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Poland, one of the candidate countries for European Union membership, is currently experiencing acute structural problems within its agriculture sector. This article analyses technical efficiency and its determinants for a panel of individual farms in Poland specialized in crop and livestock production in 2000. Technical efficiency is estimated with stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) and confidence intervals are constructed. Determinants of inefficiency are also evaluated. The SFA results are compared with results using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). On average, livestock farms are more technically efficient than crop farms. For both specializations, the size-efficiency relationship is positive, that is large farms are more efficient. The SFA findings are generally supported by the DEA results. Soil quality and the degree of integration with downstream markets are highly important determinants of efficiency. The use of factor markets (land and labour) is important for crop farms, while livestock farms can rely on family labour and own land. Also, education is a constraint to efficiency particularly for crop farms.
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ABSTRACTIn this paper we investigate how consumers respond to the UK food label Traffic Light System (TLS). Employing a Choice Experiment (CE) we find that consumers appear to behave in a manner consistent with our expectations regarding the impact of the TLS nutrition label. In particular, we identify a strong preference on the part of respondents to avoid a basket of goods containing a mix of foods with any "Red" lights. We have also found that consumers have a hierarchy of importance in terms of perception of the various nutrients examined and clear behavioural differences associated with particular socio-economic characteristics confirming early research on the use of nutrition labels. Overall our results indicate significant heterogeneity in the attitudes and responses of consumers to food labels within and across socioeconomic strata in terms of the magnitude of WTP.
The technical and scale efficiency of Polish farms is analyzed using data envelopment analysis. Efficiency differences are measured according to farm specialization, in crop or livestock, at two points in time during transition, 1996 and 2000. The efficiency results are reviewed in light of confidence intervals provided by bootstrapping. Livestock farms are found to be, on average, more technically and scale efficient than crop farms. Scale efficiency is high for both specializations. Technical inefficiency appears mostly to be due to "pure technical" rather than "scale" inefficiency, and thus attributable to inefficient management practices. The evidence suggests that the low-educational attainment of people engaged in agriculture is one important reason for these inefficient practices. In 2000, 64% of livestock farms and 86% of crop farms were operating under increasing returns to scale. Improvements in the land lease legislation and changes to the policy support to farmers' pensions could stimulate the land market and remove the incentives to keep a fragmented operational structure.JEL classification: D24, Q12
Nonlinear adjustment toward long-run price equilibrium relationships in the sugar-ethanol-oil nexus in Brazil is examined. We develop generalized bivariate error correction models that allow for cointegration between sugar, ethanol, and oil prices, where dynamic adjustments are potentially nonlinear functions of the disequilibrium errors. A range of models are estimated using Bayesian Monte Carlo Markov Chain algorithms and compared using Bayesian model selection methods. The results suggest that the long-run drivers of Brazilian sugar prices are oil prices and that there are nonlinearities in the adjustment processes of sugar and ethanol prices to oil price but linear adjustment between ethanol and sugar prices. Copyright 2008, Oxford University Press.
Recent studies into price transmission have recognized the important role played by transport and transaction costs. Threshold models are one approach to accommodate such costs. We develop a generalized Threshold Error Correction Model to test for the presence and form of threshold behavior in price transmission that is symmetric around equilibrium. We use monthly wheat, maize, and soya prices from the United States, Argentina, and Brazil to demonstrate this model. Classical estimation of these generalized models can present challenges but Bayesian techniques avoid many of these problems. Evidence for thresholds is found in three of the five commodity price pairs investigated. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.
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