Agricultural mechanization and the performance of the local Chinese economy

Baoling Zou, Yudan Chen, Ashok K. Mishra, Stefan Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we analyze the impact of agricultural mechanization on the local Chinese economy from 2010 to 2020. Findings based on panel data and instrumental variable methods show that agricultural mechanization led to a significant decline in the local gross domestic product. In particular, agricultural mechanization changes the sector's production and lowers its output value. Agricultural mechanization has reduced the need for labor to such an extent that young Chinese tend to seek jobs in the non-farming sector, leading to a fall in the local agricultural labor supply and household consumption, adversely affecting the development of local industries and service sectors. Mechanization has also led to cash crops being increasingly replaced by grain crops, reducing the total agricultural output. Finally, this paper presents some policy suggestions for agricultural production and rural development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102648
JournalFood Policy
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Grain crops
  • Gross domestic product
  • Instrumental variable
  • Regional development
  • Rural households


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