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Abstract

This paper computes and analyses total factor productivity (TFP) growth rates for tropical agricultural systems in Central-Western Africa and South-East Asia. Two regions that despite sharing common agro-ecological conditions, have pursued different adoption rates of green revolution technology and have reported dissimilar yields per hectare. A panel data set is constructed for the period 1987-2007 from the FAOSTAT database. A Bayesian stochastic frontier model with country specific temporal variation in technical efficiency is estimated. Technical efficiency estimates reveal that there is substantial room for improvement in both continental sub-sets and that TFP estimates show on average larger rates of growth for South-East Asian countries as compared to Central-Western African countries. Results indicate that TFP is mostly driven by technical change and countries such as Benin, and Gambia display catch-up.

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