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Agricultural development : issues, evidence, and consequences, Volume 1
 
Author:Mundlak, Yair; Larson, Donald F.; Crego, Al; Collection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 1811
Date Stored:2000/02/24Document Date:1997/08/31
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperLanguage:English
Major Sector:Agriculture, fishing, and forestryReport Number:WPS1811
Sub Sectors:Other AgricultureSubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Economic Theory & Research; Banks & Banking Reform; Labor Policies; Economic Growth; Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems
Volume No:1  

Summary: A comprehensive examination of data from many countries shows that in 1967-92, eighty-one percent of the world's population lived in countries where agricultural growth exceeded population growth. Moreover, that growth occurred as agricultural prices declined. Productivity gains are a dominant characteristic of agriculture for the period. Average productivity increased for land and labor. Moreover, agricultural productivity gains were greater than average productivity gains for the economy in 80 percent of the countries studied. Measuring the effects of technology choice on productivity is crucial to understanding the determinants of agricultural growth. After selectively reviewing applied production studies, the authors conclude that the choice-of-technique method, which has its roots in Tinter's early production function studies, is best suited for examining the determinants of agricultural growth. Investments in technology have yielded large gains for agriculture, and the benefits have been passed on to customers in the form of lower prices. Thus history justifies public spending on agricultural research.

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