IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

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

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

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

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)

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:31643
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Greene, William H., 1990. "A Gamma-distributed stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 141-163.
  5. 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.
  6. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1989. "Production Frontiers With Cross-Sectinal And Time-Series Variation In Efficiency Levels," Working Papers 89-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
  13. 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.
  14. Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. & Evenson, Robert E., 1994. "Efficiency in agricultural production: the case of peasant farmers in eastern Paraguay," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 10(1), January.
  15. Greene, William H., 1980. "Maximum likelihood estimation of econometric frontier functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 27-56, May.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  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. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:31643. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.