Sankhya: The Indian Journal of Statistics

2001, Volume 63, Series B, Pt. 1, pp. 89--107

HAS THERE BEEN AN ACCELERATION IN THE GROWTH OF AGRICULTURE IN WEST BENGAL?: A FRESH LOOK USING MODERN TIME SERIES TECHNIQUES

By

DEBABRATA MUKHOPADHYAY,

and

NITYANANDA SARKAR, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, India

SUMMARY. Of late several researchers have studied the performance of agriculture in West Bengal, and most of them have found that there has been acceleration in the growth of agriculture in the early eighties. It may be pointed out that all these studies are essentially based on somewhat naive and conventional econometric approach of curve fitting, and not on the rigorous trend analysis procedure developed in the last two decades. Since it is now recognized that the conventional procedure may be inadequate, conclusions based on such an approach may yield misleading inferences. In this paper we first present a brief yet comprehensive and up-to-date review of the methodology of modern trend analysis. We then apply this procedure in analysing the time series behaviour of total foodgrains production, rice production and wheat production in West Bengal, and observe that our findings on the actual trend process, occurence of breaks in the time series, the nature of such breaks, if any, and finally their effects on the trend process, are somewhat different from those reported by previous researchers. In particular, we have found no statistical support for acceleration in growth of total foodgrains production and wheat production, and some evidence of acceleration in growth of rice production only.

AMS (1991) subject classification.62P20.

Key words and phrases. Acceleration, deterministic trend, growth, non-stationarity, trend analysis, stochastic trend. .

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