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Agricultural productivity evolution in China: A generalized decomposition of the Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indicator

Zhiyang Shen, Tomas Baležentis () and Gary Ferrier

China Economic Review, 2019, vol. 57, issue C

Abstract: China has undergone a series of agricultural policy reforms since 1978. The measurement of the productivity gains and identification of the underlying drivers thereof are important facets of policy analysis. The commonly used Total Factor Productivity (TFP) measures often lack such desirable properties as completeness or independence of the direction of the optimization (orientation). In this paper, we take a top down approach by beginning with a TFP measure and then decomposing it into three mutually exclusive, exhaustive elements. In particular, we begin with the additively complete Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen (LHM) TFP indicator that takes into account both input and output changes when measuring productivity and then additively decompose it into measures of technological progress, technical efficiency change, and scale efficiency change. We develop a generalized decomposition of the LHM TFP indicator which encompasses both input-oriented and output-oriented changes over time. We illustrate this additively complete LHM TFP indicator using agricultural data from 31 Chinese provinces over the period 1997–2015. Our empirical results show that Chinese agricultural productivity growth (3.05% per annum) was mainly driven by technological progress (2.35% p.a.), with relatively small contributions from scale efficiency change (0.65% p.a.) and technical efficiency change (0.04% p.a.). We also found that productivity change and the relative importance of its components varied across both time and provinces.

Keywords: Total Factor Productivity; Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indicator; Productivity decomposition; Agricultural technology; Agricultural policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2019.101315

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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