Participation in the Conservation Reserve Program and Off-Farm Work: Implications for Farm and Farm Household Productivity
Using a national survey of U.S farm households, we investigate the interrelationship between participation in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the decision to work off the farm. We go on examine the effects of these two decisions on farm and farm household efficiency and productivity by estimating stochastic frontier productions for farm output and multiple output-orientated distance functions that consider income from agricultural sales, the CRP and off-farm work as outputs of the farm household. We control for the effects of self selection in estimating both the frontier production and distance functions. It appears that operators' decisions to work off the farm have led to significant improvements in household resource allocation between farm and other productive activities by farm households -- leading to high technical efficiency for both farm and farm household activities. In contract, participation in the CRP alone leads to the reduction of the technical efficiency and productivity on farm as well as on combined household activities.
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