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The Role of Crop Type in Cross-Country Income Differences


  • Eberhardt, Markus
  • Vollrath, Dietrich


Labor productivity and labor share in the agricultural sector are key determinants of living standards across countries. We show that differences in agricultural technology -- the coefficients on factor inputs in the production function -- account for a substantial portion of cross-country differences in agricultural labor productivity, agricultural labor share, and per capita income. In a panel of 100 countries we document differences in technology estimates associated with major crops, and then illustrate the quantitative implications for development. Counterfactually eliminating crop-type technology heterogeneity reduces variance in log income per capita by 25%, and raises the median by 60%.

Suggested Citation

  • Eberhardt, Markus & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2016. "The Role of Crop Type in Cross-Country Income Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 11248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11248

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    agricultural development; crop type; structural change; technology heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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