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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Three studies in Canadian agriculture : I. Output and input data for Canadian agriculture, 1926-1970. II. Productivity growth in Canadian agriculture, 1946-1970. III. A Canadian agricultural transformation function, 1946-1970 : a dual approach Danielson, Robert Stephan

Abstract

This thesis provides a comprehensive treatment of agriculture in Canada as examined from the viewpoint of modern production theory. This theory has it's origins in Hicks (1946) who developed the implications of profit-maximizing behavior in the context of a multiple input, multiple output technology. The main body of the thesis is divided into three major papers. In the first paper we provide a comprehensive overview of the concepts and methodology which have been employed in making observations of agricultural production during the period 1926-1970. In the second and third papers of the thesis we apply the previously analysed data base to the problem of measuring the rate of increase in total factor productivity during the post-war period and to estimating the internal structure of agricultural production during the post-war period. The second paper is devoted to measuring the growth in total factor productivity during the post-war period. Two problems are explicitly examined: i) the calculation of rental prices or user costs for durable inputs (see Jorgenson and Griliches (1967) (1972), Diewert (1972) Section VI "Producer Behavior when Depreciation Rates are Variable", and King (1974)) and (ii) the aggregation of the numerous inputs and outputs (see Jorgenson and Griliches (1972) and Diewert (1974a)). In the third paper, the data base is applied to the problem of modeling and estimating empirically a multiple-output production function for the Canadian Agricultural Sector. This study not only provides insight into the internal structure of production within the agricultural sector, but also allows many of the assumptions and implications of the neoclassical theory of production to be tested empirically. In each of the applications the results achieved are directly related to the accounting framework by which the various inputs and outputs are measured and to the way in which the data has been handled. Thus a major concern in the applications sections is with possible ways by which the data and the studies may be improved.

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