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Nonparametric Tests of Cost Minimizing Behavior: A Study of Indian Farms

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  • Subhash C. Ray
  • Dipasis Bhadra

Abstract

We extend existing nonparametric methods of analyzing production efficiency to allow some inputs to be quasi-fixed. Varian's Weak Axiom of Cost Minimization is modified to derive the Weak Axiom of Variable Cost Minimization. The methodology is applied to farm level data from West Bengal, India, which are analyzed for consistency with cost minimizing behavior. There is strong evidence against overall cost minimization, a result that cannot be rationalized in terms of production uncertainty and risk aversion. However, violation of either technical efficiency or of variable cost minimization is much less serious. This suggests that failure of cost minimization is principally due to imperfections in the markets for capital and land.

Suggested Citation

  • Subhash C. Ray & Dipasis Bhadra, 1993. "Nonparametric Tests of Cost Minimizing Behavior: A Study of Indian Farms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(4), pages 990-999.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:75:y:1993:i:4:p:990-999.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/1243986
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Paul Chavas & Ragan Petrie & Michael Roth, 2005. "Farm Household Production Efficiency: Evidence from The Gambia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 160-179.
    2. Goodhue, Rachael & Rausser, Gordon & Simon, Leo, 2000. "Processor Placements and Producer Incentives: Analyzing Broiler Chicken Production Contracts," CUDARE Working Papers 198671, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    3. Loren Tauer & Zdenko Stefanides, 1998. "Success in maximizing profits and reasons for profit deviation on dairy farms," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(2), pages 151-156, February.
    4. Goodhue, Rachael E. & Rausser, Gordon C. & Simon, Leo K., 1998. "Understanding Production Contracts: Testing An Agency Theory Model," 1998 Annual meeting, August 2-5, Salt Lake City, UT 20946, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Silva, Elvira, 1999. "A Nonparametric Approach To Short-Run Production Analysis In A Dynamic Context," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21608, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. repec:wsi:wsbook:6875 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Goodhue, Rachael E. & Rausser, Gordon C. & Simon, Leo K., 2000. "Processor placements and producer incentives: analyzing broiler chicken production contracts," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt2tc2g983, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    8. Lemberg, Beth & Wongcharupan, Metha, 1998. "Nonparametric Analysis Of Cost Minimization And Efficiency," 1998 Annual meeting, August 2-5, Salt Lake City, UT 20952, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Paul Oslington, 2012. "General Equilibrium: Theory and Evidence," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(282), pages 446-448, September.

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