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Are China’s regional agricultural productivities converging: How and why?

Author

Listed:
  • Wang, Sun Ling
  • Huang, Jikun
  • Wang, Xiaobing
  • Tuan, Francis

Abstract

This article tests the hypotheses of convergence to a single level of total factor productivity (TFP), and a steady state of TFP growth rate in China’s agricultural sector. Based on multilateral TFP estimates we found that China’s agricultural sector has rebounded in recent years from a slower TFP growth in the 2005–2007 period. While convergence test results confirm a “catch-up” effect that provinces with lower TFP levels tend to grow faster than others, estimated rates of β convergence are conditional on how we capture the heterogeneity effect across regions. The rates of β convergence range from 0.016 to 0.039 under different model specifications. Estimates show that higher growth rates of educational attainment, R&D, and intermediate goods density (per unit of labor) can enhance TFP growth. Unfortunately, there is no evidence of an overall σ convergence, indicating that TFP levels are not converging except in the South region. It implies that to catch up with leading provinces, it would require extra efforts for those lagging behind by increasing their region-specific research investment, promoting rural educational attainment, and enhancing embodied technical change.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Sun Ling & Huang, Jikun & Wang, Xiaobing & Tuan, Francis, 2019. "Are China’s regional agricultural productivities converging: How and why?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1-1.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:86:y:2019:i:c:1
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2019.05.010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Total Factor Productivity (TFP); σ convergence; β convergence; Multilateral TFP; China agricultural productivity growth; R&D; Time series analysis; Agricultural policy;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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