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The sources of total factor productivity growth in Chinese agriculture: technological progress or efficiency gain?


  • Gucheng Li
  • Liangzhi You
  • Zhongchao Feng


Provincial panel data from the agricultural sector and stochastic frontier production function model were employed to study the total factor productivity (TFP) growth since the 1980s in China. We decomposed the TFP growth into technological progress and technical efficiency changes (efficiency gains) as well as the aggregate agricultural TFP growth into crop-specific subsector's TFP growths. We found that Chinese agriculture experienced significant productivity growth in the last few decades, although the growth rates vary considerably among the subsectors. During this period, the source of productivity growth comes from either technological progress or efficiency gains, not from both of them simultaneously. Particularly since the 1990s, Chinese agriculture experienced a great technological progress and yet a considerable efficiency loss. The differences among sources of productivity growth and among subsectors call for distinct policy responses.

Suggested Citation

  • Gucheng Li & Liangzhi You & Zhongchao Feng, 2011. "The sources of total factor productivity growth in Chinese agriculture: technological progress or efficiency gain?," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 181-203.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:181-203 DOI: 10.1080/14765284.2011.568686

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kurup, Suresh & Jha, Girish & Singh, Alka, 2015. "Technical and efficiency changes in oilseed sector in India: Implications for policy," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212017, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Suresh, A., 2013. "Technical Change and Efficiency of Rice Production in India: A Malmquist Total Factor Productivity Approach," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 26(2013).


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