Inverse Productivity or Inverse Efficiency? Evidence from Mexico

Justin Kagin, J. Edward Taylor & Antonio Yúnez-Naude
Published in
The Journal of Development Studies
Publication Date

Using a unique panel data set from rural Mexico, we find strong evidence of a negative relationship between farm size and both productivity and technical efficiency: large farms not only have a lower value of output per hectare than small farms, they also produce further from the efficiency frontier. Our findings suggest that, in spite of the ongoing transformation of agricultural supply chains and economists’ recommendations for small farmers to exit crop production, there may be sustained advantages for smallholder farms. Our analysis offers new insights into inverse-farm size relationship, the productivity–efficiency relationship, and the use of stochastic frontier techniques.