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Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture?

Berthold Herrendorf () and Todd Schoellman ()

No 5484, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: In poor countries, labor productivity in agriculture is considerably lower than in the rest of the economy. We assess whether this well known fact implies that labor is mis-allocated between the two sectors. We make several observations that suggest otherwise. First, the same fact holds for US states where severe mis-allocation is implausible. Second, the gaps between the marginal value products of agriculture and non-agriculture are considerably smaller when measured through wages than through labor productivities. Third, labor productivity in agriculture is severely mis-measured in the US.

Keywords: mis-allocation of labor; productivity gaps; wage gaps (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Journal Article: Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture? (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture? (2012) Downloads
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