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Agricultural productivity growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: an analysis of climatic effects, catch‐up and convergence

Michee Lachaud and Boris E. Bravo‐Ureta

Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2021, vol. 65, issue 1, 143-170

Abstract: This paper investigates whether climatic adjusted total factor productivity (CATFP) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is converging, converging to different steady states or exhibit absolute convergence, that is the process does not require (government) interventions to reach its equilibrium path. We use data from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and from the Food and Agriculture Organization for 28 LAC countries over a 54‐year period (1961–2014) to estimate random parameters stochastic production frontier models to calculate CATFP and then use cross‐sectional regressions and an error correction model to analyse CATFP convergence across countries in the region. The results show that technological progress is the main driver of CATFP growth in the region and there is no absolute convergence, that is CATFP gaps across countries will not decrease over time and least performing countries will not grow faster than better performing ones without targeted policies. However, CATFP across LAC exhibits conditional convergence towards different steady states. Technological progress plays a critical role in raising the steady state level of CATFP with an overall average of 2.22 per cent per annum.

Date: 2021
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Handle: RePEc:bla:ajarec:v:65:y:2021:i:1:p:143-170