Reflections on the Role of Agriculture in Pro-Poor Growth
Summary This paper assesses the importance of agriculture poverty reduction, largely through its impact on overall economic growth, drawing on evidence from Latin America and other developing regions. The econometric evidence strongly suggests that the sector contributes to growth more than its share of GDP, certainly in Latin America but also elsewhere. Cross-country studies show that, on average in the developing world, agriculture tends to have an impact on both national growth and poverty reduction that is greater than its simple share of national GDP. The results reinforce the argument against taxing agriculture relative to other sectors and that in assigning government expenditures to public goods one should take into account the historical relationship between agricultural growth and the subsequent non-agricultural growth. The paper also considers approaches to stimulate the rural economy.
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