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GTAP Resource #3952

"Relative agricultural productivity and tropical deforestation"
by Rose, Steven, Alla Golub, Thomas Hertel and Brent Sohngen

Tropical deforestation is a significant global source of greenhouse gas emissions and historical contributor to climate change. Reducing carbon emissions by avoiding deforestation has been estimated to have large greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement potential (e.g., Kinderman et al., 2008), and could be especially valuable as a near-term abatement strategy in managing the long-run costs of attaining climate change objectives (e.g., USEPA, 2010). Agriculture production is the primary driver of tropical deforestation, and technological change in agriculture has implications for land extensification decisions and therefore deforestation. Similarly, reducing deforestation has implications for agriculture that could be moderated by technological change.

Technological change has two facets—convergence (or catching up) to the technological frontier and shifts in the frontier (Ludena et al., 2007; Hertel et al., 2009). The combination determines total factor productivity changes. These patterns of technological convergence and frontier shifts vary greatly between agriculture and non-farm sectors, between crops and livestock and between ruminants and non-ruminants. The pattern of total factor productivity change historically has also varied significantly across global regions. For instance, from 1961 to 1996 all regions of the world experienced outward shifts in the agricultural productivity frontier. However, most regions have also fallen further from the frontier during this time; the exceptions being ruminants in China and crops in industrialized countries. On net, total factor productivity has increased in most regions and agricultural sectors, with non-ruminants experiencing the largest growth. Crop and ruminant total factor productivity has declined or been stagnant in a few regions—South and Southeast Asia and Middle East and North Africa.

What might the technological change pattern look like in the future? What might these future patterns mean for land use cha...

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: 2012 Conference Paper
Status: Published
By/In: Presented at the 15th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, Geneva, Switzerland
Date: 2012
Version: April 30, 2012
Created: Rose, S. (5/1/2012)
Updated: Rose, S. (6/19/2012)
Visits: 2,724
- Agricultural policies
- Climate change policy

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