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Testing competing explanations for the inverse productivity puzzle

Author

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  • Juliano Junqueira Assunção

    () (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

  • Luiz Henrique Braido

    (EPGE/FGV)

Abstract

We use plot-level data from ICRISAT to assess competing explanations for an old empirical regularity - the inverse relationship between land productivity and farm size. The presence of farmers who simultaneously crop multiple plots with di¤erent sizes is used to test (and reject) explanations based on household heterogeneity. The panel nature of the data is explored to test (and refuse) explanations based on plot fixed characteristics. We are then left with explanations based on time-varying plot features or measurement errors in the plot size. Theoretically, the input choices should reflect both plot-specific features and the true plot size. Empirically, the inverse relationship vanishes when we control for input use.

Suggested Citation

  • Juliano Junqueira Assunção & Luiz Henrique Braido, 2005. "Testing competing explanations for the inverse productivity puzzle," Textos para discussão 500, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:500
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    File URL: http://www.econ.puc-rio.br/uploads/adm/trabalhos/files/td500.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fulginiti, Lilyan E & Perrin, Richard K, 1993. "Prices and Productivity in Agriculture," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 471-482, August.
    2. Bhalla, Surjit S., 1988. "Does land quality matter? : Theory and measurement," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 45-62, July.
    3. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1986. "Access to Capital and Agrarian Production Organisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 482-498, June.
    4. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Binswanger, Hans P, 1993. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 56-78, January.
    5. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
    6. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1973. "Size, Productivity, and Returns to Scale: An Analysis of Farm-Level Data in Indian Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1370-1386, Nov.-Dec..
    7. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
    8. Assuncao, Juliano J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2003. "Can unobserved heterogeneity in farmer ability explain the inverse relationship between farm size and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 189-194, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. O’Gorman Melanie, 2015. "Africa’s missed agricultural revolution: a quantitative study of the policy options," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 561-602, July.

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    Keywords

    Development; farm size; productivity.;

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