Generation and distribution of productivity gains in French agriculture. Who are the winners and the losers over the last fifty years?
This paper offers an approach based on the economic theory of index numbers that revisits the classical surplus accounting technique. We measure the productivity gains and the combined effects of output and input price variation on French farmers’ income between 1959 and 2011, for the whole agricultural sector. During this period, total factor productivity grows at an average annual rate of 1.4% mainly due to a decrease of input quantity over the last thirty years while output volume has stagnated since the end of the nineties. Over the whole period, with a share of nearly 70% of the global surplus, the customers appear as the main beneficiaries of these productivity gains through a decrease in agricultural and food prices. Farmers only retained 23% of the surplus corresponding to a low increase in farm income. Finally, the suppliers and taxpayers are the losers in the surplus distribution via respectively a significant decrease of relative intermediate input prices and a substantial growth of public subsidies in favour of the agricultural sector
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- Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
- John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, 08.
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