Economic and Environmental Efficiency of Irish and EU agriculture

Project: PhD

Project Details


Project Description Traditionally, research which measured the efficiency and productivity of Irish agriculture has focused on economic sustainability by examining physical quantities and/or monetary amounts of inputs and outputs. However, with the publication of the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, along with the CAP reform process, which will shape the policy landscape for Irish agriculture over the next decade, there is a clear re-ordering of policy objectives. Whilst this landscape continues with a commitment to support farm incomes, the impact of agricultural production on the environment is now attaining a high priority status. In light of this background, the previous efficiency and productivity indicators for Irish agriculture will be re-focused to address the environmental policy dimension. Recent literature on the topic of efficiency and productivity measurement has included environmental criterion in addition to traditional economic criterion. The traditional Total Factor Productivity (TFP) Index for Irish agriculture (outlined in McCormack et al., 2020) has recently been extended by Kaiser et al., (2020) to include a single undesirable output by adding nitrogen surplus in the index number approach, however, there is scope to extend the list of environmental variables in the list of undesirable outputs. The strategic management literature also identifies the need to understand the sources of competitive performance. It is proposed to first measure eco-environmental efficiency/productivity and then subsequently examine the drivers of performance, similar to Cillero et al., (2018). A further criticism of recent literature on eco-environmental efficiency is that many of these studies have focused on single-country analyses. By adopting a meta frontier approach it will be possible to compare and contrast eco-efficiency within the Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN) of the European Commission which is planned to be operational by the later stages of this project. References Cillero, M. & Thorne, F., Wallace, M., Breen, J. and Hennessy, T. (2018) The Effects of Direct Payments on Technical Efficiency of Irish Beef Farms: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis, Journal of Agricultural Economics, Volume69, Issue3, Pages 669-687, Kaiser A, Schaffer A, McCormack M, Buckley C, (2020). Accounting for Undesirable Outputs in Irish Agricultural Productivity: A Non-Parametric Index Approach. Journal of Applied Business & Economics 2020;22(6) McCormack, M., Thorne, F. and Hanrahan, K. (2020) Measuring total factor productivity on Irish dairy farms: a Fisher index approach using farm-level data, Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research, 59(1) 123-139,
Effective start/end date1/12/22 → …


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