Structural Transformation of the Agricultural Sector in Low- and Middle- Income Economies

May 5, 2022 - Klaus Deininger, <>, and Meilin Ma

Deininger, K., Jin, S., & Ma, M. (2022). Structural Transformation of the Agricultural Sector In Low- and Middle-Income Economies. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 14(1), 221–241.


Movement of labor from agriculture to nonagriculture and the associated increase in farm size through structural transformation are at the core of economic development. We conduct a comprehensive review of the literature exploring the causes and consequences of the transformation. We discuss (a) the size and determinants for the persisting wage gap between agriculture and nonagriculture, (b) policy-induced barriers to structural changes, (c) the role of trade costs and technical change in shaping the nature of structural transformation and comparative advantage of regions, and (d) how the overall development of an economy affects the relationship between farm size and farm productivity and hence changes competitiveness of different scales of farms. We also identify questions for policy and research and the ways in which new sources and interoperability of data can help answer these questions.



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