Structural Variations of Agriculture in the Pacific

Agricultural shares of output and employment in thirteen Pacific basin countries are analyzed with reference to a global baseline for 1980. Per-capita output parity ratios are lower in the ASEAN, ANICs, and Japan as compared to their trading partners in North America and Oceania. Wide differences in land-labor ratios influence the directions of technological change, economies of scale, and dynamic comparative advantage. Differential changes in the partial productivities of land and labor between the high and middle income economies suggest that there has been a narrowing of the gap in land productivities and a widening of the gap in labor productivities across the Pacific. The implication is that there has been a regressive international impact on wages for farm labor. Further, since agriculture's share of land resources does not tend to fall as fast as its share of output and labor, increasing structural imbalance in terms of differential land rents to agriculture vis-a-vis non-agriculture results in greater adjustment pressures on the property and derived institutional systems that control natural resource allocation decisions. The results are consistent with the heavy adjustment burdens that agriculture and developing economies have been bearing as a result of expanding trade and capital flows, and the need to focus more attention on the structure, functioning, and performance of the different institutional systems that control resource allocation decisions in these countries.

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Journal Article
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Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, Volume 01, Issue 2
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-28

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