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Testing for Yield Persistency: Is It Skill or is It Luck?


  • Urcola, Hernan A.
  • Schnitkey, Gary D.
  • Irwin, Scott H.
  • Sherrick, Bruce J.


This study uses corn yield data from McLean County, Illinois to test whether farmer skill influences yields. This analysis is conducted by performing persistency tests on unadjusted, soil productivity adjusted (PA), and productivity and input intensity adjusted (PIA) yields. Correlation analysis and winner/loser tables indicate that unadjusted, PA, and PIA yields exhibit persistency across time. PIA yields exhibiting persistency is consistent with farmer skill influencing yield. Hence, our results support the hypothesis that farmer skill influences yields.

Suggested Citation

  • Urcola, Hernan A. & Schnitkey, Gary D. & Irwin, Scott H. & Sherrick, Bruce J., 2004. "Testing for Yield Persistency: Is It Skill or is It Luck?," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 19991, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea04:19991

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark M. Carhart & Jennifer N. Carpenter & Anthony W. Lynch & David K. Musto, 2002. "Mutual Fund Survivorship," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1439-1463.
    2. Lakonishok, Joseph & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "The Structure and Performance of the Money Management Industry," Scholarly Articles 10498059, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Carpenter, Jennifer N. & Lynch, Anthony W., 1999. "Survivorship bias and attrition effects in measures of performance persistence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 337-374, December.
    4. Barry K. Goodwin & Allen M. Featherstone & Kimberly Zeuli, 2002. "Producer Experience, Learning by Doing, and Yield Performance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(3), pages 660-678.
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    Cited by:

    1. Li, Xin & Paulson, Nicholas, 2014. "Is Farm Management Skill Persistent?," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170170, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    Crop Production/Industries;


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