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Agriculture, Roads, and Economic Development in Uganda

Douglas Gollin, Richard Rogerson

Chapter in NBER book African Successes, Volume IV: Sustainable Growth (2016), Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil, editors (p. 69 - 110)
Published in September 2016 by University of Chicago Press
© 2016 by the National Bureau of Economic Research
in Research on Africa

A large fraction of Uganda’s population continues to earn a living from quasi-subsistence agriculture. This paper uses a static general equilibrium model to explore the relationships between high transportation costs, low productivity, and the size of the quasi-subsistence sector. We parameterize the model to replicate some key features of the Ugandan data, and we then perform a series of quantitative experiments. Our results suggest that the population in quasi-subsistence agriculture is highly sensitive both to agricultural productivity levels and to transportation costs. The model also suggests positive complementarities between improvements in agricultural productivity and transportation.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w15863, Agriculture, Roads, and Economic Development in Uganda, Douglas Gollin, Richard Rogerson
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