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Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to estimate the Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth in the Argentine agricultural sector. First, the paper examines trends and changes in aggregate agricultural production, sources of growth and productivity over the period 1913-2010. It then analyzes the productivity growth in the two main subsectors in argentine agriculture, grains and livestock, for the period 1961-2010. TFP was calculated using the Törnqvist index, which is a discrete approximation to the Divisia index. The data used to estimate the output and input indexes are prices and quantities for 4 grain crops, livestock, and for four inputs —labor, land, capital and fertilizers. The results for aggregate agricultural sector show that the annual rate of annual for the period 1913-2010 was 1.8% and 0.3%, for products and inputs respectively. Therefore, the TFP grew at an average annual rate of 1.5%. Finally, the paper examines the dominant growth profile, either extensive (factor accumulation and utilization) or intensive (productivity gains), in particular during the last two decades, in the grain and livestock subsectors.

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