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A Common Factor Approach to Spatial Heterogeneity in Agricultural Productivity Analysis


  • Eberhardt, Markus
  • Teal, Francis


In this paper we investigate a `global' production function for agriculture, using FAO data for 128 countries from 1961-2002. Our review of the empirical literature in this field highlights that existing cross-country studies largely neglect variable time-series properties, parameter heterogeneity and the potential for heterogeneous Total Factor Productivity (TFP) processes across countries. We motivate the case for technology heterogeneity in agricultural production and present statistical tests indicating nonstationarity and cross-section dependence in the data. Our empirical approach deals with these difficulties by adopting the Pesaran (2006) Common Correlated Effects estimators, which we extend by using alternative weight-matrices to model the nature of the cross-section dependence. We furthermore investigate returns to scale of production and production dynamics. Our results support the specification of a common factor model in intercountry production analysis, highlight the rejection of constant returns to scale in pooled models as an artefact of empirical misspecication and suggest that agro-climatic environment, rather than neighbourhood or distance, drives similarity in TFP evolution across countries. The latter nding provides a possible explanation for the observed failure of technology transfer from advanced countries of the temperate `North' to arid and/or equatorial developing countries of the `South'.

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  • Eberhardt, Markus & Teal, Francis, 2009. "A Common Factor Approach to Spatial Heterogeneity in Agricultural Productivity Analysis," MPRA Paper 15810, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15810

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Howard, Peter & Sterner, Thomas, 2014. "Raising the Temperature on Food Prices: Climate Change, Food Security, and the Social Cost of Carbon," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170648, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Markus Eberhardt & Francis Teal, 2011. "Econometrics For Grumblers: A New Look At The Literature On Cross‐Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 109-155, February.
    3. Eberhardt, Markus & Bond, Stephen, 2009. "Cross-section dependence in nonstationary panel models: a novel estimator," MPRA Paper 17692, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Markus Eberhardt & Francis Teal, 2011. "Econometrics For Grumblers: A New Look At The Literature On Cross‐Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 109-155, 02.

    More about this item


    agriculture; cross-country productivity analysis; nonstationary panel econometrics; factor models;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

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