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The Agricultural Productivity Gap

  • Douglas Gollin
  • David Lagakos
  • Michael E. Waugh

According to national accounts data, value added per worker is much higher in the non-agricultural sector than in agriculture in the typical country, and particularly so in developing countries. Taken at face value, this "agricultural productivity gap" suggests that labor is greatly misallocated across sectors. In this paper, we draw on new micro evidence to ask to what extent the gap is still present when better measures of sector labor inputs and value added are taken into consideration. We find that even after considering sector differences in hours worked and human capital per worker, as well as alternative measures of sector output constructed from household survey data, a puzzlingly large gap remains.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19628.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19628
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  1. Frick, Joachim R. & Jenkings, Stephen P. & Lillard, Dean R. & Lipps, Oliver & Wooden, Mark, 2007. "The Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF) and Its Member Country Household Panel Studies," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 627-654.
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  8. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J Klenow, 2008. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," 2008 Meeting Papers 121, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Measuring aggregate welfare in developing countries - How well do national accounts and surveys agree?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2665, The World Bank.
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