Seeds of growth? Agricultural productivity and the transitional dynamics of the Ramsey model

Xavier Irz, Terry Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

A two-sector Ramsey-type model of growth is developed to investigate the relationship between agricultural productivity and economy-wide growth. The framework takes into account the peculiarities of agriculture both in production (reliance on a fixed natural resource base) and in consumption (life-sustaining role and low income elasticity of food demand). The transitional dynamics of the model establish that when preferences respect Engel's law, the level and growth rate of agricultural productivity influence the speed of capital accumulation. A calibration exercise shows that a small difference in agricultural productivity has drastic implications for the rate and pattern of growth of the economy. Hence, low agricultural productivity can form a bottleneck limiting growth, because high food prices result in a low saving rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-165
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Review of Agricultural Economics
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005

Keywords

  • Agricultural productivity
  • Economic growth
  • Ramsey model
  • Structural transformation

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