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Innovation Systems and Technical Efficiency in Developing-Country Agriculture


  • Mekonnen, Dawit Kelemework
  • Spielman, David J.
  • Fonsah, Esendugue Greg


The paper uses a stochastic frontier analysis of production functions to estimate the level of technical efficiency in agriculture for a panel of 29 developing countries in Africa and Asia between 1994 and 2000. In addition, the paper examines how different components of an agricultural innovation system interact to determine the estimated technical inefficiencies. Results show that the mean level of technical efficiency among the sampled countries was about 86 percent, with some modest increases during the period in question. These results suggest that there is room for significant increases of production through reallocations of existing resources. Despite significant variation among countries, these results also indicate quite a number of least developed countries have high mean efficiency scores, implying a need to focus on investment that pushes the production frontier outward in these countries. Several measures of agricultural R&D achievement and intensity, along with educational enrollment, are found to enhance agricultural efficiency. On the other hand, countries with higher levels of official development assistance, foreign direct investment, and a greater share of land under irrigation are found to be performing poorly in their agricultural efficiency score.

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  • Mekonnen, Dawit Kelemework & Spielman, David J. & Fonsah, Esendugue Greg, 2012. "Innovation Systems and Technical Efficiency in Developing-Country Agriculture," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119788, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:saea12:119788

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Markus Balzat & Horst Hanusch, 2004. "Recent trends in the research on national innovation systems," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 197-210, June.
    2. Pray, Carl E. & Fuglie, Keith O., 2001. "Private Investment In Agricultural Research And International Technology Transfer In Asia," Agricultural Economics Reports 33927, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Mon-Chi Lio & Jin-Li Hu, 2009. "Governance and Agricultural Production Efficiency: A Cross-Country Aggregate Frontier Analysis," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 40-61.
    4. Byerlee, Derek & Fischer, Ken, 2002. "Accessing Modern Science: Policy and Institutional Options for Agricultural Biotechnology in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 931-948, June.
    5. Markus Balzat & Horst Hanusch, 2003. "Recent Trends in the Research on National Innovation Systems," Discussion Paper Series 254, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    6. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-332.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bachewe, Fantu Nisrane & Koru, Bethelihem & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2015. "Smallholder Teff Productivity and Efficiency: Evidence from High-Potential Districts of Ethiopia," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212257, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. repec:ags:iaae15:211355 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:agisys:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:90-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bachewe, Fantu Nisrane & Koru, Bethlehem & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2015. "Productivity and efficiency of smallholder teff farmers in Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 79, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Hall, Andy & Dijkman, Jeroen & Sulaiman, Rasheed, 2010. "Research Into Use: Investigating the Relationship between Agricultural Research and Innovation," MERIT Working Papers 044, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item


    agricultural innovation systems; technical efficiency; developing country agriculture; Agricultural and Food Policy; Crop Production/Industries; Food Security and Poverty; International Development; Production Economics; Productivity Analysis;

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