Growth and convergence in world agriculture

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

John Devereux - Committee Chair


This project studies the role of agriculture in economic developments and attempts to bridge the gap between growth theory and development economics by studying convergence in agricultural growth.The sample includes data from 84 countries for the period 1961--1994.The results show no evidence of convergence; in fact there is strong evidence for divergence in agricultural growth. Some stylized facts of agricultural growth are enunciated based on the results of the tests for conditional convergence. This study also establishes that there is persistence in agriculture growth, thus furthering the arguments advanced by economists such as Theodore W. Schultz.The evidence confirms previous studies that emphasize the role of human capital accumulation in the transformation of "traditional agriculture." Physical capital is a contributor to growth, but neither the size of holdings nor land quality are significant factors determining agricultural growth.A Boserupian interpretation of the results is offered taking into consideration the fact of divergence, which implies the failure of diminishing marginal returns to physical capital in particular and land in general, thus contradicting the claims of Ricardo and his followers with respect to land and agriculture.


Economics, General; Economics, Agricultural

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text