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U.S. Agricultural Productivity: A Review of USDA Economic Research Service Methods


  • C. Richard Shumway
  • Barbara M. Fraumeni
  • Lilyan E. Fulginiti
  • Jon D. Samuels
  • Spiro E. Stefanou


The USDA Economic Research Service has emerged as an acknowledged intellectual leader in the construction and integration of national and state-level productivity accounts in agriculture. The national and state-level ERS productivity measures are widely referred to and used, and international sectoral comparisons rely on the ERS production accounts for foundation methodology in constructing agricultural productivity accounts in other countries. This leadership role has endured for many decades and accelerated in response to the AAEA-USDA Task Force review of the agricultural productivity accounts ( Gardner et al. 1980). It is against this backdrop of vigorous intellectual leadership that an external review committee has examined the data sources, methodology, ongoing research, documentation, and reporting of the ERS agricultural productivity accounts. Our recommendations are many and some are substantial. Two of the most important recommendations address overarching concerns of documentation and efficiency, two more consider website communication of methods and data, and four focus on the renewal and construction of the state-level accounts.

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  • C. Richard Shumway & Barbara M. Fraumeni & Lilyan E. Fulginiti & Jon D. Samuels & Spiro E. Stefanou, 2016. "U.S. Agricultural Productivity: A Review of USDA Economic Research Service Methods," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 1-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:38:y:2016:i:1:p:1-29.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Coen, Robert M, 1975. "Investment Behavior, the Measurement of Depreciation, and Tax Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 59-74, March.
    2. David P. Anderson & Andrew Tan Khee Guan & Thanapat Chaisantikulawat & Mohamed Kebbeh & Ni Lin & C. Richard Shumway, 1996. "Choice of Functional Form for Agricultural Production Analysis," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 223-231.
    3. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2005. "Productivity, Volume 3: Information Technology and the American Growth Resurgence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 3, number 0262101114, November.
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