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Abstract

In this paper I study levels and trends in agricultural output and productivity in 14 developing countries that account for a major portion of the Central American and Caribbean population and agricultural output. I make use of data of drawn from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and my period study cover the period 1979-2008. The study uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to derive Malmquist productivity indexes. The study examines trends in agricultural productivity over the period. Issues of catch-up and convergence, or in some cases possible divergence, in productivity in agriculture are examined within a global framework. The results show an annual growth in TFP of 1.5 %, with efficiency change (or catch-up) contributing 0.1 % per year and technical change (or frontier shift) providing the other 1.4 %. In terms of individual country performance, the most spectacular performance is posted by Dominican Republic with an average annual growth of 3.9 % in TFP over the study period. Other countries with strong performance are, among other, Cuba, Barbados, Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala have posted a TFP growth rate of only 2.9 every one.

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