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Efficiency and Productivity Changes of the Italian Agrifood Cooperatives: a Malmquist Index Analysis


  • Andrea BONFIGLIO



The objective of this paper is to analyse efficiency and productivity changes of a sample of Italian agrifood cooperatives in the period 2000-2002. Towards this aim, a three-stage analysis is carried out. Firstly, a Data Envelopment Analysis approach is used to estimate technical and pure efficiency scores. Secondly, DEA-based Malmquist indices are calculated to analyse inter-temporal productivity changes. Thirdly, a Tobit regression analysis is carried out to identify the reasons for the differences existing among the cooperatives in terms of technical efficiency. The main results are as follows. The overall efficiency of the agrifood cooperatives is not particularly high: the technical efficiency and the managerial efficiency are, on average, 35% and 63% of the "relative" optimal ones, respectively. In the period analysed, productivity improves by about 2% due to a positive technological change. The technical efficiency worsens because of deterioration of scale efficiency attenuated by an increase in managerial efficiency. Milk and zootechnic cooperatives show the highest average levels of technical and pure efficiency. Their productivity increased in the period considered, owing to improvements in both managerial and scale efficiency. Wine cooperatives present the lowest average levels of technical and pure efficiency. Moreover, their productivity decreased due to a worsening of managerial capabilities. Fruit and vegetables and oil cooperatives represent middle situations. Finally, technical efficiency seems to be affected positively by the scale, technology, structural elasticity and middle-long term balance whilst is negatively affected by financial exposure.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea BONFIGLIO, 2006. "Efficiency and Productivity Changes of the Italian Agrifood Cooperatives: a Malmquist Index Analysis," Working Papers 250, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  • Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:250

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
    2. Piesse, Jenifer & Doyer, Tobias & Thirtle, Colin & Vink, Nick, 2005. "The changing role of grain cooperatives in the transition to competitive markets in South Africa," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 197-218, March.
    3. A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper & E. Rhodes, 1981. "Evaluating Program and Managerial Efficiency: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis to Program Follow Through," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(6), pages 668-697, June.
    4. Philip Lund & Roger Price, 1998. "The Measurement of Average Farm Size," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 100-110.
    5. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
    6. Mathijs, Erik & Vranken, Liesbet, 2000. "Farm Restructuring And Efficiency In Transition: Evidence From Bulgaria And Hungary," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21886, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Mercedes Gumbau-Albert & Joaquin Maudos, 2002. "The determinants of efficiency: the case of the Spanish industry," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(15), pages 1941-1948.
    8. Alvarez, Roberto & Crespi, Gustavo, 2003. "Determinants of Technical Efficiency in Small Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 233-244, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ugo FRATESI, 2010. "The National and International Effects;of Regional Policy Choices: Agglomeration Economies, Peripherality and Territorial Characteristics," Working Papers 344, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    2. Luca RICCETTI, 2010. "Minimum Tracking Error Volatility," Working Papers 340, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    3. Fabio FIORILLO & Agnese SACCHI, 2010. "I Want to Free-ride. An Opportunistic View on Decentralization Versus Centralization Problem," Working Papers 346, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.

    More about this item


    Malmquist index; Tobit regression analysis; agrifood cooperatives; data envelopment analysis; efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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