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Heterogeneous technology and panel data: The case of the agricultural production function

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  • Mundlak, Yair
  • Butzer, Rita
  • Larson, Donald F.

Abstract

Economic growth involves reallocating resources from traditional to new techniques of production, creating new relationships between particular resources and productivity. The paper analyzes the implications of this process on the estimation of agricultural production functions using a panel of countries. The data includes a measure of capital in agriculture absent from most studies. We employ a heterogeneous technology framework where implemented technology is chosen jointly with inputs to interpret information obtained in the empirical analysis of panel data. In this framework, estimates depend upon the economic environment, which is represented by state variables. It turns out that the old problem of identifying the production function cannot be resolved through the use of instrumental variables, but can be resolved using the allocation error. The paper discusses the scope for replacing country and time effects by observed state variables. The empirical results differ from those reported in the literature for cross-country studies, largely in augmenting the elasticities of capital and land and reducing those of fertilizer and labor. The evaluation of the marginal value productivity accounts for the flow of capital and fertilizer to agriculture and the flow of labor to other sectors, thereby contributing to overall economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Mundlak, Yair & Butzer, Rita & Larson, Donald F., 2012. "Heterogeneous technology and panel data: The case of the agricultural production function," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 139-149.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:1:p:139-149
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2011.11.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Larson, David F. & Butzer, Rita & Mundlak, Yair & Crego, Al, 2000. "A Cross-Country Database for Sector Investment and Capital," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 371-391, May.
    2. Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
    3. Fulginiti, Lilyan E & Perrin, Richard K, 1993. "Prices and Productivity in Agriculture," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 471-482, August.
    4. V. Eldon Ball & Jean-Pierre Butault & Carlos San Juan Mesonada, 2004. "Measuring Real Capital Input in OECD Agriculture," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 52(3), pages 351-370, November.
    5. Antle, John M, 1983. "Infrastructure and Aggregate Agricultural Productivity: International Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 609-619, April.
    6. Yair Mundlak, 1961. "Empirical Production Function Free of Management Bias," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 44-56.
    7. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    8. Yair Mundlak & Donald Larson & Rita Butzer, 2004. "Agricultural dynamics in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(1), pages 95-126, March.
    9. Mundlak, Yair, 1993. "On the Empirical Aspects of Economic Growth Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 415-420, May.
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    19. Mundlak, Yair, 2001. "Production and supply," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-85 Elsevier.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agriculture; Development; Economic growth; Panel data; Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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