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Productivity in the Australian Dairy Industry

  • Kompas, Tom
  • Che, Tuong Nhu

Although the Australian dairy industry has performed well it has also faced considerable pressure over the past twenty years. A decline in the terms of trade and major structural change has provided added incentives for the industry to improve productivity. This paper constructs Tornqvist index values to measure and analyse movements in inputs, outputs, total factor productivity (TFP) and the terms of trade for the dairy industry as a whole and for each state over the years 1979 to 1999. Overall, there is clear evidence of a significant increase in the TFP index in the 1990s relative to the 1980s. However, in terms of fitted annual growth rates, there is also evidence of a productivity 'slow down' in the 1990s, with the principal exception of New South Wales. Average annual growth in dairy total factor productivity in Australia over the entire twenty-year period is 1.5 per cent, but decreases from 1.8 per cent in the first to 0.9 per cent in the second decade. In Victoria, the largest dairy producer, the growth in TFP in the second decade of the study is virtually zero, with poor weather conditions in the second half of the decade partly to blame. Much of the impressive growth in dairy output in the 1990s can thus be simply attributed to a growth in inputs. Index values for the terms of trade, the share of input costs in total costs and potential drives of productivity change are also examined.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/132077
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Article provided by University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment in its journal Australasian Agribusiness Review.

Volume (Year): 12 (2004)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:auagre:132077
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.agrifood.info/review/

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  1. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  2. Denis Lawrence & Lloyd McKay, 1980. "Inputs, Outputs And Productivity Change In The Australian Sheep Industry," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 24(1), pages 46-59, 04.
  3. Philip Knopke, 1988. "Measuring Productivity Change Under Different Levels Of Assistance: The Australian Dairy Industry," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 32(2-3), pages 113-128, 08-12.
  4. Topp, Vernon & Williamson, G. & Lembit, Murray & Beare, Stephen, 1989. "The Resource Costs of Blended Milk Pricing in Victoria," 1989 Conference (33rd), February 7-9, 1989, Christchurch, New Zealand 144830, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  5. Lawrence, Denis & McKay, Lloyd, 1980. "Inputs, Outputs And Productivity Change In The Australian Sheep Industry," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 24(01), April.
  6. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
  7. Knopke, Philip, 1988. "Measuring Productivity Change Under Different Levels Of Assistance: The Australian Dairy Industry," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 32(02-03).
  8. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
  9. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
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