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Modernization of Agriculture and Long-Term Growth

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  • Yang, Dennis T.

    () (University of Virginia)

  • Zhu, Xiaodong

    () (University of Toronto)

Abstract

This paper develops a two-sector model that illuminates the role played by agricultural modernization in the transition from stagnation to growth. When agriculture relies on traditional technology, industrial development reduces the relative price of industrial products, but has a limited effect on per capita income because most labor has to remain in farming. Growth is not sustainable until this relative price drops below a certain threshold, thus inducing farmers to adopt modern technology that employs industry-supplied inputs. Once agricultural modernization begins, per capita income emerges from stasis and accelerates toward modern growth. Our calibrated model is largely consistent with the set of historical data we have compiled on the English economy, accounting well for the growth experience of England encompassing the Industrial Revolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang, Dennis T. & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2010. "Modernization of Agriculture and Long-Term Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5239, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5239
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    Cited by:

    1. Klaus Desmet & Stephen Parente, 2012. "The evolution of markets and the revolution of industry: a unified theory of growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 205-234, September.
    2. Ju, Jiandong & Lin, Justin Yifu & Wang, Yong, 2015. "Endowment structures, industrial dynamics, and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 244-263.
    3. Wen, Yi, 2015. "The Making of an Economic Superpower―Unlocking China’s Secret of Rapid Industrialization," Working Papers 2015-6, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Desmet, Klaus & Parente, Stephen, 2009. "The Evolution of Markets and the Revolution of Industry: A Quantitative Model of England's Development, 1300-2000," CEPR Discussion Papers 7290, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Wan, Guanghua & Luo, Zhi & Zhang, Xun, 2017. "Urbanizing with Equity Consideration," ADBI Working Papers 642, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    6. Ho, Chi Pui, 2016. "Rise of Women in Unified Growth Theory: French Development Process and Policy Implications," MPRA Paper 73864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:esx:essedp:729 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Alex Trew, 2014. "Spatial Takeoff in the First Industrial Revolution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 707-725, October.
    9. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2014. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 683-779 Elsevier.
    10. Erdkamp, Paul, 2016. "Economic growth in the Roman Mediterranean world: An early good-bye to Malthus?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1-20.
    11. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Resnick, Danielle & Thurlow, James, 2006. "The role of agriculture in development: implications for Sub-Saharan Africa," DSGD discussion papers 29, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Cao, Kang Hua & Birchenall, Javier A., 2013. "Agricultural productivity, structural change, and economic growth in post-reform China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 165-180.
    13. Alex Trew, 2016. "Endogenous Infrastructure Development and Spatial Takeoff," CDMA Working Paper Series 201601, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis, revised 17 Nov 2017.
    14. Priyo Asad Karim Khan, 2012. "Sector-Specific Capital, Labor Market Distortions and Cross-Country Income Differences: A Two-Sector General Equilibrium Approach," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-52, March.
    15. Chaoran Chen, 2017. "Technology Adoption, Capital Deepening, and International Productivity Differences," Working Papers tecipa-584, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    16. Terence C. Burnham, 2016. "Economics and evolutionary mismatch: humans in novel settings do not maximize," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 195-209, October.
    17. Ho, Chi Pui, 2015. "Population growth and structural transformation," MPRA Paper 68014, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    transition mechanisms; relative price; agricultural modernization; Industrial Revolution; long-term growth; structural transformation; England;

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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