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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to address the sources of technical and allocative inefficiency from a cross section sample of 308 beneficiaries of a market assisted land reform program, called “Cédula da Terra” from five states in Northeastern region of Brazil. In spite of some differences on governance of the “Cédula da Terra” in comparison with traditional expropriation land reform program, studies carried by Buainain et al. (2002) have shown small differences between then, regarding their social and economic characteristics. We believe that our results could be useful to identify the main problems of Brazilian land reform settlements. We estimated a potential production frontier following the methodology of Battese and Coelli (1995), Coelli et al. (1998) and applied econometric techniques to explain inefficiency. The results indicate the existence of technical and allocative inefficiency, which is identified mostly in situations where the presence of production for consumption is high. This is a result that shows how immature the agriculture activity is in most of Cédula da Terra Program settlements and the difficulty to overcome the limitations imposed by the initial condition of formation of agrarian reform, primarily in Northeastern region of Brazil.

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