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Agriculture in the Global Economy

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  • Julian M. Alston
  • Philip G. Pardey

Abstract

The past 50-100 years have witnessed dramatic changes in agricultural production and productivity, driven to a great extent by public and private investments in agricultural research, with profound implications especially for the world's poor. In this article, we first discuss how the high-income countries like the United States represent a declining share of global agricultural output while middle-income countries like China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia represent a rising share. We then look at the differing patterns of agricultural inputs across countries and the divergent productivity paths taken by their agricultural sectors. Next we examine productivity more closely and the evidence that the global rate of agricultural productivity growth is declining?with potentially serious prospects for the price and availability of food for the poorest people in the world. Finally we consider patterns of agricultural research and development efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian M. Alston & Philip G. Pardey, 2014. "Agriculture in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 121-146, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:28:y:2014:i:1:p:121-46
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.28.1.121
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Scheierling, Susanne M. & Treguer, David O. & Booker, James F., 2015. "Water Productivity in Agriculture: Looking for Water in the Agricultural Productivity and Efficiency Literature," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205677, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Agnibho Roy & Abhishek Mohan, 2017. "An Optimized Microeconomic Modeling System for Analyzing Industrial Externalities in Non-OECD Countries," Papers 1710.02755, arXiv.org.
    3. Bruno Lanz & Simon Dietz & Timothy Swanson, 2017. "Global Population Growth, Technology, And Malthusian Constraints: A Quantitative Growth Theoretic Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 973-1006, August.
    4. Jules-Daniel Wurlod & Derek Eaton, 2015. "Chasing After the Frontier in Agricultural Productivity," FOODSECURE Working papers 36, LEI Wageningen UR.
    5. repec:oup:apecpp:v:39:y:2017:i:1:p:65-86. is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bruno Lanz & Simon Dietz & Tim Swanson, 2018. "Global Economic Growth and Agricultural Land Conversion under Uncertain Productivity Improvements in Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 100(2), pages 545-569.
    7. repec:oup:erevae:v:44:y:2017:i:4:p:540-566. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Lanz, Bruno & Dietz, Simon & Swanson, Tim, 2018. "The Expansion of Modern Agriculture and Global Biodiversity Decline: An Integrated Assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 260-277.
    9. Susanne Scheierling & David O. Treguer & James F. Booker, 2016. "Water Productivity in Agriculture: Looking for Water in the Agricultural Productivity and Efficiency Literature," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(03), pages 1-33, September.
    10. Pardey, Philip G. & Andrade, Robert S. & Hurley, Terrance M. & Rao, Xudong & Liebenberg, Frikkie G., 2016. "Returns to food and agricultural R&D investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1975–2014," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 1-8.
    11. Wang, Xiaoxi & Biewald, Anne & Dietrich, Jan Philipp & Schmitz, Christoph & Lotze-Campen, Hermann & Humpenöder, Florian & Bodirsky, Benjamin Leon & Popp, Alexander, 2016. "Taking account of governance: Implications for land-use dynamics, food prices, and trade patterns," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 12-24.
    12. Scheierling, S. M., 2014. "How to assess agricultural water productivity?: looking for water in the agricultural productivity and efficiency literature," IWMI Working Papers H046876, International Water Management Institute.
    13. Katsushi S. Imai, 2017. "Roles of Agricultural Transformation in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals on Poverty, Hunger, Productivity, and Inequality," Discussion Paper Series DP2017-26, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    14. Edoardo Baldoni & Roberto Esposti, 2018. "Agricultural Productivity in Space - An econometric assessment on Italian farm-level data," Working Papers 428, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    15. Nerini, Francesco Fuso & Andreoni, Antonio & Bauner, David & Howells, Mark, 2016. "Powering production. The case of the sisal fibre production in the Tanga region, Tanzania," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 544-556.
    16. Cavallo, Eugenio & Ferrari, Ester & Bollani, Luigi & Coccia, Mario, 2014. "Attitudes and behaviour of adopters of technological innovations in agricultural tractors: A case study in Italian agricultural system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 44-54.
    17. Scheierling, Susanne M. & Treguer, David O. & Booker, James F. & Decker, Elisabeth, 2014. "How to assess agricultural water productivity ? looking for water in the agricultural productivity and efficiency literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6982, The World Bank.
    18. Dennis Wichelns, 2015. "Achieving Water and Food Security in 2050: Outlook, Policies, and Investments," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-33, April.
    19. Salamat Ali, 2017. "Exchange Rate Effects on Agricultural Exports: Firm-level Evidence from Pakistan," Discussion Papers 2017-09, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    20. Fuglie, Keith, 0. "Accounting for growth in global agriculture," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), issue 3.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

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