New Frontiers Series

Are There Too Many Farms in the World? Labor-Market Transaction Costs, Machine Capacities and Optimal Farm Size

Foster lecture

Note date/time change due to expected weather conditions.

Andrew Foster
Director, Social Science Research Institute, Brown University
Professor of Economics, Brown University

A U-shaped relationship between farm productivity and farm scale ­– the initial fall in productivity as farm size increases from its lowest levels and the continuous upward trajectory as scale increases after a threshold ­­– is observed across the world and in low-income countries. In this talk based on a paper co-authored with Mark R. Rosenzweig, Andrew Foster addresses topics including the relationship between labor-market transaction costs and farm size and efficiency. Foster and Rosenzweig used data from the India ICRISAT VLS panel survey in their research.

This lecture is part of a larger series organized by Faculty Fellow Nilesh Fernando entitled "New Frontiers in Economic Development." First organized in 2013, the series focused on microeconomic poverty interventions. The series now focuses on larger-scale economic issues and their impact in developing countries by featuring distinguished economists who deliver a public lecture as well as participate in a master class with graduate-level economics students. The series is cosponsored by the Department of Economics.


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