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Structural Changes in U.S. Agricultural Production and Productivity
Choices Magazine
  • Jennifer S. James, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • Julian M. Alston, University of California - Davis
  • Philip G. Pardey, University of Minnesota
  • Matthew A. Andersen, University of Wyoming
Publication Date
The structure of U.S. agricultural production changed dramatically during the 20th Century. Major technological innovations transformed the relationship between agricultural inputs and outputs, and contributed to rapid increases in agricultural productivity. However, evidence is mounting that suggests we have entered a new era, with substantially lower rates of productivity growth. In this article, we examine trends and spatial patterns in agricultural input use, production of outputs, and productivity. We focus on productivity growth over the period 1949–2002, and find a statistically significant slowdown in productivity growth after 1990.
Publisher statement
This is an electronic version of an article published in Choices Magazine. The definitive version is available at
Citation Information
Jennifer S. James, Julian M. Alston, Philip G. Pardey and Matthew A. Andersen. "Structural Changes in U.S. Agricultural Production and Productivity" Choices Magazine Vol. 24 Iss. 4 (2009) p. 1 - 5
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