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Abstract

In this article we explore some issues surrounding the use of farm‐level efficiency and productivity estimates for benchmarking studies. Using an eight‐year balanced panel of Victorian wool producers we analyse annual variation between estimates of farm‐level technical efficiency derived using Data Envelopment Analysis and Malmquist estimates of Total Factor Productivity. We find that farms change their relative rank in terms of efficiency across years. Also, unlike aggregate studies of Total Factor Productivity, we find at best erratic and modest growth, a worrying result for this industry. However, caution is needed when interpreting these results, and for that matter, benchmarking analysis as currently practised when using frontier estimation techniques like Data Envelopment Analysis.

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