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The impact of high value markets on smallholder productivity in the Ecuadorean Sierra: A Stochastic Production Frontier approach correcting for selectivity bias


  • González-Flores, Mario
  • Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.
  • Solís, Daniel
  • Winters, Paul


This paper uses data from small-scale potato farmers in Ecuador to examine the impact of the program Plataformas de Concertación on productivity growth. Using propensity score matching combined with a Stochastic Production Frontier model that corrects for sample selection bias, we disaggregate the yield growth attributable to the program into technological change (TC) and technical efficiency (TE). While the results do not exhibit a clear indication of selection bias, the analysis does show that on average beneficiaries exhibit higher yields than control farmers given the same input levels, but lower TE with respect to their own frontiers. These results suggest that while the program raised the technology gap in favor of beneficiaries, it had a negative effect on TE in the short run. The latter finding is consistent with the notion that beneficiaries enjoyed a significant change in production techniques, but it is very likely that they were still in the “learning by doing” stages at the time the data was collected. In fact, the results suggest a fast recovery in TE levels on the part of beneficiaries as time with project increased.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:44:y:2014:i:c:p:237-247
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2013.09.014

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
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    4. Boris Bravo-Ureta & Daniel Solís & Víctor Moreira López & José Maripani & Abdourahmane Thiam & Teodoro Rivas, 2007. "Technical efficiency in farming: a meta-regression analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 57-72, February.
    5. Devaux, André & Horton, Douglas & Velasco, Claudio & Thiele, Graham & López, Gastón & Bernet, Thomas & Reinoso, Iván & Ordinola, Miguel, 2009. "Collective action for market chain innovation in the Andes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 31-38, February.
    6. Christopher B. Barrett & Michael R. Carter, 2010. "The Power and Pitfalls of Experiments in Development Economics: Some Non-random Reflections," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 515-548.
    7. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. William Greene, 2010. "A stochastic frontier model with correction for sample selection," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 15-24, August.
    9. Pedro Cerdán-Infantes & Alessandro Maffioli & Diego Ubfal, 2008. "The Impact of Agricultural Extension Services: The Case of Grape Production in Argentina," OVE Working Papers 0508, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
    10. Judy L. Baker, 2000. "Evaluating the Impact of Development Projects on Poverty : A Handbook for Practitioners," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13949.
    11. Sanzidur Rahman & Aree Wiboonpongse & Songsak Sriboonchitta & Yaovarate Chaovanapoonphol, 2009. "Production Efficiency of Jasmine Rice Producers in Northern and North-eastern Thailand," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 419-435.
    12. Sipilainen, Timo & Oude Lansink, Alfons G.J.M., 2005. "Learning in Organic Farming An Application on Finnish Dairy Farms," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24493, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    14. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-846, September.
    15. repec:zwi:journl:v:43:y:2012:i:1:p:55-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rob Kuijpers & Johan Swinnen, 2016. "Value Chains and Technology Transfer to Agriculture in Developing and Emerging Economies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1403-1418.
    2. Jeremy Jelliffe & Boris E. Bravo-Ureta & C. Michael Deom & David Kalule Okello, 2016. "The Sustainability Of Farmer-Led Multiplication And Dissemination Of High-Yield And Disease Resistant Groundnut Varieties," Zwick Center Research Reports 04, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    3. repec:spr:agfoec:v:6:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40100-018-0098-0 is not listed on IDEAS


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