Productivity and efficiency of large and small field crop farms and mixed farms of the old and new EU regions

https://doi.org/10.17221/48/2011-AGRICECONCitation:Błażejczyk-Majka L., Kala R., Maciejewski K. (2012):   Productivity and efficiency of large and small field crop farms and mixed farms of the old and new EU regions. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 58: 61-71.
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The main aim of the paper is to consider the question whether a higher specialization and a bigger economic size class of farms determine a higher technical efficiency at the same scale for the farms from the new and old countries of the EU. This study is based on the data contained in the Farm Accounting Data Network and covers the first four years following the extension of the European Union in 2004. The adopted units comprised average farms representing 80 regions belonging to eleven countries of the EU-15 and four new EU member states. The estimation of technical efficiency was conducted using the data envelopment analysis, separately for each of the two types of farms taking into account their economic size. The main findings indicate that the highest efficiency is achieved by the biggest farms, but those from the regions belonging to the new EU members at the same time had a low efficiency of scale, while those belonging to the countries of the EU-15 were operating at a scale close to the optimal. Moreover, it is confirmed that a longer period of farming under relatively stable conditions promotes a higher efficiency independently of the type of farm production. On the other hand, contrary to the relatively common opinion that a higher specialization promotes a higher efficiency, it was found that field crop farms in average are less efficient than mixed farms, although the difference between efficiencies decreases with an increase of their economic size.  
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