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The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development
The Lessons of History
The book develops a stage theory to identify the crucial factors driving economic development from period to period.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"In this book, Soren Kjeldsen-Kragh explores the most fundamental socioeconomic transformation of how societies move from a position where agriculture is the dominant economic activity, employing up to 80 per cent of the labour force, to the situation characteristic of the most advancedeconomics today, where agriculture's share has fallen to less than 5 per cent. This elegantly-written book distills the experiences of two and a half centuries of agricultural development into a number of lessons of great relevance to policy-makers in developing countries today. Growth was initiated through technological advances within the agricultural sector. It was sustained though growing market integration at both national and international levels. It was facilitated where institutions and attitudes were supportive, and it was held back where inappropriate institutions were imposed (Russia during central planning) or where policies deliberately discriminated against the farm sector (developing countries in much of the post-war period)." Alan Matthews, Professor at Trinity College, Dublin "In "The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development", Soren Kjeldsen-Kragh provides a comprehensive historical and in depth analysis of the changing role of the agricultural sector in OECD countries on the basis of a stage theory. The theory offers an excellent foundation for improving our understanding of how the role of agriculture in developing countries will change over time and what policy interventions will be needed. While much of existing historical literature on agriculture is descriptive in nature, this book stands out because of its very strong analytical foundation which explains not only agricultural development but the interaction between such development and infrastructure, markets, and government policy, while at the same time explaining how agriculture was the driver of industrialization and general economic growth during the first two stages of development in the OECD countries. "The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development" is a must read for those of us who are interested in the role of agriculture in generating economic growth and the lessons it provides for government policy to guide future agricultural and general economic growth in developing countries." Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Professor at Cornell University, New York