Crop Selection and International Differences in Aggregate Agricultural Productivity

36 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2019

See all articles by Jorge Alvarez

Jorge Alvarez

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Claudia Berg

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: August 2019

Abstract

A large share of cross-country differences in productivity is explained by differences in agricultural productivity. Using a combination of sub-national agricultural statistics and geospatial datasets on crop-specific potential yields, we study the main drivers of this variation from a macroeconomic perspective. We find that differences in geographically-induced crop-specific comparative advantages can explain a substantial share of the variation in yields across the world. Data reveal substantial gaps between potential and observed yields in most countries. When decomposing these within country gaps, we find that crop selection gaps are on average larger than those induced by input usage alone. The results highlight the importance of understanding the interaction of geography and crop selection drivers in assessing aggregate agricultural productivity differences.

Keywords: Agricultural production, Production, Gross domestic product, Development, Employment, Productivity, Agriculture, Geography, potential yield, crop selection, crop-specific, country-level, potential production

JEL Classification: O11, O13, O18, E01, O14, Q1, I3, Z13

Suggested Citation

Alvarez, Jorge and Berg, Claudia, Crop Selection and International Differences in Aggregate Agricultural Productivity (August 2019). IMF Working Paper No. 19/179, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3444154

Jorge Alvarez (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/jalvarezecon/

Claudia Berg

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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