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On the causes of economic growth in Europe: why did agricultural labour productivity not converge between 1950 and 2005?

Author

Listed:
  • Miguel Martin-Retortillo

    () (Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)

  • Vicente Pinilla

    () (Universidad Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)

Abstract

The objective of this study is to make a further contribution to the debate on the causes of economic growth in the European Continent. It explains why agricultural labour productivity differences did not converge between 1950 and 2005 in Europe. We propose an econometric model, one combining both proximate and fundamental causes of economic growth. The results show that the continuous exit of labour power from the sector, coupled with the increased use of productive factors originating in other sectors of the economy, caused the efficiency of agricultural workers to rise. However, we offer a complete explanation of the role played by institutions and geographical factors. Thus, we detect a direct and inverse relation between membership of the EU and the Communist bloc and the productivity of agricultural labour. In addition, strong support for agriculture affected productivity negatively.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Martin-Retortillo & Vicente Pinilla, 2015. "On the causes of economic growth in Europe: why did agricultural labour productivity not converge between 1950 and 2005?," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 9(3), pages 359-396, september.
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:9:y:2015:i:3:p:359-396
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11698-014-0119-5
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agricultural labour productivity European agriculture European economic history Causes of economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • 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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