Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural
Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural
Original article

Do subsidies drive technical efficiency? The case of portuguese firms in the agribusiness sector

Os subsídios geram eficiência técnica? O caso das empresas portuguesas no setor do agronegócio

Silvia Ferreira Marques Salustiano; Natália Barbosa; Tito Belchior Silva Moreira

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Successive reforms in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), enlargements of the European Union (EU) and pressures in the public budget increase the need for empirical studies to assess the role of subsidies in shaping firms’ performance and, hence, to support policy-makers decisions and decision-making in the productive sector. This paper assesses whether subsidies affect the technical efficiency of 1,943 Portuguese agribusiness firms over 2007-2015. By applying stochastic frontier models and fixed-effects models, to calculate the average efficiency of these firms, the results show different effects of subsidies among agribusiness sectors. The stochastic frontier model revealed that the subsidies have a positive and significant impact on the technical efficiency of three sectors, animal production, manufacture of food, and manufacture of paper. Further, except for firms in the forestry and logging sector, Portuguese agribusiness firms had higher average efficiency levels when subsidised, which provides evidence that subsidies could be important and contribute positively to the technical efficiency of Portuguese firms.


agribusiness, stochastic frontier, efficiency, subsidies


As sucessivas reformas na Política Agrícola Comum (PAC), os alargamentos da União Europeia (UE) e as pressões no orçamento público aumentam a necessidade de estudos empíricos para avaliar o papel dos subsídios na definição do desempenho das empresas e, dessa forma, apoiar os tomadores de decisões, tanto para definições de políticas públicas quanto para o setor produtivo. Este artigo avalia se os subsídios afetam a eficiência técnica de 1.943 empresas portuguesas do agronegócio no período de 2007 a 2015. Utilizaram-se modelos de fronteira estocástica e modelo de efeitos fixos para calcular a eficiência média dessas empresas. Os resultados mostram diferentes efeitos dos subsídios entre os setores do agronegócio. O modelo de fronteira estocástica revelou que os subsídios têm um impacto positivo e significativo na eficiência técnica de três setores: produção animal, fabricação de alimentos e fabricação de papel. Além disso, com exceção das empresas dos setores florestal e madeireiro, as empresas do agronegócio português apresentaram níveis médios de eficiência mais altos quando subsidiadas, o que fornece evidências de que os subsídios podem ser importantes e contribuir positivamente para a eficiência técnica das empresas portuguesas.


agronegócio, fronteira estocástica, eficiência, subsídios


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