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Learning in Organic Farming – An Application on Finnish Dairy Farms

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  • Sipilainen, Timo
  • Oude Lansink, Alfons G.J.M.
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    Abstract

    Organic farming technology may be relatively unknown to farmers at the time when they switch from conventional into organic farming. Therefore, experience gained over time and learning by doing may be important determinants in the efficiency of organic farming. It may also take time to reach the optimal nutrient stock of soil and optimal nutrient supply for arable crops under organic farming. Thus, efficiency of organic farming can either grow or decrease over time depending on the nature of the technology and the learning process. This paper estimates technical efficiency of organic farming and its development over time. We control for possible selection bias and regional heterogeneity when estimating a stochastic frontier distance functions for a sample of conventional and organic dairy farms in Finland. The results suggest that organic dairy farms are less technically efficient than conventional farms. Technical efficiency at first diminishes when the conversion towards organic production starts. After 6 years from the switch, technical efficiency starts to increase again. The estimates signal that the length of the conversion and learning process of organic farming is in average 6-7 years.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark with number 24493.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae05:24493

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    Related research

    Keywords: technical efficiency; technical change; output distance function; SFA; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; C23; D24; D83; O30; Q12;

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    1. Stijn Reinhard & C.A. Knox Lovell & Geert Thijssen, 1999. "Econometric Estimation of Technical and Environmental Efficiency: An Application to Dutch Dairy Farms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 44-60.
    2. Kumbhakar, Subal C & Bhattacharyya, Arunava, 1992. "Price Distortions and Resource-Use Efficiency in Indian Agriculture: A Restricted Profit Function Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 231-39, May.
    3. Kumbhakar, Subal C & Ghosh, Soumendra & McGuckin, J Thomas, 1991. "A Generalized Production Frontier Approach for Estimating Determinants of Inefficiency in U.S. Dairy Farms," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(3), pages 279-86, July.
    4. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Coelli, Tim & Perelman, Sergio, 1999. "A comparison of parametric and non-parametric distance functions: With application to European railways," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 326-339, September.
    7. Rougoor, Carin W. & Trip, Ger & Huirne, Ruud B. M. & Renkema, Jan A., 1998. "How to define and study farmers' management capacity: theory and use in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 261-272, May.
    8. Rougoor, Carin W. & Trip, Ger & Huirne, Ruud B.M. & Renkema, Jan A., 1998. "How to define and study farmers' management capacity: theory and use in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 18(3), May.
    9. Battese, George E. & Heshmati, Almas & Hjalmarsson, Lennart, 1998. "Efficiency of Labour Use in the Swedish Banking Industry: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 289, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 13 Apr 1999.
    10. Alfons Oude Lansink & Ky–sti Pietola, 2002. "Effciency and productivity of conventional and organic farms in Finland 1994--1997," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 51-66, March.
    11. Mundlak, Yair, 1996. "Production Function Estimation: Reviving the Primal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 431-38, March.
    12. Bernhard Br�mmer & Thomas Glauben & Geert Thijssen, 2002. "Decomposition of Productivity Growth Using Distance Functions: The Case of Dairy Farms in Three European Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(3), pages 628-644.
    13. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
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    Cited by:
    1. Serra, Teresa & Chambers, Robert G. & Oude Lansink, Alfons, 2014. "Measuring technical and environmental efficiency in a state-contingent technology," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(2), pages 706-717.
    2. Wollni, Meike & Brümmer, Bernhard, 2012. "Productive efficiency of specialty and conventional coffee farmers in Costa Rica: Accounting for technological heterogeneity and self-selection," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 67-76.
    3. Guesmi, Bouali & Serra, Teresa & Featherstone, Allen M., 2013. "Technical efficiency of Kansas arable crop farms: a local maximum likelihood approach," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 147488, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Mugonola, Basil & Vranken, Liesbet & Maertens, Miet & Deckers, Jozef & Taylor, Daniel B & Bonabana-Wabbi, Jackline & Mathijs, Erik, 2013. "Soil and water conservation technologies and technical efficiency in banana production in upper Rwizi micro-catchment, Uganda," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 8(1), July.
    5. Tiedemann, Torben & Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe, 2011. "Empirische Analysen zur Produktivitätsentwicklung im ökologischen und konventionellen Landbau," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 60(2).
    6. González-Flores, Mario & Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. & Solís, Daniel & Winters, Paul, 2014. "The impact of high value markets on smallholder productivity in the Ecuadorean Sierra: A Stochastic Production Frontier approach correcting for selectivity bias," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 237-247.

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