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Agricultural Productivity and Structural Transformation. Evidence from Brazil

  • Paula Bustos
  • Bruno Caprettini
  • Jacopo Ponticelli

We study the effects of the adoption of new agricultural technologies on structural transformation. To guide empirical work, we present a simple model where the effect of agricultural productivity on industrial development depends on the factor bias of technical change. We test the predictions of the model by studying the introduction of genetically engineered soybean seeds in Brazil, which had heterogeneous effects on agricultural productivity across areas with different soil and weather characteristics. We find that technical change in soy production was strongly labor saving and lead to industrial growth, as predicted by the model.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 736.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:736
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  1. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski, 2009. "Can Traditional Theories of Structural Change Fit The Data?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 469-477, 04-05.
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  9. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 934, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  11. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Richard Hornbeck & Pinar Keskin, 2012. "Does Agriculture Generate Local Economic Spillovers? Short-run and Long-run Evidence from the Ogallala Aquifer," NBER Working Papers 18416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Piyabha Kongsamut & Sergio Rebelo & Danyang Xie, 1997. "Beyond Balanced Growth," NBER Working Papers 6159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Wright, Gavin, 1979. "Cheap Labor and Southern Textiles before 1880," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 655-680, September.
  16. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2001. "The U.S. Structural Transformation and Regional Convergence: A Reinterpretation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 584-616, June.
  17. Vogel, Stephen J, 1994. "Structural Changes in Agriculture: Production Linkages and Agricultural Demand-Led Industrialization," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 136-56, January.
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