Technical efficiency of US dairy farms and federal government programs

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In this article, Technical Efficiency (TE) of dairy farms is estimated and analysed with two methodologies: Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA). Using DEA, the TE scores for different states are determined. Further, logistic regression is applied to TE scores to explain how known technical and policy variables affect a farm's probability of being efficient. The second methodology employs SFA to estimate and analyse TE scores. Two federal milk policies are considered in this research: marketing policy and milk income loss policy. Federal milk marketing program has shown a significant and negative impact on TE with both methods. Payments under the milk income loss program have shown a positive significant impact in SFA analysis. Both methodologies produced similar outcomes on regional impacts and on the significance of several considered variables. Categorical representation of some variables in graphs provided some additional insights of their effects on TE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-847
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • DEA
  • Dairy farms
  • Federal milk programs
  • SFA
  • Technical efficiency


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