Reap what you sow: agricultural technology, urbanization and structural change

Danny McGowan, Chrysovalantis Vasilakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This paper studies how productivity-enhancing agricultural technology affects urbanization by provoking structural change. We investigate these issues using a natural experiment in the United States. The results show that technologies which improve crop productivity lead to a less urbanized economy as economic activity relocates from manufacturing and services towards agriculture. The effects are highly persistent and are driven by the technology increasing agricultural labor demand. Our findings highlight the potentially unintended, disruptive force of innovative technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103794
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number9
Early online date24 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • agricultural technology
  • productivity
  • urbanization
  • structural change


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