IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Exploring cost dominance in crop farming systems between high and low pesticide use


  • Jean-Philippe Boussemart


  • Hervé Leleu
  • Oluwaseun Ojo


The purpose of this paper is to assess cost dominance in direct inputs between arable crop-based systems using low or high pesticide levels per hectare. Our investigation departs from a traditional efficiency analysis and aims at comparing two minimal direct cost functions excluding pesticide expenses. This means that we evaluate the gap between two efficient frontiers instead of focusing on individual farm inefficiency scores. Our only objective is to compare two optimal cost benchmarks for systems respectively defined with high or low pesticide levels per hectare by varying their scale and output mix. A robust approach frontier is introduced to control the influence of potential outliers and unobserved heterogeneity. Based on 707 French crop farms observed in 2008, our simulations show that agricultural practices using less pesticide per hectare are unambiguously more cost-competitive in terms of direct inputs while inducing no other substitution costs. This cost dominance is a robust phenomenon regardless of the size and scope of crop activities, which supports more ecofriendly practices. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Philippe Boussemart & Hervé Leleu & Oluwaseun Ojo, 2016. "Exploring cost dominance in crop farming systems between high and low pesticide use," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 197-214, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:45:y:2016:i:2:p:197-214
    DOI: 10.1007/s11123-015-0443-1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Yajuan Chen & Qian Zhang & Wenping Liu & Zhenrong Yu, 2017. "Analyzing Farmers’ Perceptions of Ecosystem Services and PES Schemes within Agricultural Landscapes in Mengyin County, China: Transforming Trade-Offs into Synergies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-18, August.

    More about this item


    Pesticide use (PU); Arable crops farming systems; Activity analysis model (AAM); Non parametric robust cost function (NPRCF); Hamming distance (HD); C61; D22; D24; Q12;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:45:y:2016:i:2:p:197-214. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.