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Is the Collapse of Agricultural Output in the CEECs a Good Indicator of Economic Performance? A Total Factor Productivity Analysis

Axel Tonini and Roel Jongeneel

Eastern European Economics, 2006, vol. 44, issue 4, 32-59

Abstract: This paper analyzes total factor productivity (TFP) growth in agriculture for the ten Central and East European countries (CEECs) that began formal negotiations for EU accession in September 1998. A panel data set is constructed consisting of pooled time series data for the ten CEECs from 1993 to 2002, and it is used to estimate a time-varying stochastic production frontier. A Malmquist index of TFP growth is estimated and decomposed into efficiency change and technical change. The results show that despite the fall in output, TFP growth rates were positive for all ten CEECs. This suggests that the collapse of agricultural output in the CEECs is not necessarily a good indicator of agricultural performance. An analysis that only focuses on output decline provides a partial and misleading interpretation of the success of agricultural reforms. Also, estimates of technical efficiency confirm the hypothesis that large-scale farming performs better than small-scale farming when markets are missing and economic conditions are uncertain.

Date: 2006
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