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Working paper 775
Stephen Ayerst, Loren Brandt, Diego Restuccia, "Distortions, Producer Dynamics, and Aggregate Productivity: A General Equilibrium Analysis", 2024-05-10
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Abstract: In less developed economies the allocation of factor inputs to more productive farms is often hindered. To analyze how distortions to factor reallocation affect farm dynamics and agricultural productivity, we develop a model of heterogeneous farms that make cropping choices and invest in productivity improvements. We calibrate the model using detailed farm-level panel data from Vietnam, exploiting regional differences in agricultural institutions and outcomes. We focus on south Vietnam and quantify the effect of higher measured distortions in the North on farm choices and agricultural productivity. We find that the higher distortions in north Vietnam reduce agricultural productivity by 41%, accounting for 61% of the observed 2.5-fold difference between regions. Moreover, two-thirds of the productivity loss is driven by farms' choice of lower productivity crops and reductions in productivity-enhancing investment, which more than doubles the productivity loss from static misallocation.

Keywords: Farm dynamics, productivity, size, distortions, misallocation, Vietnam.

JEL Classification: O11, O14, O4.