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Abstract

In order to achieve global food security in the twenty-first century, agricultural productivity rates in the developing world will need to outpace population growth rates and increases in food prices. Many developing economies try to incorporate agricultural technology from developed countries into their agricultural systems to increase efficiency and output. However, adopting these types of technologies may not be the optimal choice for maximizing agricultural output in the developing world because these types of technologies require relatively high skill levels to operate, among other frictions. This article uses the framework developed in Caselli and Coleman (2006) to propose that it is more effective in regards to agricultural output for countries abundant in low-skill labor (developing countries) to adopt low-skill complementary agricultural technology, while the reverse is true in developed countries. The chief finding of this article is that agricultural output is dependent on feasible technology and skill endowments, and that simply transferring agricultural technology from developed to developing countries will not yield large agricultural output increases—and may actually create output losses.

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