The Agrarian Structure in Poland: The Myth of Large-Farm Superiority

52 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Johan van Zyl

Johan van Zyl

University of Pretoria; World Bank

Bill Miller

World Bank

Andrew Parker

University of Vermont

Date Written: April 1996

Abstract

In Poland, present policies are aimed at promoting large, mechanized farms over smaller family farms. These policies are based on the perception that large farms offer real economies of scale. But international evidence indicates that such large, mechanized farms are generally less efficient and use less labor than small family farms.

The authors analyzed the relationship between farm size and efficiency in Polish agriculture.

They used two different methods to do so. First they determined differences in total factor productivity between small and large farms. They then used Data Envelope Analysis to estimate scale efficiencies.

The results show that, for the sample of farms analyzed:

-Large farms are not more efficient than smaller farms.

-Smaller farms are more labor-intensive than larger farms.

These results have important policy implications for farm restructuring in Poland and other transition economies facing similar issues and conditions.

Suggested Citation

van Zyl, Johan and Miller, Bill and Parker, Andrew, The Agrarian Structure in Poland: The Myth of Large-Farm Superiority (April 1996). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 1596. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=636213

Johan Van Zyl (Contact Author)

University of Pretoria ( email )

Physical Address Economic and Management Sciences
Pretoria, Gauteng 0002
South Africa

World Bank

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Bill Miller

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Andrew Parker

University of Vermont ( email )

212 Kalkin Hall
Burlington, VT 05405
United States

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