On the Opportunity Cost of Crop Diversification

Frederic Ang*, Simon M. Mortimer, Francisco J. Areal, Richard Tiffin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Distance functions are increasingly being augmented, with environmental goods treated as conventional outputs. A common approach to evaluate the opportunity cost of providing an environmental good is the exploitation of the distance function's dual relationship to the value function. This implies that the opportunity cost is assumed to be non-negative. This approach also requires a convex technology set. Focusing on crop diversification for a balanced sample of 44 cereal farms in the East of England for the years 2007-2013, this paper develops a novel opportunity cost measure that does not depend on these strong assumptions. We find that the opportunity cost of crop diversification is negative for most farms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-814
JournalJournal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number3
Early online date16 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Biodiversity
  • CAP greening measures
  • Crop diversification
  • Duality
  • Non-convexity
  • Shadow price
  • Shannon index


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