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Access to credit, plot size and cost inefficiency among smallholder tobacco cultivators in Malawi

  • Hazarika, Gautam
  • Alwang, Jeffrey

Using data from the Malawi Financial Markets and Household Food Security Survey, this paper examines the effect of access to credit from formal sources, and tobacco plot size, on cost inefficiency among Malawian smallholder tobacco cultivators. Farm-specific cost inefficiency is estimated within the framework of stochastic frontier analysis. Access to credit is measured as the sum of household members' self-reported credit limits at credit organisations, arguably a truer measure of an exogenous credit constraint than credit program participation or actual loan uptake. It is found that tobacco cultivation is significantly less cost inefficient per acre on larger plots. While access to credit by itself has no statistically discernible effect on cost inefficiency, it reduces the gain in cost efficiency from a larger plot size. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Article provided by Blackwell in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 99-109

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:29:y:2003:i:1:p:99-109
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  1. Diagne, Aliou & Zeller, Manfred, 2001. "Access to credit and its impact on welfare in Malawi:," Research reports 116, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. 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.
  3. Diagne, Aliou, 1998. "Impact of access to credit on income and food security in Malawi," FCND discussion papers 46, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. 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.
  5. Feder, Gershon & Lau, Lawrence J. & Lin, Justin Y. & Xiaopeng Luo, 1991. "Credit's effect on productivity in Chinese agriculture : a microeconomic model of disequilibrium," Policy Research Working Paper Series 571, The World Bank.
  6. Zeller, Manfred & Ahmed, Akhter U. & Babu, Suresh Chandra & Broca, Sumiter S. & Diagne, Aliou & Sharma, Manohar, 1996. "Rural finance policies for food security of the poor," FCND discussion papers 11, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. 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.
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