IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Economies of Density versus Natural Advantage: Crop Choice on the Back Forty

  • Thomas J. Holmes

    (University of Minnesota, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and NBER)

  • Sanghoon Lee

    (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia)

We estimate the factors determining specialization of crop choice at the level of individual fields, distinguishing between the role of natural advantage (soil characteristics) and economies of density (scale economies achieved when farmers plant neighboring fields the same). Using rich geographic data from North Dakota, including new data on crop choice collected by satellite, we estimate a model of how a farmer plants adjacent fields under the farmer's control. We find planting decisions on a field are heavily dependent on the soil characteristics of adjacent fields. Through this relationship, we back out the structural parameters of economies of density. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-19

in new window

Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:1:p:1-19
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1862, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. William Kerr & Edward Glaeser & Glenn Ellison, 2007. "What Causes Industry Agglomeration? Evidence from Coagglomeration Patterns," Working Papers 07-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Patrick Bajari & Han Hong & John Krainer & Denis Nekipelov, 2006. "Estimating Static Models of Strategic Interaction," NBER Working Papers 12013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gilles Duranton & Henry G. Overman, 2002. "Testing for localisation using micro-geographic data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20071, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Thomas J. Holmes, 2006. "The Diffusion of Wal-Mart and Economies of Density," 2006 Meeting Papers 15, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2005. "Causes of sprawl: A portrait from space," Working Papers tecipa-192, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  8. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," NBER Working Papers 4840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  10. Battese, George E., 1992. "Frontier production functions and technical efficiency: a survey of empirical applications in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 7(3-4), October.
  11. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
  12. Battese, George E., 1992. "Frontier production functions and technical efficiency: a survey of empirical applications in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 7(3-4), pages 185-208, October.
  13. Douglas W. Caves & Laurits R. Christensen & Michael W. Tretheway, 1984. "Economies of Density versus Economies of Scale: Why Trunk and Local Service Airline Costs Differ," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 471-489, Winter.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1999. "Measuring Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1878, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:1:p:1-19. 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: (Anna Pollock-Nelson)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.