An international comparison of agricultural productivity


This project enables ABARES, in conjunction with the ABS, to formally participate in a worldwide collaborative research project to develop, for the first time, an internationally consistent set of agricultural productivity data for major producers. The global project, coordinated by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), builds on past analyses of agricultural productivity in the European Union and the United States (Ball et al. 2010) and includes several key agricultural producers including Canada, Brazil, Argentina and China. The project will inform RIRDC, other rural research and development corporations, industry, government and other stakeholders of Australia’s agricultural productivity performance compared with other major agriculture producing countries. Such international comparisons are an essential component of evaluating the performance of Australia’s agriculture sector and also serve to identify specific ways to improve Australia’s longterm productivity performance and international competitiveness.


National Rural Issues

Research Organisation

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Objective Summary

The primary objective of this study is to develop a long term data series on agricultural productivity for Australia using internationally consistent methodology to allow for international comparisons of Australia's agricultural productivity performance. Also, ABARES will analyse these data to: evaluate Australia’s productivity performance relative to its competitors and potential reasons for global disparities investigate whether the recent slowdown in total factor productivity observed in some sectors of Australian agriculture has been driven by factors common across other developed countries identify the major driving force behind the apparent catchup of agricultural productivity of some developing countries, including the role of institutional reforms and R&D investment understand any potential role the Australian agriculture sector has in transferring technology or enhancing productivity gains in other countries.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Project Completion Date

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

Adoption of R&D

National Priority

NRI-National Rural Issues


Related publications


Cross-country Comparisons of Agricultural Productivity