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Technology Adoption, Capital Deepening, and International Productivity Differences

Listed author(s):
  • Chaoran Chen

Cross-country differences in capital intensity are larger in agriculture than in the non-agricultural sector. I build a two-sector model featuring technology adoption in agriculture. As the economy develops, farmers gradually adopt modern capital-intensive technologies to replace traditional labor-intensive technologies, as is observed in the U.S. historical data. Using this model, I find that technology adoption is key to explaining lower agricultural capital intensity and labor productivity in poor countries. By allowing for technology adoption, my model can explain 1.56-fold more in rich-poor agricultural productivity differences. I further show that land misallocation impedes technology adoption and magnifies productivity differences.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-584.

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Length: Unknown pages
Date of creation: 05 Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-584
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  1. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741 Elsevier.
  2. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
  3. Whelan, Karl, 2002. "A Guide to U.S. Chain Aggregated NIPA Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(2), pages 217-233, June.
  4. Berthold Herrendorf & Todd Schoellman, 2015. "Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 1003-1022, October.
  5. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, October.
  6. Larson, David F. & Butzer, Rita & Mundlak, Yair & Crego, Al, 2000. "A Cross-Country Database for Sector Investment and Capital," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 371-391, May.
  7. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "An Exploration of Technology Diffusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2031-2059, December.
  8. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
  9. Paula Bustos & Bruno Caprettini & Jacopo Ponticelli, 2016. "Agricultural Productivity and Structural Transformation: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1320-1365, June.
  10. Elisa Keller & Julieta Caunedo, 2016. "Capital Obsolescence and Agricultural Productivity," 2016 Meeting Papers 686, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Pingali, Prabhu, 2007. "Agricultural Mechanization: Adoption Patterns and Economic Impact," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
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