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Economic Efficiency, Structure and Scale Economies in the U.S. Dairy Sector

  • Mosheim, Roberto
  • Lovell, C.A. Knox

This study uses a new dataset based on the 2000 Agricultural Resource Management Survey, the most recent national survey of dairy producers in the United States. A shadow cost function is employed to decompose and analyze economic efficiency and scale economies. The study details the development of the data employed in the analysis and focuses on the estimation of scale relationships across farms in different regions and of different sizes. Preliminary results point to important scale economies and suggest that surviving small farms are on average more economically efficient but can exploit scale economies to a much lesser degree than larger farms. The preferred specification of the cost function does not show a region of decreasing returns to scale.

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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA with number 21440.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea06:21440
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  1. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Swanson, Joseph A, 1981. "Productivity Growth, Scale Economies, and Capacity Utilization in U.S. Railroads, 1955-74," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 994-1002, December.
  2. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
  3. Atkinson, Scott E & Halvorsen, Robert, 1984. "Parametric Efficiency Tests, Economies of Scale, and Input Demand in U.S. Electric Power Generation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(3), pages 647-62, October.
  4. Atkinson, Scott E. & Halvorsen, Robert, 1986. "The relative efficiency of public and private firms in a regulated environment: The case of U.S. electric utilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 281-294, April.
  5. Tim Coelli & Antonio Estache & Sergio Perelman & Lourdes Trujillo, 2003. "A Primer on Efficiency Measurement for Utilities and Transport Regulators," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15149.
  6. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
  7. Arunava Bhattacharyya & Elliott Parker & Kambiz Raffiee, 1994. "An Examination of the Effect of Ownership on the Relative Efficiency of Public and Private Water Utilities," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(2), pages 197-209.
  8. Antonio Alvarez & Carlos Arias, 2003. "Diseconomies of Size with Fixed Managerial Ability," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 134-142.
  9. Alvarez, Antonio & Arias, Carlos, 2004. "Technical efficiency and farm size: a conditional analysis," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 241-250, May.
  10. Atkinson, Scott E & Halvorsen, Robert, 1980. "A Test of Relative and Absolute Price Efficiency in Regulated Utilities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(1), pages 81-88, February.
  11. OW Maietta, 2000. "The decomposition of cost inefficiency into technical and allocative components with panel data of Italian dairy farms," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 473-495, December.
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