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Julien Wolfersberger

Julien Wolfersberger

session, year:
2017 2nd


Receiving laboratory:
The Oxford Department of International Development, Oxford

Country of origin:


Country of destination:

United Kingdom

Last available contact

Download Curriculum Vitae

Mobility project

Structural transformation and environmental degradation in developing countries: the role of agricultural productivity

Agricultural productivity is a key part of economic development. It allows a country to experience structural transformation, that is, the reallocation of economic activities from agriculture, to manufacturing and services. These changes shape the economy, which in turn affect climate and environmental quality. However, empirical evidence show that agricultural productivity remains dramatically low in developing countries. This implies serious issues for growth, through labor misallocation across sectors, and it implies that structural transformation does not occur at the right speed. One objective of tehe present project is to understand why productivity in agriculture remains so low in comparison with other sectors. The results will be used to orient policy discussions on how to launch structural transformation in developing countries. The process of structural transformation is critical since it ensures development, but it is all the more challenging as Southern countries are facing climate change, an another constraint that was not present when developed nations experienced transformations toward industry. Among other impacts, climate change increases volatility, poverty and may deteriorate agricultural productivity. This context suggests that development and climate policies must be thought about together, not separately. For this reason, this project also aims to assess the links between productivity in agriculture, structural transformation, and the environment in developing countries. Overall, the project aims at informing development policies.

Biography & research interests

Julien Wolfersberger’s research focuses on economic development and the environment. During his Ph.D. he worked on the long-term determinants of deforestation in developing countries. His current research includes issues of sectoral allocation and pollution in advanced economies, economic growth, as well as structural transformation in developing countries. Julien Wolfersberger is an assistant professor at AgroParisTech, in the Department of Economics and Management. He is also a researcher at Public Economics (UMR INRA-AgroParisTech). Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University (USA).

Selected publications

Leblois A., Damette O., Wolfersberger J., 2017. What has Driven Deforestation in Developing Countries Since the 2000s? Evidence from New Remote-Sensing Data. World Development, 92, 82-102.

Barbier E., Delacote P., Wolfersberger J., 2017. The economics of forest transition. Journal of Forest Economics, 27, 10-17.

Wolfersberger J., Delacote P., Garcia S., 2015. An empirical analysis of forest transition and land-use change in developing countries. Ecological Economics, 119, 241-251.

Talks in annual meetings

Structural transformation and the environment
2019 / P7 Economics, Social Sciences / by Julien Wolfersberger / Fellows Speed Presentation


Structural transformation, growth, development, manufacturing, productivity, natural resources, public policy, agriculture, environment, sustainability