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Two Blades of Grass: The Impact of the Green Revolution

Douglas Gollin (), Casper Hansen () and Asger Wingender ()

No 2016-30, CSAE Working Paper Series from Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford

Abstract: We examine the impact of the Green Revolution, defined as the discusion of high-yielding crop varieties (HYVs), on aggregate economic outcomes in developing countries during the second half of the 20th century. We use time variation in the development and discusion of HYVs of 10 major crops, and the spatial variation in agro-climatically suitability for growing them, to identify the causal effects of adoption. In a sample of 84 counties, we estimate that a 10 percentage points increase in HYV adoption increases GDP per capita by about 15 percent. This effect is fully accounted for by a combination of the direct effect on crop yields, factor adjustment in agriculture, and structural transformation. Our analysis also reveals that the Green Revolution reduced fertility and that the reduction was only partly ofset by decreasing mortality rates. The net effect on population growth was therefore negative.

Keywords: Green Revolution; High Yielding Variety Crops; Productivity Shock; Macroeconomic Development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N50 O11 O13 O50 Q16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env and nep-gro
Date: 2016
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Working Paper: Two Blades of Grass: The Impact of the Green Revolution (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Two Blades of Grass: The Impact of the Green Revolution (2016) Downloads
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