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Is farm benchmarking the new acceptable face of comparative analysis?

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Author Info

  • Fleming, Euan M.
  • Farrell, Terence C.
  • Villano, Renato A.
  • Fleming, Pauline

Abstract

In this paper, we assess the potential for rehabilitation of comparative analysis under its new guise of benchmarking. After a brief description of comparative analysis, we discuss the deficiencies that surrounded its fall in reputation: neglect of economic principles, limited scope for action, failure to establish causal relations between farming practices and performance, lack of a holistic approach and failure to take account of production risk. Each of these deficiencies is diagnosed, and it is argued that they can be overcome through the careful selection of farm performance criteria and use of long-established and recent methods of efficiency and productivity analysis. The case is put for widespread application by benchmarkers of recently developed methods of efficiency and productivity analysis. These methods have so far remained almost wholly in the province of research. If successful, their application would enable a benchmarker to examine economic efficiency and its components over many variables by using frontiers to capture the complex relationships between several inputs and several outputs. This form of analysis is useful where farm inputs are not monotonic and where both substitute and complementary relationships exist between them. Examples are provided from benchmarking case studies that show progress has been made in some but not all areas of concern. Regardless of the progress made in methodology, skilled and experienced benchmarkers familiar with the data are needed to interpret and apply results.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/126095
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment in its journal Australasian Agribusiness Review.

Volume (Year): 14 (2006)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:auagre:126095

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Web page: http://www.agrifood.info/review/

Related research

Keywords: farm benchmarking; comparative analysis; economic principles; farming practices; farm performance; production risk; efficiency analysis; productivity analysis; Agribusiness; Crop Production/Industries; Farm Management; Land Economics/Use; Livestock Production/Industries; Productivity Analysis; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; Risk and Uncertainty; ISSN 1442-6951;

References

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  1. George Battese & D. Rao & Christopher O'Donnell, 2004. "A Metafrontier Production Function for Estimation of Technical Efficiencies and Technology Gaps for Firms Operating Under Different Technologies," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 91-103, January.
  2. Battese, G. E. & Rambaldi, A. N. & Wan, G. H., 1995. "A Stochastic Frontier Production Function with Flexible Risk Properties," 1995 Conference (39th), February 14-16, 1995, Perth, Australia 148840, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  3. C.J. O'Donnell & W.E. Griffiths, 2004. "Estimating State-Contingent Production Frontiers," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 911, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Subal C. Kumbhakar, 2002. "Specification and Estimation of Production Risk, Risk Preferences and Technical Efficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 8-22.
  5. Fraser, Iain & Hone, Phillip, 2001. "Farm-level efficiency and productivity measurement using panel data: wool production in south-west Victoria," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 45(2), June.
  6. H. Fried & C. Lovell & S. Schmidt & S. Yaisawarng, 2002. "Accounting for Environmental Effects and Statistical Noise in Data Envelopment Analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 157-174, January.
  7. Villano, Renato A. & Fleming, Euan M., 2004. "Analysis of Technical Efficiency in a Rainfed Lowland Rice Environment in Central Luzon Philippines Using a Stochastic Frontier Production Function with a Heteroskedastic Error Structure," Working Papers 12906, University of New England, School of Economics.
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