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A World without Farmers ? The Lewis Path Revisited

  • Bruno Dorin

    (CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement, CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS)

  • Jean Charles Hourcade

    ()

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS)

  • Michel Benoit-Cattin

    ()

    (CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement)

This paper questions the Lewis Path perspective of a "world without agriculture" which underpins the "structural transformation" paradigm of "modern growth." It shows that the Lewis Path is only one of four potential structural paths, and that half of the world's population is spiralling into a "Lewis Trap" with more farmers and an increasing income gap between them and other workers. After showing how land constraints and the productivity dynamics outside agriculture might prevent this population from switching to a Lewis Path, it delineates the condition of an alternative path that would not transfer the disparity problem to cities.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series CIRED Working Papers with number hal-00866413.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:ciredw:hal-00866413
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  1. Barbara J. Craig & Philip G. Pardey & Johannes Roseboom, 1997. "International Productivity Patterns: Accounting for Input Quality, Infrastructure, and Research," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(4), pages 1064-1076.
  2. Yujiro Hayami & Yoshihisa Godo, 2004. "The Three Agricultural Problems in the Disequilibrium of World Agriculture," Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, vol. 1(1), pages 3-16, June.
  3. Ruttan, Vernon W., 2002. "Productivity Growth In World Agriculture: Sources And Constraints," Staff Papers 14176, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
  4. Wiggins, Steve & Kirsten, Johann & Llambí, Luis, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1341-1348, October.
  5. Alain de Janvry, 2010. "Agriculture for development: new paradigm and options for success," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(s1), pages 17-36, November.
  6. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 160-164, May.
  7. Krausmann, Fridolin & Gingrich, Simone & Haberl, Helmut & Erb, Karl-Heinz & Musel, Annabella & Kastner, Thomas & Kohlheb, Norbert & Niedertscheider, Maria & Schwarzlmüller, Elmar, 2012. "Long-term trajectories of the human appropriation of net primary production: Lessons from six national case studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 129-138.
  8. Hans P. Binswanger-Mkhize & Alex F. McCalla & Praful Patel, 2010. "Structural Transformation and African Agriculture," Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, Emerging Markets Forum, vol. 2(2), pages 113-152, May.
  9. Larson, Donald & Mundlak, Yair, 1997. "On the Intersectoral Migration of Agricultural Labor," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 295-319, January.
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