Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural
Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural

Economic efficiency of agricultural production in Brazil

José R. Vicente

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This study measures levels of technical, allocative and economic efficiency in agricultural crop production for Brazil in 1995. A nonparametric frontier model (DEA) under constant returns to scale was used. On average, the results suggest that the sector suffers from moderate technical inefficiency and from strong allocative inefficiency. If full technical efficiency were achieved, the crop production would increase by more than 30% over that obtained in 1995. Land and labor were overutilized, while fertilizers and pesticides were underutilized. Climate, soil conditions and irrigation use affected technical efficiency levels, and education in rural areas helped explain the extent of allocative efficiency. The state of São Paulo State was the only production unit in Brazil operating in full efficiency in 1995.


agricultural production, nonparametric frontier, economic efficiency, technical efficiency, allocative efficiency.
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