, multiple interrelated sectors, distorted labor markets, and costly trade, I find: trade amplifies the negative effect of labor market distortions; trade costs—large for poor countries, especially in agriculture—significantly contribute to international productivity differences; and explicitly modeling agriculture reveals additional channels through which poor countries may gain from trade. (JEL F41, J24, J43, O13, O19, Q11, Q17)

Suggested Citation

  • Trevor Tombe, 2015. "The Missing Food Problem: Trade, Agriculture, and International Productivity Differences," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 226-258, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:7:y:2015:i:3:p:226-58
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20130108
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.20130108
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/ds/0703/2013-0108_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/data/0703/2013-0108_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/app/0703/2013-0108_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Fernando Parro, 2013. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and the Skill Premium in a Quantitative Model of Trade," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 72-117, April.
    3. Tasso Adamopoulos, 2011. "Transportation Costs, Agricultural Productivity, And Cross‐Country Income Differences," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 489-521, May.
    4. Keith Head & John Ries, 2001. "Increasing Returns versus National Product Differentiation as an Explanation for the Pattern of U.S.-Canada Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 858-876, September.
    5. Lorenzo Caliendo & Fernando Parro, 2015. "Estimates of the Trade and Welfare Effects of NAFTA," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-44.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Margarita Gafaro & Heitor S. Pellegrina, 2018. "Market access, agricultural productivity and selection into trade: evidence from Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1050, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Eberhardt, Markus & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2016. "The Role of Crop Type in Cross-Country Income Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 11248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:151-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Trevor Tombe & Xiaodong Zhu, 2015. "Trade, Migration and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis of China," Working Papers tecipa-542, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    6. Thibault Fally & James Sayre, 2018. "Commodity Trade Matters," 2018 Meeting Papers 172, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Diego Restuccia & Tasso Adamopoulos, 2017. "Geography and Agricultural Productivity: Cross-Country Evidence from Micro Plot-Level Data," 2017 Meeting Papers 1180, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    9. Wenbiao Cai, 2016. "Risk, Selection and Productivity Differences," Departmental Working Papers 2016-02, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
    10. Heerman, Kari E. & Sheldon, Ian M., 2018. "Increased economic integration in the Asia-Pacific Region: What might be the potential impact on agricultural trade?," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274279, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. repec:oup:erevae:v:44:y:2017:i:4:p:592-633. is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Chaoran Chen, 2017. "Untitled Land, Occupational Choice, and Agricultural Productivity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 91-121, October.
    13. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2016. "Trade and the Global Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3401-3438, November.
    14. Zheng Li & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2018. "Fiscal Decentralization and Interregional Capital Misallocation: Evidence from China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1816, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    15. repec:aea:aecrev:v:109:y:2019:i:5:p:1843-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:eee:eecrev:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:240-279 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Hassan, Fadi, 2016. "The price of development: The Penn–Balassa–Samuelson effect revisited," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 291-309.
    18. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:45-65 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade

    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:7:y:2015:i:3:p:226-58. 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: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://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 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.

    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.