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Abstract

This paper appraises the environmental performance of US agriculture with respect to water pollution from pesticides through a parametric approach. The performance of the 48 continental States is evaluated through a translog stochastic and hyperbolic distance function allowing an environmentally adjusted productivity index and its components technical and efficiency change from 1960-1996. Water pollution is captured by four indicators of risk developed by Ball et al. (2004) : i) risk to human health from exposure to pesticide leaching; ii) risk to human health from exposure to pesticide runoff; iii) risk to aquatic life from exposure to pesticide leaching and iv) risk to aquatic life from exposure to pesticide runoff. The resulting environmentally adjusted productivity growth is slower than the conventional one but still driven by technical progress. Further finding reveals that innovation in the sector is biased toward crop and livestock rather than pollution mitigation. Results also show a potential for crops and livestock expansion and a contraction in water pollution and inputs.

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