Published: 01.11.1999 〉 Heft 11/1999 〉 Resort: Articles
Submitted: N. A. 〉 Feedback to authors after first review: N. A. 〉 Accepted: N. A.
Attempts to interpret performance and efficiency differences among agricultural enterprisesAttempts to interpret performance and efficiency differences among agricultural enterprises have always occupied a central position in agricultural economics. For the derivation of empirical relationships methods of statistical analysis using differentiated and preferably multivariate approaches as well as frontier functions are applied. 1. The present research activities focus on stochastic frontier models which establish a parametric cause-effect relationship between independent and dependent variables. The result of traditional LS estimates is extended in two respects. On the one hand, they include the potential to achieve a better approximation of estimated parameter values to the actual ones. On the other hand, information on the efficiency of the regarded production process is obtained owing to systematic use of the residual variance.2. In the present analysis, the possibility of gaining knowledge as involved by stochastic frontier models has been used with some restrictions. The results of the likelihood function underline that the chosen approach approximates the data better than multiple regression analysis as primary function. This statement, however, holds only true if functions of the Cobb-Douglas class are used. The studies furnished no information about the question why the potential offered by the frontier approach was not utilized by other function classes, for example linear or linear-interactive ones. 3. The frontier model is specified for each year separately and mirrors the relevant relationships of the considered highly specialized cash crop farms in a principally correct manner. Additional inputs for labour, variable operating resources and capital equipment as well as (not directly organisation-related) overheads follow the expected pattern and, depending on the business year and the production factor, reduce the net profit to a different degree.Vice versa, the net profit rises when the harvested yields and product prices go up.4. The weight of the factors that determine the success and thus the competitiveness of enterprises is quantified by use of a special algorithm for generating standardized indices. It is calculated at the beginning and at the end of a reference period, and also with regard to price and yield level. It turned out that the importance of the performance-determining factors harvested yield and product price as well as labour and (not directly organisation-related) overheads have partially notably increased in the reference period. On the other hand, however, variable cost and depreciation over time went down. A key position is occupied by the high crop yields and low cost of labour; they account for roughly 50 per cent of the potential rate of increase (nearly 500.- DM per hectare) determined under standardized conditions.5. Averaging the considered years, the mean net profit efficiency amounts to 68 per cent; it has remained almost constant. The shift in agrarian policy with the transition from high product prices without transfer payment to a system of low product prices with transfer payment, independently of company performance, has not cut the chances of enterprises to achieve differential rents as a result of outstanding managerial quality.