Research, productivity, and output growth in Chinese agriculture

Shenggen Fan, Philip G. Pardey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Recent attempts to quantify the sources of growth in Chinese agriculture have attributed an exceptionally large share of this growth to the contemporary institutional and market reforms within China. To analyze this important issue we use a newly constructed panel data set that includes an agricultural research or stock-of-knowledge variable. Our results suggest that while still a significant source of growth, the direct growth promoting consequence of institutional change and market reforms have been overstated by these earlier studies. Research-induced technical change accounts for a significant share (20%) of the growth in agricultural output since 1965.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-137
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1 The views expressed here are those of the authors. The support of the Rockefeller Foundation in carrying out this work is gratefully acknowledged. This study was done in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Economics, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The authors received helpful comments from Howard Elliott, Niu Ruofeng, Zhu Xigang, Kym Anderson, Stanley Wood, Vernon Ruttan, Christian Bonte-Friedhem, and two anonymous reviewers on earlier versions. Senior authorship is unassigned.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Chinese agriculture
  • Institutional changes
  • Market reforms
  • Productivity
  • Regional development
  • Research


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