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AEC 2012 - Africa's Missed Agricultural Revolution a Quantitative Study of the Policy Options


Despite the widespread diffusion of productivity-enhancing agricultural technologies the world over, agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa has typically stagnated. This paper develops a quantitative model in order to shed light on the sources of low labor productivity in African agriculture. The model provides a vehicle for understanding the mechanisms leading to low agricultural labor productivity, in particular, how the interactions between factor endowments, government investment and technology adoption may have culminated in agricultural stagnation. I calibrate the model to data for four Sub-Saharan African economies, and use this calibrated model to provide insight into policy aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in Africa. Policies aimed at improving rural infrastructure or productivity in the non-agricultural sectors, or allowing for land transferability, would be most effective for increasing agricultural labor productivity, and would further bring increases in household welfare for each of the countries I calibrate to.

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