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Induced Innovation in American Agriculture: A Reconsideration


  • Olmstead, Alan L
  • Rhode, Paul


This paper investigates the role of induced innovation in the development of American agriculture from 1880 to 1980. The induced innovation hypothesis, most closely associated with the work of Yujiro Hayami and Vernon W. Ruttan, argues that successful economies develop technologies in accordance with market price signals to loosen constraints on growth imposed by factor scarcities. The analysis employing new state and regional level data fails to find support fo r their hypothesis. This paper suggests that many of the fundamental generalizations about American agricultural development need to be considered and redirects attention to the role of settlement, changi ng crop patterns, and biological investments in explaining changes in factor utilization. Copyright 1993 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Olmstead, Alan L & Rhode, Paul, 1993. "Induced Innovation in American Agriculture: A Reconsideration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 100-118, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:101:y:1993:i:1:p:100-118
    DOI: 10.1086/261867

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