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Revisiting the Role of Education for Agricultural Productivity

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  • Malte Reimers
  • Stephan Klasen

Abstract

Various recent cross-country regressions have detected insignificant or even surprisingly negative effects of schooling on agricultural productivity. Applying advanced panel econometric techniques to a sample of 95 developing and emerging countries from 1961 to 2002, we show that these results are due to a problematic reliance on enrollment and literacy indicators. Using data on educational attainment, we instead find a sizable and significant impact of schooling (avg. increase of approx. 3.2% per year of schooling) on agricultural productivity that is robust to estimation methods and model specification. We also find that returns from schooling are higher in technologically more advanced countries. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Malte Reimers & Stephan Klasen, 2013. "Revisiting the Role of Education for Agricultural Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(1), pages 131-152.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:95:y:2013:i:1:p:131-152
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ajae/aas118
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    1. repec:eee:agisys:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:157-167 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Maurice Mutisya & Moses W. Ngware & Caroline W. Kabiru & Ngianga-bakwin Kandala, 2016. "The effect of education on household food security in two informal urban settlements in Kenya: a longitudinal analysis," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(4), pages 743-756, August.
    3. Sabasi, Darlington & Shumway, C. Richard, 2014. "Technical Change, Efficiency, and Total Factor Productivity in U.S. Agriculture," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170225, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:2:p:494-517 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Abdul-Salam, Yakubu & Phimister, Euan, 2015. "Efficiency Effects of Access to Information on Small Scale Agriculture: Empirical Evidence from Uganda," 89th Annual Conference, April 13-15, 2015, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 204302, Agricultural Economics Society.
    6. Klasen, Stephan & Reimers, Malte, 2017. "Looking at Pro-Poor Growth from an Agricultural Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 147-168.
    7. Aziz Karimov, 2014. "Factors affecting efficiency of cotton producers in rural Khorezm, Uzbekistan: Re-examining the role of knowledge indicators in technical efficiency improvement," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-16, December.
    8. Ogundari, Kolawole & Awokuse, Titus, 2016. "Assessing the Contribution of Agricultural Productivity to Food Security levels in Sub-Saharan African countries," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235730, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Ogundari, Kolawole, 2014. "The Paradigm of Agricultural Efficiency and its Implication on Food Security in Africa: What Does Meta-analysis Reveal?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 690-702.
    10. repec:spr:agfoec:v:6:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40100-018-0101-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jones, Michael S. & Rejesus, Roderick M. & Brown, Zachary S. & Yorobe, Jose M., 2017. "Do farmers with less education realize higher yield gains from GM maize in developing countries? Evidence from the Philippines," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252822, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    12. Goensch, Iris, 2013. "Does the availability of secondary schools increase primary schooling? Empirical evidence from northern Senegal," Discussion Papers 63, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

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