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National policies and the sectoral pattern of economic growth


  • Derek D. Headey


This article presents tests of whether the kinds of "national" policy variables used to explain cross-country variation in the growth of aggregate GDP per capita can also successfully explain per capita growth in the agricultural and nonagricultural sectors of developing countries. There are four main results of interest. First, relative to nonagriculture, convergence is much slower in agriculture and the burden of population growth is generally much higher. Second, while orthodox economic policies share positive associations with economic growth in the nonagricultural sectors of developing countries, such policies fail to robustly predict variation in agricultural growth. Third, size of government indicators often yield an "unexpected" positive association with agricultural growth. And finally, although there is some evidence that fewer price controls are associated with faster agricultural growth, these associations are statistically quite weak and quantitatively quite small. Copyright (c)2008 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Derek D. Headey, 2008. "National policies and the sectoral pattern of economic growth," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(3), pages 287-299, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:38:y:2008:i:3:p:287-299

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Kherallah, Mylène & Delgado, Christopher L. & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Minot, Nicholas & Johnson, Michael, 2002. "Reforming agricultural markets in Africa," Food policy statements 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Wiebe, Keith D. & Soule, Meredith J. & Narrod, Clare A. & Breneman, Vincent E., 2000. "Resource Quality And Agricultural Productivity: A Multi-Country Comparison," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21723, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "15 Years of New Growth Economics : What Have we Learnt?," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 5(2), pages 5-15, August.
    5. World Bank, 2005. "Economic Growth in the 1990s : Learning from a Decade of Reform," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7370.
    6. Kherallah, Mylene & Delgado, Christopher L. & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Minot, Nicholas & Johnson, Mi (ed.), 2002. "Reforming agricultural markets in Africa: Achievements and challenges," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 0-8018-7145-X, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marta Castilho & Marta Menéndez & Aude Sztulman, 2015. "Poverty and Inequality Dynamics in Manaus: Legacy of a Free Trade Zone?," Working Papers halshs-01245394, HAL.
    2. Montalvo, Jose G. & Ravallion, Martin, 2010. "The pattern of growth and poverty reduction in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 2-16, March.
    3. Derek Headey, 2008. "The Principal Components of Growth in the Less Developed Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 568-598, November.

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