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Agricultural productivity and structural transformation. Evidence from Brazil


  • Paula Bustos
  • Bruno Caprettini
  • Jacopo Ponticelli


We study the effects of the adoption of new agricultural technologies on structural transformation. To guide empirical work, we present a simple model where the effect of agricultural productivity on industrial development depends on the factor bias of technical change. We test the predictions of the model by studying the introduction of genetically engineered soybean seeds in Brazil, which had heterogeneous effects on agricultural productivity across areas with different soil and weather characteristics. We find that technical change in soy production was strongly labor saving and lead to industrial growth, as predicted by the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Paula Bustos & Bruno Caprettini & Jacopo Ponticelli, 2012. "Agricultural productivity and structural transformation. Evidence from Brazil," Economics Working Papers 1403, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1403

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Agricultural Productivity; Structural Transformation; Industrial Development; Labor Saving Technical Change; Genetically Engineered Soy.;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services


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