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Green revolutions and miracle economies: Agricultural innovations, trade and growth


  • Brishti Guha


The purpose of this paper is to develop a simple model of an economy in which growth is driven by a combination of exogenous technical change in agriculture and a rising world demand for labor-intensive manufactured exports. We explore the relative roles of an exogenous agricultural productivity shock and rising export demand in a model with two traded industrial goods and a non-traded agricultural good, food. When the non-traded sector uses a specific factor, we show that technical change in agriculture may be the key to factor migration into industry, in particular driving intersectoral labor migration. A key assumption is a less than unitary price elasticity of demand for food. Our results could form a crucial link in capturing the story of labor-abundant economies which experienced structural transformation and growth through labor-intensive manufactured exports, without prior technology breakthroughs in industry. They contribute to explaining the massive growth in factor accumulation which shows up in some growth accounting studies: they may also imply that some of the contribution of 'technical progress' is mistakenly attributed solely to factor accumulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Brishti Guha, 2006. "Green revolutions and miracle economies: Agricultural innovations, trade and growth," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 209-230.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:15:y:2006:i:2:p:209-230 DOI: 10.1080/09638190600690986

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean-Jacques Nowak & Mondher Sahli & Pasquale M. Sgro, 2003. "Tourism, Trade And Domestic Welfare," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 245-258, October.
    2. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-92-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
    4. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    5. Brishti Guha, 2005. "Female labour force participation and labour saving gadgets," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 483-495.
    6. Alwyn Young, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-680.
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    More about this item


    Structural change; agricultural productivity; labor migration; terms of trade;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade


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