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Assessing conventional and organic citrus farming systems eco-efficiency: a metafrontier directional distance function approach using Life Cycle Analysis


  • Mercedes Beltrán Esteve

    (Department of Applied Economics II, Universitat de València)

  • Ernest Reig Martínez

    (Department of Applied Economics II, Universitat de València)

  • Vicent Estruch Guitart

    (Universitat Politècnica de València)


In this paper, the eco-efficiency of citrus farms operating under two different conventional and organic technological systems is analyzed. The methodology combines Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), to estimate the environmental impacts associated with the production process, and Data Envelopment Analysis(DEA) to estimate the position of each holding in relation to a frontier formed by the best farming practices. The use of the directional distance function concept allows us to calculate farms’eco-efficiency scoring with respect to specific environmental impacts, and not only for the whole of them. The metafrontier concept is also used in order to compare the relative eco-efficiency of each of the two cultivation technologies used. Our results show a wide superiority of the organic farming system in relation to the conventional. An eco-efficient('green') organic technology represents, in relation to an eco-efficient use of conventional citrus cultivation techniques, a potential reduction of environmental impacts by 80% without worsening economic performance. In contrast, when the performance of organic and conventional citrus farms is only analyzed in relation to best practices within each system, average eco-efficiency scores are similar for both types of farms.

Suggested Citation

  • Mercedes Beltrán Esteve & Ernest Reig Martínez & Vicent Estruch Guitart, 2015. "Assessing conventional and organic citrus farming systems eco-efficiency: a metafrontier directional distance function approach using Life Cycle Analysis," Working Papers 1501, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  • Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1501

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mercedes Beltrán-Esteve & José Gómez-Limón & Andrés Picazo-Tadeo & Ernest Reig-Martínez, 2014. "A metafrontier directional distance function approach to assessing eco-efficiency," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 69-83, February.
    2. Joe Zhu, 2014. "Data Envelopment Analysis," International Series in Operations Research & Management Science, in: Quantitative Models for Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking, edition 3, chapter 1, pages 1-9, Springer.
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    More about this item


    TFP; business cycle 1501;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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