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Efficiency Analysis Of Developing Country Agriculture: A Review Of The Frontier Function Literature

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  • Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.
  • Pinheiro, Antonio E.
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    Abstract

    This article reviews and critiques the frontier literature dealing with farm level efficiency in developing countries. A total of 30 studies from 14 different countries are examined. The country that has received most attention is India, while rice has been the most studied agricultural product. The average technical efficiency (TE) index from all the studies reviewed is 72%. The few studies reporting allocative and economic efficiency show an average of 68% and 43%, respectively. These results suggest that there is considerable room to increase agricultural output without additional inputs and given existing technology. Several of the studies reviewed have sought to explain farm level variation in TE. The variables most frequently used for this purpose have been farmer education and experience, contacts with extension, access to credit, and farm size. With the exception of farm size, the results reveal that these variables tend to have a positive and statistically significant impact on TE. This paper shows that considerable effort has been devoted to measuring efficiency in developing country agriculture using a wide range of frontier models. Despite all this work, the extent to which efficiency measures are sensitive to the choice of methodology remains uncertain.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association in its journal Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

    Volume (Year): 22 (1993)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:31643

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    Keywords: Productivity Analysis;

    References

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    1. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
    2. Schmidt, Peter & Knox Lovell, C. A., 1979. "Estimating technical and allocative inefficiency relative to stochastic production and cost frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 343-366, February.
    3. Kumbhakar, Subal C., 1987. "The specification of technical and allocative inefficiency in stochastic production and profit frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 335-348, March.
    4. Pitt, Mark M. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1981. "The measurement and sources of technical inefficiency in the Indonesian weaving industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-64, August.
    5. Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. & Evenson, Robert E., 1994. "Efficiency in agricultural production: The case of peasant farmers in eastern Paraguay," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 27-37, January.
    6. Bailey, DeeVon & Biswas, Basudeb & Kumbhakar, Subal C. & Schulthies, B. Kris, 1989. "An Analysis Of Technical, Allocative, And Scale Inefficiency: The Case Of Ecuadorian Dairy Farms," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 14(01), July.
    7. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
    8. B. E. Bravo-Ureta & L. Rieger, 1990. "Alternative Production Frontier Methodologies And Dairy Farm Efficiency," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 215-226.
    9. Battese, G. E. & Tessema, G. A., 1993. "Estimation of stochastic frontier production functions with time-varying parameters and technical efficiencies using panel data from Indian villages," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 313-333, December.
    10. Kopp, Raymond J. & Diewert, W. Erwin, 1982. "The decomposition of frontier cost function deviations into measures of technical and allocative efficiency," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 319-331, August.
    11. Lockheed, Marlaine E & Jamison, Dean T & Lau, Lawrence J, 1980. "Farmer Education and Farm Efficiency: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 37-76, October.
    12. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
    13. Greene, William H., 1980. "Maximum likelihood estimation of econometric frontier functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 27-56, May.
    14. Battese, George E., 1992. "Frontier production functions and technical efficiency: a survey of empirical applications in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 7(3-4), pages 185-208, October.
    15. Taylor, Timothy G. & Scott Shonkwiler, J., 1986. "Alternative stochastic specifications of the frontier production function in the analysis of agricultural credit programs and technical efficiency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 149-160, April.
    16. Forsund, Finn R. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1980. "A survey of frontier production functions and of their relationship to efficiency measurement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 5-25, May.
    17. Greene, William H., 1990. "A Gamma-distributed stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 141-163.
    18. Battese, George E. & Coelli, Tim J., 1988. "Prediction of firm-level technical efficiencies with a generalized frontier production function and panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 387-399, July.
    19. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1990. "Production frontiers with cross-sectional and time-series variation in efficiency levels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 185-200.
    20. Kalirajan, K P, 1990. "On Measuring Economic Efficiency," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 75-85, January-M.
    21. Seiford, Lawrence M. & Thrall, Robert M., 1990. "Recent developments in DEA : The mathematical programming approach to frontier analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 7-38.
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