Industrial Agricultural Essays

Abstract

This dissertation examines three aspects of the macroeconomic role of agriculture in the industrialization of developing countries. In the first essay, I utilize instrumental variable techniques to empirically identify the effect of growth in agriculture on growth in manufacturing. Using data for 62 countries and instrumental variable techniques, I find that higher land yields in agriculture raise growth in manufacturing in the short to medium run. Along with extensions of the basic empirical model, this finding suggests that land-saving technical change can stimulate demand for industrial goods, raise fiscal revenues, and provide foreign exchange earnings to finance capital accumulation. In the second essay, I examine the role of biased-technical change in agriculture in the formation of aggregate demand for industry. I use a two-sector growth model to show that, under conditions of low factor substitutability and hidden unemployment, land-saving innovations can raise rural employment, enlarge the domestic market for manufactures, and promote faster industrial accumulation --- in contrast to labor-saving innovations. I also develop saving-constrained and open economy extensions of the baseline model. The essay casts light on a recent strand of empirical studies --- including the first essay of this dissertation --- which have identified a positive impact of higher land yields on industrial growth. Finally, in the third essay I develop a political-economic explanation for the labor-displacing trend that existed across the larger and most dynamic agricultural establishments in Brazil during the 1950-1980 period. Using primary data and the secondary literature, I document this trend and argue that it resulted from the interaction between public policies to promote the use of modern inputs, on the one hand, and size and power inequality across landholdings, on the other hand. As a result, the pattern of technical change in agriculture aggravated the problem of underemployment that beset Brazil's industrialization, preventing a broader distribution of its benefits.

Recommended Citation

de Souza, Joao Paulo, "Essays on Growth Complementarity Between Agriculture and Industry in Developing Countries" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations. 462.
https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations_2/462

Organic Farming Versus Industrial Farming Essay

Organic food and organic farming become a pop issue in today’s society. People begin to concern which kind of food is better for their health and which farming method is better for the environment. Most mothers will select food carefully and buy foods with the organic label when they are shopping in the supermarket, because they think organic food is better for their family’s health. But what is the difference between the “organic farming” and “industrial farming”? In the definition, organic farming is a form of agriculture that “relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control.” Compare with organic farming, industrial farming will use more chemicals. Is organic farming better than industrial farming? This controversial issue has aroused wide public concern and heated discussions. From my deeper research in this area, I get a new understanding of the relationship between organic farming and industrial farming. Organic farming and industrial farming both have benefits and drawbacks, the best way to produce food is combining the organic farming with the industrial farming.
In Richard Schiffman’s article, he deems that industrial farming has a serious drawbacks: industrial farming will impact the environment and people’s health. Schiffman is a writer and a former environmental freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post. Schiffman states industrial is easy to pollute the water because industrial farming need to uses a plethora of chemicals. He thinks industrial agriculture is productive and can deliver more massive quantities of food but it is depend on “standardized applications of toxic chemicals and petroleum-based fertilizers"(2) It will pollutes the food and influence people’s health. They even pollute the food, making it poisonous and making people sick. This is the reason why Richard Schiffman deems organic farming is better.
Richard Schiffman also refutes the supporter of modern industrial agriculture who states that industrial farming is “more affordable to provide the entire population with mass-produced food”. Richard thinks we should evaluate the real full cost. “Farming machinery and petroleum-based chemicals require huge amounts of fossil fuels. Industrial farming depletes the soil of nutrients, and uses water less efficiently than organic methods” (2). “Toxic pesticides and herbicides harm pollinators and pollute the groundwater” (3). People need to consider all of those factors when talking about the efficiency of our dominant agricultural system. It is not really cheap if judged by the full environmental and health costs
Steven Shapin presents his opinion about the drawback of organic farming in the article Organic Food and Farming Has Drawbacks. Shapin is a famous historian and a sociologist of science, he is the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard. Shapin said “organic does not mean local and may not...

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