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Productivity growth and convergence in agriculture and manufacturing

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  • Martin, Will
  • Mitra, Devashish

Abstract

The authors examine the growth and convergence of total factor productivity in agriculture and manufacturing in a large sample of countries spanning many levels of development over the period 1967-1992. There is a widely held but rarely tested view that the rate of growth in agricultural productivity is invariably low. But the authors find that the rate of productivity growth in agriculture has been higher than in manufacturing both on average and for groups of countries at different stages of development. The authors find evidence of high rates of technical progress in both agriculture and manufacturing. At all levels of development, however, technical progress appears to have been faster in agriculture than in manufacturing. Moreover, there appears to be a stronger tendency for levels and growth rates of total factor productivity to converge in agriculture than in manufacturing - suggesting that international dissemination of innovations have been relatively rapid in agriculture. These results may well reflect the important investments in agricultural research and development in recent decades. The also highlight the need to continue developing and disseminating innovations if countries are to maintain high rates of productivity growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin, Will & Mitra, Devashish, 1999. "Productivity growth and convergence in agriculture and manufacturing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2171, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2171
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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