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Effects of tractor ownership on returns-to-scale in agriculture: Evidence from maize in Ghana

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  • Takeshima, Hiroyuki
  • Houssou, Nazaire
  • Diao, Xinshen

Abstract

Agricultural transformation process around the world has often accompanied the rise in returns-to-scale (RTS). While tractor ownership is often associated with greater RTS in agriculture, whether the tractor ownership actually causes such increase in RTS has not been formally tested in the literature. We bridge this knowledge gap, using a unique survey data of tractor owning farm households in Ghana. We find that owning tractors significantly increases the RTS in maize production on the households’ largest mono-cropped plot, and weakens inverse-relationship between land productivity and farm size. This is partly achieved through the rise in the “RTS in tillage production” (the amount of tillage conducted), rather than the RTS in maize production given a fixed amount of tillage produced. These sets of evidence are obtained by addressing jointly the multiple sources of endogeneity of tractor ownership, tractor values, tillage production, and other inputs used.

Suggested Citation

  • Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Houssou, Nazaire & Diao, Xinshen, 2018. "Effects of tractor ownership on returns-to-scale in agriculture: Evidence from maize in Ghana," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 33-49.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:77:y:2018:i:c:p:33-49
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2018.04.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Hatzenbuehler, Patrick L. & Edeh, Hyacinth O., 2020. "Effects of agricultural mechanization on economies of scope in crop production in Nigeria," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 177(C).
    2. Xiaoshi Zhou & Wanglin Ma & Gucheng Li & Huanguang Qiu, 2020. "Farm machinery use and maize yields in China: an analysis accounting for selection bias and heterogeneity," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 64(4), pages 1282-1307, October.
    3. Jorge Alvarez & Claudia Berg, 2019. "Crop Selection and International Differences in Aggregate Agricultural Productivity," IMF Working Papers 2019/179, International Monetary Fund.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns-to-scale; Tractor ownership; Inverse probability weighted generalized method of moments; Generalized propensity score; Mediation effects; Ghana;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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