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Plowing Through the Data


  • Yair Mundlak

    () (Professor Emeritus, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Rehovot, 76100, Israel)


In this paper I report on work that has aimed at measuring and understanding the sources of productivity differences among firms and their changes over time. These issues have been investigated at the micro level, which is the decision-making level. The relationship between inputs and the economic environment is informed by an underlying economic model. The issues involved in the specification and estimation of production functions are related to the role played by errors in production and optimization decisions. Under this general umbrella, the paper traces my interaction with the literature on some key subjects in production and supply. Turning to the macro level, I review subjects related to the analysis of agriculture as a sector of the economy and the determinants of agricultural growth. The incentives and constraints are affected by sector-specific and sector-neutral policies, by world prices, and by the implementation of new technology. The paper concludes with a review of empirical work on these subjects.

Suggested Citation

  • Yair Mundlak, 2011. "Plowing Through the Data," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 1-19, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:3:y:2011:p:1-19

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    More about this item


    production functions; panel data; productivity; agricultural growth; development;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • 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
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General


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