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Abstract

Economic reform in the Central and Eastern European countries in the 1980s helped transform the structure and volume of agricultural production, consumption and trade, and resulted in significant agricultural productivity improvements. However, there are large differences among the transition countries in the magnitude and direction of these changes. The main objective of this study is to measure and compare the levels and trends in agricultural productivity in transition countries with those of the European Union (EU) countries making use of the most recent data available from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This study employs a parametric distance function approach to measure Malmquist productivity index as well as the magnitude and direction of technical change. The Malmquist productivity index is decomposed into technical change (TC), technical efficiency change (TEC) and scale efficiency change (SEC) in which TC is decomposed into input- and output- biased TC. These measures provide insightful information for researchers in designing policies to achieve a high growth rate in transition countries.

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