Heterogeneity, Measurement Error and Misallocation: Evidence from African Agriculture

Journal of Political Economy, Volume 129, Issue 1

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/711369

Standard measures of productivity display enormous dispersion across farms in Africa. Crop yields and input intensities appear to vary greatly, seemingly in conflict with a model of efficient allocation across farms. In this paper, we present a theoretical framework for distinguishing between measurement error, unobserved heterogeneity, and potential misallocation. Using rich panel data from farms in Tanzania and Uganda, we estimate our model using a flexible specification in which we allow for several kinds of measurement error and heterogeneity. We find that measurement error and heterogeneity together account for a large fraction of the dispersion in measured productivity.



Journal of Political Economy