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Do Production Contracts Raise Farm Productivity? An Instrumental Variables Approach

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  • Key, Nigel D.
  • McBride, William D.

Abstract

Estimating how the use of production contracts affects farm productivity is difficult when unobservable factors are correlated with both the decision to contract and productivity. To account for potential selection bias, this study uses the local availability of production contracts as an instrument for whether a farm uses a contract in order to estimate the impact of contract use on total factor productivity. Results indicate that use of a production contract is associated with a large increase in productivity for feeder-to-finish hog farms in the United States. The instrumental variable method makes it credible to assert that the observed association is a causal relationship rather than simply a correlation.

Suggested Citation

  • Key, Nigel D. & McBride, William D., 2008. "Do Production Contracts Raise Farm Productivity? An Instrumental Variables Approach," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 37(2), October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:45659
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McBride, William D. & Key, Nigel D., 2003. "Economic And Structural Relationships In U.S. Hog Production," Agricultural Economics Reports 33971, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Leung, Siu Fai & Yu, Shihti, 1996. "On the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 197-229.
    3. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
    4. David A. Hennessy, 1996. "Information Asymmetry as a Reason for Food Industry Vertical Integration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1034-1043.
    5. Key, Nigel D., 2004. "Agricultural Contracting and the Scale of Production," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 33(2), October.
    6. Key, Nigel & McBride, William & Mosheim, Roberto, 2008. "Decomposition of Total Factor Productivity Change in the U.S. Hog Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(01), pages 137-149, April.
    7. Puhani, Patrick A, 2000. " The Heckman Correction for Sample Selection and Its Critique," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 53-68, February.
    8. Catherine J. Morrison Paul & Richard Nehring & David Banker, 2004. "Productivity, Economies, and Efficiency in U.S. Agriculture: A Look at Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1308-1314.
    9. Gillespie, Jeffrey M. & Davis, Christopher G. & Rahelizatovo, Noro C., 2004. "An Evaluation of U.S. Hog Producer Preferences Toward Autonomy," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(03), pages 575-590, December.
    10. MacDonald, James M. & Perry, Janet E. & Ahearn, Mary Clare & Banker, David E. & Chambers, William & Dimitri, Carolyn & Key, Nigel D. & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Southard, Leland W., 2004. "Contracts, Markets, and Prices: Organizing the Production and Use of Agricultural Commodities," Agricultural Economics Reports 34013, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    11. Nigel Key & William McBride, 2003. "Production Contracts and Productivity in the U.S. Hog Sector," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 121-133.
    12. Martinez, Steve W. & Smith, Kevin E. & Zering, Kelly D., 1998. "Analysis of Changing Methods of Vertical Coordination in the Pork Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(02), pages 301-311, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Key, Nigel D. & McBride, William D., 2007. "The Changing Economics of U.S. Hog Production," Economic Research Report 6389, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Rachael Goodhue & Leo Simon, 2016. "Agricultural contracts, adverse selection, and multiple inputs," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-33, December.
    3. Xiaoheng Zhang & Feng Chu & Xiaohua Yu & Yingheng Zhou & Xu Tian & Xianhui Geng & Jinyang Yang, 2017. "Changing Structure and Sustainable Development for China’s Hog Sector," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-15, January.
    4. Briones, Roehlano M., 2015. "Small Farmers in High-Value Chains: Binding or Relaxing Constraints to Inclusive Growth?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 43-52.
    5. Frasa, Stefanie & Carlberg, Jared & Hogan, Robert, 2015. "Use of Contracts by Prairie Agricultural Producers," Working Papers 232328, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).

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