The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Agricultural Supply

  • Jere R. Behrman
Reference work entry


One of the earliest-investigated and most fruitful areas for econometric studies has been the estimation of agricultural supply functions. Studies date back at least to the work of Smith (1928) and Bean (1929) on US agriculture in the 1920s. Early studies adopted a fairly static view. Nerlove’s (1958) work on The Dynamics of Supply, with adaptive price expectations and adjustment processes for United States agriculture, spawned renewed interest in specification and estimation issues on this topic. The roughly concurrent controversies about market responsiveness in developing-country agriculture (e.g., Schultz 1964) led to a shift in emphasis towards this concern. In the last quarter century a veritable flood of such studies has appeared. More recently supply studies have incorporated more systematic emphasis on systemic characteristics, risk aversion, the household/farm model framework and alternative price expectations. This article reviews these basic developments in empirical studies of agricultural supply by starting with the most common framework for such analyses and then considering what questions arise when some of the traditional assumptions are weakened.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jere R. Behrman
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