A World Without Agriculture: The Structural Transformation by C. Peter Timmer

By C. Peter Timmer

The progressively diminishing position of agriculture on the planet economy_a mostly unperceived, poorly understood, yet profound change_is as transformational for developmental fiscal concept as gravity has been for physics. C. Peter Timmer argues that policymakers who forget about this basic shift possibility mismanaging their financial improvement rules, with critical results. The 'structural transformation' of constructing economies has 4 major beneficial properties: a falling proportion of agriculture in monetary output and employment; a emerging percentage of city monetary job in and sleek prone; the migration of rural staff to city settings; and a demographic transition in delivery and loss of life charges that usually results in a spurt in inhabitants development ahead of a brand new equilibrium is reached. even if all constructing economies adventure those transitions, dealing with the ensuing political outcomes has been a big problem for policymakers over the last half-century. attempting to cease the structural transformation easily doesn't paintings. Bolstering the ability of the negative to learn from swap, besides the fact that, does. Investments in human assets, for example_especially in schooling and health_are the main promising methods to easing the transitions of a constructing countryOs structural transformation. Such innovations require major public-sector assets and coverage help to augment rural productiveness and depend upon political techniques which are delicate to the pressures generated through the structural transformation. constructing effective coverage mechanisms to steer constructing economies in the course of the structural transformation might be a concern of global governments within the twenty-first century. This monograph, a global with no Agriculture, was once the 2007 Henry Wendt Lecture, introduced on the American company Institute in Washington, D.C. on October 30, 2007. The Wendt Lecture is brought each year via a pupil who has made significant contributions to our knowing of the fashionable phenomenon of globalization and its effects for social welfare, govt coverage, and the growth of liberal political associations.

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In China and India, for example, the increase in this gap since the early 1990s has generated strong political pressures. A worrisome aspect of the rural–urban income gap is that it actually tends to get larger during the early stages of economic growth. The turning point in the relationship for AgGAPshr only occurs at per-capita levels of GDP above $9,000 in regression C-3 in table 2-3 (where the terms-of-trade variable is not included). By way of comparison, per-capita GDP in 2000 was $5,940 in Mexico, $6,185 in Uruguay, $7,700 in Argentina, $10,300 in Greece, and $10,940 in South Korea.

But raising the caloric intake of the poor has a positive effect on their well-being, work productivity, and investment in human capital. Empirical evidence provided by Paul Schultz and by Fogel illustrates this importance,35 but a more general case can also be made. The case builds on three empirical relationships: between agricultural growth and poverty alleviation; between increases in domestic food production and improvements in nutrient intake; and between agricultural productivity and productivity growth in the rest of the economy.

This effect can be seen even more clearly when both components of the agricultural terms of trade are included separately in the standard structural transformation regressions, for Asia and non-Asia (see COMMON PATTERNS AND DIVERGENT POLICIES 35 TABLE 2-4 IMPACTS OF THE PREDICTED AGRICULTURAL TERMS OF TRADE FOR ASIA AND NON-ASIA Asia Impact of the specified agricultural terms of trade on . . 9854 Non-Asia Impact of the specified agricultural terms of trade on . . 9886 SOURCE: Timmer and Akkus 2008, technical annex.

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