Sunghun Lim, 06 November 2021

Agricultural global value chains grew rapidly after WWII, transforming the nature of agri-food production worldwide. Still, little is known about how taking part in these chains changes the structure of an economy. This column constructs a panel dataset from 155 countries for the period from 1991 to 2015, examining the effect that participation had on each country’s structural transformation and uncovering evidence that runs counter to conventional wisdom: modern agrarian economies are leapfrogging the manufacturing sector to develop their agriculture and service sectors through participation in agricultural global value chains.

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