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Agriculture's decline in Indonesia : supply or demand determined

Author

Listed:
  • Martin, Will
  • Warr, Peter G.

Abstract

Agriculture's share in an economy invariably declines as per capita income rises and as the economy develops. The literature on its causes has focused on the relative price effects arising from demand factors--especially Engel's Law (that the proportion of income spent on food declines as incomes rise)--rather than on such supply-side influences as changes in relative factor endowments and different rates of technical change. Engel's Law is convincing at the global level but it does not explain why agriculture's share should decline sharply in small open economies that experience rapid economic growth. A simple structural model of the transformation of the Indonesian economy, applying the Error Correction Mechanism to capture the dynamics resulting from disequilibria and costs of adjustment is developed. The authors develop an econometric model of the economy's supply side so they can explain agriculture's decline by the three theoretical factors: relative price changes, technical change, and factor accumulation. Based on the model's results, the authors conclude that the decline in the relative price of agricultural output contributed relatively little to the decline in agriculture's share. Technical change actually had a positive effect on agriculture's share, retarding the pressures for a decline in its share over time. By far the most important influence appears to have been the rapid accumulation of capital relative to labor over the period studied (1960-87).

Suggested Citation

  • Martin, Will & Warr, Peter G., 1991. "Agriculture's decline in Indonesia : supply or demand determined," Policy Research Working Paper Series 798, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:798
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    3. Hendry, David F, 1986. "Econometric Modelling with Cointegrated Variables: An Overview," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 201-212, August.
    4. Martin, Will & Warr, Peter G., 1990. "The Declining Economic Importance of Agriculture," 1990 Conference (34th), February 13-15, 1990, Brisbane, Australia 145213, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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    6. W. Erwin Diewert, 1986. "Export Supply and Import Demand Functions: A Production Theory Approach," NBER Working Papers 2011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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