Technical and allocative efficiency of irrigation water use in the Guanzhong Plain, China
Due to increasing water scarcity, accelerating industrialization and urbanization, efficiency of irrigation water use in Northern China needs urgent improvement. Based on a sample of 347 wheat growers in the Guanzhong Plain, this paper simultaneously estimates a production function, and its corresponding first-order conditions for cost minimization, to analyze efficiency of irrigation water use. The main findings are that average technical, allocative, and overall economic efficiency are 0.35, 0.86 and 0.80, respectively. In a second stage analysis, we find that farmers’ perception of water scarcity, water price and irrigation infrastructure increase irrigation water allocative efficiency, while land fragmentation decreases it. We also show that farmers’ income loss due to higher water prices can be offset by increasing irrigation water use efficiency.
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