The Economic Value of Education in Agricultural Production: A Switching Regression Analysis of Selected East Asian Countries
The emphasis of education as a driving force for the growth of agricultural productivity can be dated back to the early 1960s. However, most empirical work failed to take into account of the fact that production technology changes with time and consequently obscure the true contribution of education in agricultural production. This study presents a more efficient version to testing the hypothesis that education plays a key role in agricultural development using a switching regression model. Because farmers’ ability to deal with disequilibria is allowed to change with education in the present setting, a concrete evidence of the key role of education is provided in the empirical analysis of eight East Asian countries. The results suggest that there exists a threshold for the effects of education on agricultural productivity change. For the group of countries where education constitutes a major determinant of productivity growth in both the technical progress and stagnation regimes, we found the effect of education varies from country to country and from regime to regime. Moreover, our results also suggest technological improvement can defer the starting point of the descending stage whereas advance the time for taking off.
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