The Agricultural Productivity Gap

47 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2013

See all articles by Douglas Gollin

Douglas Gollin

Oxford Department of International Development; Williams College; Yale University

David Lagakos

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Michael E. Waugh

New York University (NYU), Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2013

Abstract

According to national accounts data, value added per worker is much higher in the non-agricultural sector than in agriculture in the typical country, and particularly so in developing countries. Taken at face value, this "agricultural productivity gap" suggests that labor is greatly misallocated across sectors. In this paper, we draw on new micro evidence to ask to what extent the gap is still present when better measures of sector labor inputs and value added are taken into consideration. We find that even after considering sector differences in hours worked and human capital per worker, as well as alternative measures of sector output constructed from household survey data, a puzzlingly large gap remains.

Suggested Citation

Gollin, Douglas and Lagakos, David and Waugh, Michael E., The Agricultural Productivity Gap (November 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19628. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2352145

Douglas Gollin (Contact Author)

Oxford Department of International Development ( email )

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Williams College ( email )

Fernald House
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Yale University ( email )

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New Haven, CT 06520-8264
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David Lagakos

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

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La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Michael E. Waugh

New York University (NYU), Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

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