Net Farm Income, Market Prices and Agricultural Productivity Growth in the United States

If the claimants of net farm income are operators and unpaid family members, net farm income can be expressed as a real implicit wage per hour of work. Bennet indicators are used to decompose changes in the real implicit wage into input and output price change components and partial factor productivity growth (PFPG). PFPG is the difference between output growth and the growth of all inputs but operator and unpaid family labor. Data from the ERS production account for U.S. agriculture for 1948-2002 are used. The results show that, on average, positive PFPG was either partially or fully offset by the output and input price components. These results suggest that the accepted wisdom –namely that agricultural productivity growth is key to the sector’s prosperity –has not taken into account the effect of output and input market price changes that happen at the same time.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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