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A Translog Cost Function Analysis of U.S. Agriculture, 1939–77


  • Subhash C. Ray


The translog cost function provides a convenient framework for analyzing U.S. agricultural production in a multioutput context. Treating crops and livestock as two distinct outputs, this study utilizes standard results of neoclassical duality theory to obtain measures of pairwise elasticities of substitution between inputs, price elasticities of factor demands, and the rate of Hicks-neutral technical change. Results obtained from joint GLS estimation of parameters of cost and share equations indicate a declining trend in the degree of substitutability between capital and labor. Price elasticity of demand for all inputs increased over time. The measured rate of technical change was 1.8%per year.

Suggested Citation

  • Subhash C. Ray, 1982. "A Translog Cost Function Analysis of U.S. Agriculture, 1939–77," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 64(3), pages 490-498.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:64:y:1982:i:3:p:490-498.

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    Cited by:

    1. J.-C. Bureau & D. Vermersch, 1988. "Substituabilité entre facteurs de production dans les exploitations céréalières," Cahiers d'Economie et Sociologie Rurales, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 8, pages 27-45.
    2. Cooke, Stephen C. & Sundquist, W. Burt, 1990. "Scale Economies, Technical Change, And Competitive Advantage In U.S. Soybean Production," 1990 Conference, January 6-9, Albuquerque, New Mexico 260182, Regional Research Committe NC-181: Determinants of Farm Size and Structure.
    3. Francois Bonnieux, 1989. "Estimating regional-level input demand for french agriculture using a Translog production function," Post-Print hal-01595670, HAL.
    4. James, L. & Glynn, T., 2017. "Reexamining the Question: Are Imported Beef and Domestic Beef Complements or Substitutes?," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252720, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Tobey, James A. & Reinert, Kenneth A., 1991. "The Effects of Domestic Agricultural Policy Reform on Environmental Quality," Journal of Agricultural Economics Research, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, vol. 43(2), pages 1-9.
    6. Kuroda, Yoshimi & Abdullah, Naziruddin, 2003. "Impacts of Set-Aside and R&E Policies on Agricultural Productivity in Japan, 1965-97," Japanese Journal of Rural Economics, Agricultural Economics Society of Japan (AESJ), vol. 5, pages 1-23.
    7. Sandhu, Gurmit S. & Phillips, W.E. & Percy, Mike, 1992. "Economic Structural Analysis of the Canadian Agricultural Production Sector," Staff Paper Series 232540, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    8. Shrabani Mukherjee & Kailash Chandra Pradhan, 2016. "Anatomy of Input Demand Functions for Indian Farmers across Regions," Working Papers 2016-150, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    9. Abler, David G. & Shortle, James S., 1991. "Innovation And Environmental Quality," 1991 Annual Meeting, August 4-7, Manhattan, Kansas 271266, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Arnaud Daymard, 2018. "A Closer Look at the Mechanism of Structural Transformation: the Role of Land- versus Labor-Augmenting Technical Change in Agriculture," THEMA Working Papers 2018-11, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    11. Dong Hee Suh, 2015. "Declining Energy Intensity in the U.S. Agricultural Sector: Implications for Factor Substitution and Technological Change," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(10), pages 1-14, September.
    12. Abdullah, Maisom, 1989. "Capital-labor substitutability in Malaysian manufacturing: alternative estimates and policy implications," ISU General Staff Papers 198901010800009905, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    13. repec:eee:forpol:v:102:y:2019:i:c:p:130-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Panos Fousekis & Christos Pantzios, 1999. "A Family of Differential Input Demand Systems with Application to Greek Agriculture," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 549-563.
    15. Trindade, F. & Fulginiti, L. & Perrin, R., 2018. "Irrigation and Climate Effects on Land Productivity in the U.S. Central Plains," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277264, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Zhu, Shu & Xu, Xin & Ren, Xiaojing & Sun, Tianhua & Oxley, Les & Rae, Allan & Ma, Hengyun, 2016. "Modeling technological bias and factor input behavior in China's wheat production sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 245-253.
    17. Thirtle, Colin, 1986. "Problems in the Definition and Measurement of Technical Change and Productivity Growth in the U.K. Agricultural Sector," Manchester Working Papers in Agricultural Economics 232790, University of Manchester, School of Economics, Agricultural Economics Department.
    18. repec:eee:deveco:v:133:y:2018:i:c:p:375-395 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Abler, David g. & Shortle, James S., 1990. "Environmental And Farm Commodity Policy Linkages In The Us And Ec," 1990 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Vancouver, Canada 270889, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    20. Mathews, Kenneth H. & Jones, Keithly G. & McConnell, Michael J. & Johnson, Rachel J., 2013. "Trade-adjusted measures of productivity increases in US hog production," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 32-37.
    21. Jan Lietava & Risa Morimoto, 2019. "Regression tree analysis of soil fertility and agro-economic practices and the effects on yield in Tanzania," Working Papers 218, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    22. Kuroda, Yoshimi, 1997. "Research and extension expenditures and productivity in Japanese agriculture, 1960-1990," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 111-124, May.

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