The Effect of Agricultural Extension Programs on Technical Efficiency of Crop Farms in Low and Middle-Income Countries

66 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2018 Last revised: 22 Nov 2019

See all articles by Nicolas Lampach

Nicolas Lampach

KU Leuven - Centre for Legal Theory and Empirical Jurisprudence

Nguyen Van Phu

University of Angers - Bureau of Economic Theory and Application (BETA)

Nguyen To The

Vietnam National University of Agriculture

Date Written: July 4, 2018

Abstract

Agricultural extension services have been dominated by development programs to improve the productivity of crops and enhance farmers' income. The virtues and limitations of these programs ignite a debate among scholars from distinct strands of research. It is still unknown how effective extension services are in improving the agricultural productivity. We aim to unpack the relationship between these two constructs, and more specifically explore the main determinants driving systematic variations in the technical efficiency estimates from all relevant crop farming studies. A meta-regression analysis is conducted by using 335 observations from 199 farm level studies to review the effect of agricultural extension activities on farm performance. While the implementation of extension programs is likely to be non-randomly distributed in our sample, we employ the inverse probability of treatment weighting to correct for potential selection bias. Evidence for the absence of a publication bias in farm studies used in the meta-analysis is identified. Consonant with the theory of agricultural extension, we find that extension significantly improves technical efficiency by 4.8% to 7.6%. Farm productivity significantly differs in country level characteristics, type of crops and model specifications. Our empirical findings are robust when replacing missing observations with imputed values obtained from multiple imputation method.

Keywords: Agricultural extension; Crop farming; Inverse Probability of Treatment Weighting; Meta-analysis; Multiple Imputation; Publication bias; Technical efficiency

JEL Classification: Q16, O18, C14, C29

Suggested Citation

Lampach, Nicolas and Phu, Nguyen Van and To The, Nguyen, The Effect of Agricultural Extension Programs on Technical Efficiency of Crop Farms in Low and Middle-Income Countries (July 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3208034 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3208034

Nicolas Lampach (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for Legal Theory and Empirical Jurisprudence ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Nguyen Van Phu

University of Angers - Bureau of Economic Theory and Application (BETA) ( email )

61 avenue of the Black Forest
F-67085 Strasbourg Cedex
France

Nguyen To The

Vietnam National University of Agriculture ( email )

Vietnam

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