Productivity Dynamics of the World’s Most Numerous Firms: Evidence from Smallholder Farms in Sub-Saharan Africa
Graduate Student Research Fellowship | 2019 - 2020 Academic Year
Previous studies of manufacturing firms suggest dispersion in total factor productivity (TFP) across firms and its persistence over time are related to aggregate economic growth. Yet these findings have unknown relevance for smallholder farms, the most numerous type of firm in developing countries. Using large-scale survey data, Maue shows that TFP among smallholder farms appears more dispersed and less persistent than estimates from manufacturing, but that errors in the measurement of farms’ output drives this result. Correcting for measurement error, TFP dispersion in manufacturing and smallholder agriculture appear similar, which questions the often-discussed importance of misallocation in developing country agriculture.
Casey Maue, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources
Casey Maue is a PhD candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) at Stanford University. His main interests lie at the intersection of the fields of development, agricultural, and environmental economics. Maue’s current research focuses on using large-scale micro data to understand the how the agricultural sector contributes to the process of economic development, as well as how the sector is likely to be affected by future climate change. He received a BS in earth systems from Stanford in 2012, and a masters of environmental science and management (MESM) from UC Santa Barbara in 2014. He is also currently a candidate for a PhD minor in economics at Stanford.