NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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The NBER Reporter 2019 Number 3: Books




Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior




Edited by Wolfram Schlenker

     Agricultural yields have increased steadily in the last half century, particularly since the Green Revolution. At the same time, inflation-adjusted agricultural commodity prices have been trending downward as increases in supply outpace the growth of demand. Yet recent severe weather events, biofuel mandates, and a switch toward a more meatheavy diet in emerging economies have boosted commodity prices. Whether this is a temporary jump or the beginning of a longer-term trend is an open question. Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior examines the factors contributing to the remarkably steady increase in global yields and assesses whether yield growth can continue. This research also considers whether such growth will have significant environmental consequences. Among the topics studied are genetically modified crops; changing climatic factors; farm production responses to government regulations including crop insurance, transport subsidies, and electricity subsidies for groundwater extraction; and the role of specific farm practices such as crop diversification, disease management, and water-saving methods. This research provides new evidence that technological as well as policy choices influence agricultural productivity.

 
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