Travail, Terres et Productivités : Le rôle de la surface par actif dans les trajectoires de développement agricole, dans le Monde et au Mexique (1980 – 2007)

Abstract : In 2008, the World Bank has dedicated its "Annual Report on Development" to agriculture. This had not been the case for 25 years. It shows that agricultural growth is more effective than other sectors to reduce poverty. The agricultural labor productivity of the agricultural workforce is paradoxically barely mentioned: its explanatory factors for the short term as its structural variables in the long term are not analyzed. This thesis aims to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamic relationship between demography and non-agricultural development with agricultural development (increased productivity of agricultural labor). Under what demo-economic conditions can the structural transformation of an economy (i.e. the decline in the relative weight of the agricultural sector in the economy (workers and value added)) be accompanied by agricultural development? While an industrial or service sector that develops generally attracts workers, is there an opposite relationship in the agricultural sector? Does the agricultural sector have to lose its workers to develop? Has an agricultural sector ever developed in a context of continuous growth in the number of agricultural workers? Our main (hypo)thesis is that the dynamic combination of factors « land » and « agricultural worker », whose resultant is the « agricultural area worked per agricultural worker », is the real key to agricultural development, more than the productivity of the land.We analyze the determinants of the level and of the growth rate of the agricultural labor productivity over the 1980-2007 period, at different geographical levels. Special focus is put on the evolution of the « number of agricultural workers », using different sets of data (international, national, field surveys data), at different scales (world, Mexico, and 31 federal states 2400 Mexican municipalities) and with various methods (factor decomposition, maps, hierarchical ascending classifications, statistical inference, field surveys of farming households).Globally, we highlight a « race » between land and the number of agricultural workers in certain regions of the world and propose the concept of « demographic transition agriculture » and its associated typology.Mexico is then chosen for its agriculture showing very contrasting levels of development, for both synchronic and diachronic observation. We seek to understand the differences in agricultural development paths observed in Mexico by analyzing the influence of variables characterizing the non-farm economy, the substitution of machinery capital for labor, land liberalization, geography (physical and human).In international comparisons as within Mexico, we show that the growth rate of the area by agricultural worker has a marginally stronger influence on the growth rate of agricultural labor productivity, than the growth rate of land productivity.Finally, in the Municipality of Teopisca in the Los Altos region of Chiapas, we analyze the economic strategies of farm households « trapped » in a context of « blocked demographic agricultural transition » (downward trend of the agricultural area per worker): income diversification (toward the non-agricultural sector) and attempts to rise the land productivity are the two main strategies deployed under local severe constraints of market failures (labor, credit) and difficult access to irrigation water.
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Antonin Vergez. Travail, Terres et Productivités : Le rôle de la surface par actif dans les trajectoires de développement agricole, dans le Monde et au Mexique (1980 – 2007). Economies et finances. AgroParisTech, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015AGPT0027⟩. ⟨tel-01355613⟩

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