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[9月21日] 发展经济学Workshop

发布日期:2022-09-14 11:23    来源:

Agricultural Endowment and Structural Transformation
(joint with Justin Yifu Lin and Haochen Zhang)



This paper shows that higher agricultural endowment per capita could impede structural transformation out of agriculture in the presence of "labor pull" forces in the non-agricultural sector. We first show that arable land area per capita is inversely related to structural transformation out of agriculture at the sub-national level using a sample of 34 countries. Then focusing on China and exploiting the trade liberalization shock in the 1990s and 2000s as an exogenous "labor pull" force in the non-agricultural sector, we show that Chinese prefectures with more abundant agricultural endowment experienced slower growth in employment shares in the non-agricultural and manufacturing sectors during 1990-2010. We provide causal empirical evidence based on the prefecture-, firm-, and individual-level data. The mechanism is consistent with rich agricultural endowment raising the opportunity costs of labor reallocation from agriculture to non-agriculture. This result contrasts with existing literature that emphasizes the growth of agricultural productivity as a driver of structural transformation.
Wei You is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego in 2017 and was a Research Fellow at Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University during 2017-2020. His research interests include urban economics, development economics, international trade and economic history. His research has been published in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Housing Economics, and Remote Sensing.