Not for Quotation
Chinese Regional Agricultural Productivity in the 1990’s1
Department of Economics
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1 Paper selected for presentation at the annual meetings of the American Agricultural Economics Association, Long
Beach, CA, July 2002.
2 Graduate Student, University of Nebraska.
Part I. Introduction
Since the economic reform in 1978, China’s agricultural output has grown by leaps
and bounds. According to China’s statistical yearbook, the gross output value of
agriculture in 1999 is more than 1.4 trillion Yuan, while in 1978 the gross output value of
agriculture was only 0.1 trillion Yuan. After taking into account inflation, this is still an
The following facts3 may give some idea of the importance of agriculture in China.
z China’s total population was 1,259 billion people at the end of 1999
z 69 percent of China’s people live in rural areas
z China is fourth in the world in land area
z China has 9 percent of the world’s total arable land, and 22 percent of the world’s
Chinas’s agricultural sector is an attractive research topic given the importance of
agriculture in China and the rapid expansion of production. Actually, many studies have n
examined agricultural growth of China. The studies can be divided by the time period of
analysis into two sets. The first set covers the 1980’s. The second set refers to the 1990’s.
During the1980’s, China’s agricultural output and productivity experienced very rapid
growth. On the contrary, it seems that growth slowed down in the 1990’s and there are no
regional studies that analyze this period with any depth, except this one. In addition, most
other studies have focused on aggregate productivity at the national level while the main
purpose of this paper is to explore the d