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Abstract

Recent empirical studies on agricultural productivity growth in African countries have produced mixed results; some find that uptake of new technology (technical progress) is the main source of total factor productivity growth while others point to improved use of existing technology (efficiency catch-up). This study tests for efficiency catch-up in the agricultural productivity of 33 African countries from 1966 to 2001. We use recent advances in data envelopment analysis (DEA) to generate standard and bootstrap bias corrected technical efficiency scores. In general, we find no evidence of efficiency catching-up. The standard DEA overestimated the efficiency scores of some countries due to small sample bias.

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