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Do Production Contracts Raise Farm Productivity? An Instrumental Variables Approach

Nigel Key and William McBride

Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 2008, vol. 37, issue 2, 12

Abstract: Estimating how the use of production contracts affects farm productivity is difficult when unobservable factors are correlated with both the decision to contract and productivity. To account for potential selection bias, this study uses the local availability of production contracts as an instrument for whether a farm uses a contract in order to estimate the impact of contract use on total factor productivity. Results indicate that use of a production contract is associated with a large increase in productivity for feeder-to-finish hog farms in the United States. The instrumental variable method makes it credible to assert that the observed association is a causal relationship rather than simply a correlation.

Keywords: Productivity; Analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.45659

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