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The Application of Robust Regression to a Production Function Comparison – the Example of Swiss Corn

The adequate representation of crop response functions is crucial for agri-environmental modeling and analysis. So far, the evaluation of such functions focused on the comparison of different functional forms. The perspective is expanded in this article by considering an alternative regression method. This is motivated by the fact that exceptional crop yield observations (outliers) can cause misleading results if least squares regression is applied. We show that such outliers are adequately treated if robust regression is used instead. The example of simulated Swiss corn yields shows that the use of robust regression narrows the range of optimal input levels across different functional forms and reduces potential costs of misspecification.

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Paper provided by IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich in its series IED Working paper with number 08-02.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ied:wpsied:08-02
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  1. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob De Haan, 2001. "How robust is the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(7), pages 839-844.
  2. Llewelyn, Richard V. & Featherstone, Allen M., 1997. "A comparison of crop production functions using simulated data for irrigated corn in western Kansas," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 521-538, August.
  3. Meinke, H. & Baethgen, W. E. & Carberry, P. S. & Donatelli, M. & Hammer, G. L. & Selvaraju, R. & Stockle, C. O., 2001. "Increasing profits and reducing risks in crop production using participatory systems simulation approaches," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 70(2-3), pages 493-513.
  4. Rajsic, Predrag & Weersink, Alfons, 2008. "Do farmers waste fertilizer? A comparison of ex post optimal nitrogen rates and ex ante recommendations by model, site and year," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 97(1-2), pages 56-67, April.
  5. Godard, C. & Roger-Estrade, J. & Jayet, P.A. & Brisson, N. & Le Bas, C., 2008. "Use of available information at a European level to construct crop nitrogen response curves for the regions of the EU," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 97(1-2), pages 68-82, April.
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