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Estimating Productivity Changes With Flexible Coeficients


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  • Dorfman, Jeffrey H.
  • Foster, Kenneth A.


Technical progress in U.S. agriculture is evaluated using a new measure of productivity growth, flexible technical change. This measure allows for nonconstant returns to scale, market structures other than perfect competition, and time-varying coefficients. An integral part of the procedure is the estimation of the production function by Flexible Least Squares. Flexible technical change results are compared with two traditional measures of productivity growth and found to be more stable and more precise in a statistical sense. The results suggest that previous studies which employed total factor productivity measures may have overstated the impact of technology in agriculture.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Agricultural Economics Association in its journal Western Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (1991)
Issue (Month): 02 (December)

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Handle: RePEc:ags:wjagec:32615

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Keywords: Flexible least squares; Productivity; Technical change; Time-varying coefficients; Productivity Analysis;


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  1. Hulten, Charles R., 1986. "Productivity change, capacity utilization, and the sources of efficiency growth," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 31-50.
  2. Tesfatsion, Leigh & Veitch, John M., 1990. "U.S. money demand instability A flexible least squares approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 151-173, February.
  3. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1986. "Productivity measurement with adjustments for variations in capacity utilization and other forms of temporary equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 7-29.
  4. Baltagi, Badi H & Griffin, James M, 1988. "A General Index of Technical Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 20-41, February.
  5. Kalaba, Robert E. & Tesfatsion, Leigh S., 1989. "Time-Varying Linear Regression Via Flexible Least Squares," Staff General Research Papers 11196, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Parcell, Joseph L., 2002. "An Empirical Analysis Of The Demand For Wholesale Pork Primals: Seasonality And Structural Change," Working Papers 26033, University of Missouri Columbia, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  2. Parcell, Joseph L. & Mintert, James R. & Plain, Ronald L., 2004. "An Empirical Investigation of Live-Hog Demand," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(03), December.
  3. VĂȘlayoudom Marimoutou & Denis Peguin & Anne Peguin-Feissolle, 2009. "The "distance-varying" gravity model in international economics: is the distance an obstacle to trade?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 1139-1155.
  4. Poray, Michael C. & Foster, Kenneth A. & Dorfman, Jeffrey H., 2000. "Measuring An Almost Ideal Demand System With Generalized Flexible Least Squares," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21796, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Hubbs, Todd & Kuethe, Todd H. & Baker, Timothy G., 2009. "Evaluating the Dynamic Nature of Market Risk," 2009 Conference, April 20-21, 2009, St. Louis, Missouri 53037, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  6. Parcell, Joseph L., 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of the Demand for Wholesale Pork Primals: Seasonality and Structural Change," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(02), August.
  7. Kuethe, Todd H. & Foster, Kenneth A. & Florax, Raymond J.G.M., 2008. "A Spatial Hedonic Model with Time-Varying Parameters: A New Method Using Flexible Least Squares," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6306, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  8. Brinker, Adam J. & Parcell, Joseph L. & Dhuyvetter, Kevin C. & Franken, Jason R.V., 2009. "Cross-Hedging Distillers Dried Grains Using Corn and Soybean Meal Futures Contracts," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 27.
  9. Brinker, Adam J. & Parcell, Joseph L. & Dhuyvetter, Kevin C., 2007. "Cross-Hedging Distillers Dried Grains: Exploring Corn and Soybean Meal Futures Contracts," 2007 Conference, April 16-17, 2007, Chicago, Illinois 37567, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  10. Walburger, Allan M. & Foster, Kenneth A., 1997. "Assessing The Relationship Between Market Factors And Regional Price Dynamics In U.S. Cattle Markets," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 22(01), July.


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