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International agricultural efficiency and productivity: A nonparametric Malmquist Index approach

Auttawoodh Suksamai, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In this dissertation, we analyze agricultural performances across 50 selected countries using a nonparametric Malmquist index technique to exam efficiency and productivity in international agriculture. Based on Hayami and Ruttan's framework, a metaproduction function constructed from 50 selected country samples which are classified into developed countries (DCs) and less developed countries (LDCs) is used to represent the reference technology. The annual time series data on four conventional input (land, labor, livestock, and fertilizer) and two nonconventional inputs (general education level, and government expenditures on agriculture) are utilized to construct the metaproduction function. Four different models of metaproduction are constructed to investigate the impact of conventional inputs and nonconventional inputs on agricultural efficiency and productivity across 50 selected countries during 1980–1991. ^ Assuming constant returns to scale technology and free disposability of output, we apply the activity analysis using linear programming to compute the distance functions, which are in turn used to construct the output-based Malmquist productivity index. The decomposition of Malmquist productivity index yields technical change index measuring the shift in production surface (innovation effect) and technical efficiency change index measuring the movement toward or away from production surface (catching-up effect). ^ The results show that the same country with different metaproduction function model may yield the different scores of efficiency because of the different input components included in each model. Model IV is judged to be the best model due to the largest number of benchmark countries which better explain efficiency changes, and Model I has the largest number of productivity countries. The other findings are that DCs had a higher achievement in agricultural production, determined by greater innovation (technical change), while LDCs had the opportunity to adopt DCs' techniques to catch up with DCs, determined by higher efficiency rate. In addition, we confirm that both of nonconventional inputs had a great impact on productivity in LDCs during 1980–1991 period. ^ However, since environmental variables are not included into metaproduction function in this study, the future study is suggested to investigate the effect of bads on agricultural productivity across countries. ^

Subject Area

Economics, Agricultural

Recommended Citation

Suksamai, Auttawoodh, "International agricultural efficiency and productivity: A nonparametric Malmquist Index approach" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9977025.