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Pathfinding Paper

Agricultural Productivity and Structural Transformation: Evidence and Questions for African Development

Douglas Gollin

This paper summarises key findings from the recent literature on agricultural productivity and structural transformation and then identifies priority areas for further research. The paper discusses the macro relevance of agricultural productivity for growth and structural transformation. New theory and data have underscored the importance of agricultural productivity as a proximate cause for low aggregate productivity in the world’s poorest countries, including many in sub-Saharan Africa. Evidence has also emerged on the importance of agricultural productivity growth as a driver of development and growth in the past. But micro evidence and changes in the global context suggest that today’s low-income countries may face a different set of challenges in the years ahead.

This paper is available for download here.

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