Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to estimate technical efficiency obtained from both data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier approaches using household survey data for rice farming households in Vietnam. Design/methodology/approach – A bootstrap method is used to provide statistical precision of the DEA estimator. Technical efficiency is modeled as a function of household and production factors. Findings – The results from the deterministic, semi-parametric and parametric approaches indicate that among other things, technical efficiency is significantly influenced by primary education and regional factors. In addition, scale efficiency analysis shows that many farms in Vietnam are operating with less than optimal scale of operation. Originality/value – The study is among the first that employ a bootstrap method and compare estimates from both Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier approaches.