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Technology capital: the price of admission to the growth club

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  • Robert Evenson
  • Keith Fuglie

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Abstract

We assess long-run patterns of global agricultural productivity growth in developing countries between 1970 and 2005 and examine the relationship between investments in technology capital and productivity. To measure agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) we employ a Solow-type growth accounting method to decompose output growth into input and TFP growth. For technology capital we construct two indexes reflecting national capacities in agricultural research and education-extension for 87 developing countries. We then correlate technology capital levels with long-term growth rates in agricultural TFP. Our findings show that average agricultural TFP growth in developing countries accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s but fell marginally in the early 2000s. TFP performance was very uneven across countries and regions. TFP growth rates by individual countries were significantly influenced by their levels of technology capital. Marginal improvements to research capacity, given a minimal level of extension and schooling existed, were associated with faster TFP growth. However, marginal increases in extension-schooling without commiserate improvements in research capacity did not improve productivity performance.
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Suggested Citation

  • Robert Evenson & Keith Fuglie, 2010. "Technology capital: the price of admission to the growth club," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 173-190, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:33:y:2010:i:3:p:173-190
    DOI: 10.1007/s11123-009-0149-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jules-Daniel Wurlod & Derek Eaton, 2015. "Chasing After the Frontier in Agricultural Productivity," FOODSECURE Working papers 36, LEI Wageningen UR.
    2. Fuglie, Keith O. & Rada, Nicholas E., 2013. "Resources, Policies, and Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Research Report 145368, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Lunduka, Rodney & Fisher, Monica & Snapp, Sieglinde, 2012. "Could farmer interest in a diversity of seed attributes explain adoption plateaus for modern maize varieties in Malawi?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 504-510.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agricultural development; Agricultural extension; Agricultural research; Land quality; Agricultural cost shares; Growth accounting; Total factor productivity (TFP); Q10; O47; O57;

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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