Plowing Through the Data
Posted: 16 Sep 2011
Date Written: October 2011
In this paper I report on work that has aimed at measuring and understanding the sources of productivity differences among firms and their changes over time. These issues have been investigated at the micro level, which is the decision-making level. The relationship between inputs and the economic environment is informed by an underlying economic model. The issues involved in the specification and estimation of production functions are related to the role played by errors in production and optimization decisions. Under this general umbrella, the paper traces my interaction with the literature on some key subjects in production and supply. Turning to the macro level, I review subjects related to the analysis of agriculture as a sector of the economy and the determinants of agricultural growth. The incentives and constraints are affected by sector-specific and sector-neutral policies, by world prices, and by the implementation of new technology. The paper concludes with a review of empirical work on these subjects.
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