Grassland rental markets and herder technical efficiency: ability effect or resource equilibration effect?

To explore whether grassland rental markets improve herder technical efficiency, how and to what extent, this study applies a Metafrontier-DEA approach by employing field data collected from 416 herder households to examine the impacts of herder participation in grassland rental markets on their technical efficiencies. Results show that herders involved in the grassland rental markets can increase their technical efficiency by 2.75%. Compared with the autarky group, the lessors increase their efficiency by 3.36%, and the lessees increase their efficiency by 2.76%. No significant efficiency difference is found between the lessors and the lessees. We conclude that grassland rental markets improve herder technical efficiency mainly through a resource equilibration effect rather than ability effect. Only if the herders participate in the grassland rental markets, can they improve their efficiency by balancing family resources and thus enhance production efficiency. This suggests that under the current institutional environment, more attention should be paid to normalize and guide the grassland rental markets, to allow herders to participate in the markets on their own will rather than address land transfer from the less-able to the more-able producers. Acknowledgement : The authors thank the Foundation of Renmin University of China (16XNI004) for its support, and thank colleagues and students from Renmin University of China and Inner Mongolia University for their participation in the field surveys.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
Q24; Q56

 Record created 2018-10-02, last modified 2020-10-28

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