Agroecosystem Productivity and the Dynamic Response to Shocks

Jean-Paul Chavas

Chapter in NBER book The Economics of Poverty Traps (2019), Christopher B. Barrett, Michael R. Carter, and Jean-Paul Chavas, editors (p. 291 - 314)
Conference held June 28-29, 2016
Published in December 2018 by University of Chicago Press
© 2019 by the National Bureau of Economic Research

This paper investigates the nonlinear dynamic response to shocks, relying on a threshold quantile autoregression (TQAR) model as a flexible representation of stochastic dynamics. The TQAR model can identify zones of stability/instability and characterize resilience and traps. Resilience means high odds of escaping from undesirable zones of instability toward zones that are more desirable. Traps mean low odds of escaping from zones that are both undesirable and stable. The approach is illustrated in an application to the dynamics of productivity applied to historical data on wheat yield in Kansas over the period 1885-2012. The dynamics of this agroecosystem and its response to shocks are of interest as Kansas agriculture faced major droughts, including the catastrophic Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. The analysis identifies a zone of instability in the presence of successive adverse shocks. It also finds evidence of resilience. We associate the resilience with induced innovations in management and policy in response to adverse shocks.

This chapter is no longer available for free download, since the book has been published. To obtain a copy, you must buy the book.
Order from

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w22624, Agro-Ecosystem Productivity and the Dynamic Response to Shocks, Jean-Paul Chavas
Commentary on this chapter: Comment, Edward B. Barbier
Users who downloaded this chapter also downloaded* these:
Chavas w22624 Agro-Ecosystem Productivity and the Dynamic Response to Shocks
Ludvigson, Ma, and Ng w21803 Uncertainty and Business Cycles: Exogenous Impulse or Endogenous Response?
Allen, Babus, and Carletti w16177 Financial Connections and Systemic Risk
Pindyck and Wang w15373 The Economic and Policy Consequences of Catastrophes
Rey w21162 Dilemma not Trilemma: The Global Financial Cycle and Monetary Policy Independence
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us