Agriculture and Human Capital in Economic Growth: Farmers, Schooling and Nutrition
This survey reviews the existing literature, identifying the contribution of agriculture, schooling, and nutrition to economic growth and development over time and across countries. Particular attention is paid to the roles of improvements in agricultural technology and of the human capital of farmers and farm people. Macroeconomic and microeconomic evidence related to the interactions between human capital, productivity and health are explored. Most of the world's growth in population, labor productivity and real income per capita have occurred over the past 250 years. We show that for most countries, development is a process of conversion from primarily agrarian economies to urban industrial and service economies. The evidence is that positive technology shocks to agriculture have played a key role in igniting a transition from traditional to modern agriculture and to long-term economic growth in almost all countries. Improvements in agricultural technologies improve labor productivity and create surplus agricultural labor that can provide workers for the growing urban areas. In some cases, improved nutrition helps raise labor productivity and allows individuals to work for longer hours, which makes human capital investments more attractive. The induced improvements in the skill level of a population have major implications for raising living standards, improving health standards, and altering time allocation decisions. In most currently poor and middle income countries, improved schooling has been more important than improved nutrition or caloric intake in explaining recent economic growth. Nevertheless, the poorest countries of the world continue to have a large share of their labor force in agriculture, and growth cannot occur until they experience their own agricultural transformation.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|This chapter was published in: ||This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Agricultural Economics with number
5-43.||Handle:|| RePEc:eee:hagchp:5-43||Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:hagchp:5-43. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.