Education and Technical Efficiency in Pakistan’s Agriculture

Rauf A. Azhar


It is now well recognized that education expedites the process
of growth in an economy. In agriculture, leaving aside the external
effects, it affects productivity in two quite distinct ways known as the
allocative effect and the worker effect (Welch, 1970). The former
centres on beller allocation decisions including adoption and diffusion
of new technology whereas the latter relates to a more efficient use of
given inputs, i.e. the technical efficiency aspect of production. While
the allocative effect is inherently predicated on disequilibrium
(created, for example, by a change in technology) (Nelson and Phelps
1966), there is some evidence to suggest that even the worker effect of
education is more likely to arise in disequilibrium resulting from
technical change (Maack 1981). This is because technical change renders
the cultural practices learnt over generations obsolete or inadequate
and calls for an adjustment. A more educated farmer is supposed to make
the required adjustment more quickly. In this paper I have attempted to
test this hypothesis for Pakistan during the green revolution period
when the introduction of new crop varieties disturbed the prevailing
equilibrium. For this purpose I have used production function analysis
and have conducted the analysis for not only the new but also the
traditional crops. The results lend support to the hypothesis by showing
that the worker effect is more pronounced in the case of new crop
varieties as compared to the traditional ones. The paper is divided into
three sections. In Section II, I have presented the hypothesis and
discussed the methodology used for the analysis. Section III concludes
the paper with a discussion of the results.

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