Land Distribution and International Agricultural Productivity

17 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2005

See all articles by Dietrich Vollrath

Dietrich Vollrath

University of Houston - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 4, 2004


Previous research has suggested that there is a relationship between land distribution and productivity in agriculture. This paper estimates a cross-country agricultural production function that includes for the first time measures of land distribution as elements of productivity. The measures capture both the size distribution of holdings within a country, and the availability of holdings across the agricultural population. The estimates suggest a very large and significant role for the size distribution of holdings. This role, though, does not appear to arise because of the decreasing returns to farm size that are often identified in micro-level research. The results indicate that improvements in the distribution of agricultural land are a potential source of gains in agricultural productivity, and income per capita, across countries.

Keywords: Land Distribution, Land Inequality, Agricultural Productivity, Agricultural Production Function

JEL Classification: Q1, Q11, Q15, O13, O47

Suggested Citation

Vollrath, Dietrich, Land Distribution and International Agricultural Productivity (May 4, 2004). Available at SSRN: or

Dietrich Vollrath (Contact Author)

University of Houston - Department of Economics ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-5882
United States


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