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Is U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth Slowing?

Eldon Ball, David Schimmelpfennig and Sun Ling Wang

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2013, vol. 35, issue 3, 435-450

Abstract: This paper uses statistics on agricultural productivity compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service to test the productivity slowdown hypothesis. The indexes of productivity growth span the years 1948 to 2009. In our analysis, we apply econometric techniques that allow for multiple structural breaks at unknown points in time and in various forms. The tests identify a break in trend in 1974 and an intercept shift in 1985. These results point to slower productivity growth in agriculture beginning in 1974. Prior to 1974, productivity grew at an annual rate of 1.71%, but this slowed to 1.56% after 1974. This slower rate of productivity growth persisted after the intercept shift in 1985 but from a higher absolute level of productivity. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2013
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Journal Article: Is U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth Slowing? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Is U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth Slowing? (2012) Downloads
Journal Article: Is U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth Slowing? (2010) Downloads
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