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Two Blades of Grass: The Impact of the Green Revolution

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  • Douglas Gollin
  • Casper Worm Hansen
  • Asger Wingender

Abstract

We examine the economic impact of high-yielding crop varieties (HYVs) in developing countries 1960-2000. We use time variation in the development and diffusion of HYVs of 10 major crops, spatial variation in agro-climatically suitability for growing them, and a differences-in-differences strategy to identify the causal effects of adoption. In a sample of 84 counties, we estimate that a 10 percentage points increase in HYV adoption increases GDP per capita by about 15 percent. This effect is fully accounted for by the direct effect on crop yields, factor adjustment, and structural transformation. We also find that HYV adoption reduced both fertility and mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Gollin & Casper Worm Hansen & Asger Wingender, 2018. "Two Blades of Grass: The Impact of the Green Revolution," NBER Working Papers 24744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24744
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    Cited by:

    1. Dias, Mateus & Rocha, Rudi & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2019. "Glyphosate Use in Agriculture and Birth Outcomes of Surrounding Populations," IZA Discussion Papers 12164, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Bharadwaj, Prashant & Fenske, James & Ali Mirza, Rinchan & Kala, Namrata, 2018. "The Green Revolution and Infant Mortality in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 385, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. repec:eee:agisys:v:172:y:2019:i:c:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Blakeslee, David & Chaurey, Ritam & Fishman, Ram & Malik, Samreen, 2018. "Structural Transformation and Spillovers from Industrial Areas," IZA Discussion Papers 11886, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. repec:kap:jecgro:v:23:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10887-018-9159-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Caprettini, Bruno & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2017. "Rage Against the Machines: Labour-Saving Technology and Unrest in England, 1830-32," CEPR Discussion Papers 11800, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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