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A worldwide analysis of trend in crop yields and yield variability: Evidence from FAO data

Linda Arata, Enrico Fabrizi and Paolo Sckokai ()

Economic Modelling, 2020, vol. 90, issue C, 190-208

Abstract: The trend in crop yields and yield variability affects food security and impact agricultural and food policies. Recent studies in this area have either focused only on one country or performed global analysis on a handful of crops. We provide the first worldwide analysis of trend and variability for 8088 country-crop yield series taken from the FAO database, employing a robust estimator to cope with the adverse statistical effects of outliers. More than half of the series display a slowdown in yield growth due to a closing of the gap between realised and attainable yields as well as to agricultural policies promoting more sustainable agricultural practices. Around one fourth of the series show also an increase in yield variability as a consequence of climate change and changes in farm management practices. Yield variability is highest in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Middle East and North Africa, where food security may be threatened.

Keywords: Crop yield trend; Crop yield variability; Food security; MM robust Estimator (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C13 C55 Q10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2020.05.006

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