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Abstract

This research work examines levels and trends in global agricultural productivity in fifteen European Union countries and four Eastern European countries that have already applied for European Union membership. The study makes use of data collected from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and covers the period 1980-1998. An approach based on Data Envelopment Analysis is used to provide information on the peers of the (inefficient) i-th country and to derive the Malmquist productivity indices. This approach is chosen due to the non-availability of reliable input price data to measure total factor productivity change, technical efficiency change and technical change. Model results show France, Bel-Lux and Italy are on the frontier technology in the period of study. Although Bulgaria and Hungary do not belong to the European Union, these countries are on the frontier technology, too. These results also show that France posts the most spectacular performance, while the Eastern European region is the major performer region and the Mediterranean region is the weakest performer region over the period of study. These results indicate that technical efficiency is not a source of total factor productivity growth. Another interesting result is that there is not a degree of catch-up due to improved technical efficiency along with growth in technical change in European Union Countries and four Eastern European countries.

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