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A Semi-parametric Analysis of Technology, with an Application to U.S. Dairy Farms


  • de los Campos, Gustavos

    (University of Alabama, Birmingham)

  • Foltz, Jeremy

    (University of Wisconsin)

  • Chavas, Jean-Paul

    (University of Wisconsin)

  • Gianola, Daniel

    (University of Wisconsin)


This article proposes a semi-parametric stochastic frontier model (SPSF) in which components of the technology and of technical efficiency are represented using semi-parametric methods and estimated in a Bayesian framework. The approach is illustrated in an application to US farm data. The analysis shows important scale economies for small and medium herds and constant return to scale for larger herds. With the exception of labor, estimates of marginal products were close to the value expected under profit maximization. Finally, the results suggest important opportunities to increase productivity through reductions in technical inefficiencies.

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  • de los Campos, Gustavos & Foltz, Jeremy & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Gianola, Daniel, 2010. "A Semi-parametric Analysis of Technology, with an Application to U.S. Dairy Farms," Staff Paper Series 545, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:wisagr:545

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    1. Ali Hortaçsu & Chad Syverson, 2007. "Cementing Relationships: Vertical Integration, Foreclosure, Productivity, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 250-301.
    2. Catherine C. de Fontenay & Joshua S. Gans, 2005. "Vertical Integration in the Presence of Upstream Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 544-572, Autumn.
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