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Abstract

An important source of growth for Australian broadacre agriculture has been technical progress. We compare alternative measures of productivity growth including the traditional Tornqvist-Thiel total factor productivity index; variants of this approach that allow decreasing returns to scale; the Fisher ideal index; other nonparametric measures that do not impose particular functional forms and an econometric estimate from a translog industry cost function. The annual growth in productivity in broadacre agriculture over the period from 1953 to 1994 was in the range of 2.4 to 2.6 per cent and hence was quite robust to measurement technique.

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