The noted economist Yair Mundlak presents here a theory of the growth of the agricultural sector within the context of a growing economy. He explores the various aspects of the dynamics of agriculture and their relationship to the dynamics of the economy at large, offering a unique blend of theory, methodology, and empirical analysis.
The rate of agricultural growth has varied across countries and over time, even though the main innovations in agricultural technology have been made available to all countries. Consequently, the difference in performance is due to the use made of the available technology. Mundlak treats the implementation of technology as an economic decision similar to decisions about resource supply and allocation. The development of agriculture, like that of other sectors, is determined to a large degree by the economic environment, especially public policies. This framework permits the author to evaluate the effects of policies on growth by examining their effects on sectoral incentives. Mundlak shows that neutral macroeconomic policies may have a stronger effect on sectoral growth than sector-specific policies.
The book contains problem sets, and will be a reference and text for graduate-level courses.