Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 113–124 | Cite as

The efficiency of Spanish arable crop organic farms, a local maximum likelihood approach

  • Teresa Serra
  • Barry K. Goodwin


The methodologies that have been used in existing research to assess the efficiency with which organic farms are operating are generally based either on the stochastic frontier methodology or on a deterministic non-parametric approach. Recently, Kumbhakar et al. (J Econom 137:1–27, 2007) proposed a new nonparametric, stochastic method based on the local maximum likelihood principle. We use this methodology to compare the efficiency ratings of organic and conventional arable crop farms in the Spanish region of Andalucía. Nonparametrically encompassing the stochastic frontier model is especially useful when comparing the performance of two groups that are likely to be characterized by different production technologies.


Organic and conventional farming Technical efficiency Local maximum likelihood approach 

JEL Classification

C14 Q12 D24 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Project RTA2006-00002-00-00. They also thank the Spanish Ministry for Agricultre for permitting access to the FADN dataset.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CREDA-UPC-IRTA, Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia, Edifici ESABCastelldefelsSpain
  2. 2.Agricultural and Resource Economics DepartmentNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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