Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 18, pp 17927–17941 | Cite as

Efficiency in the European agricultural sector: environment and resources

  • Victor Moutinho
  • Mara Madaleno
  • Pedro Macedo
  • Margarita Robaina
  • Carlos Marques
Research Article


This article intends to compute agriculture technical efficiency scores of 27 European countries during the period 2005–2012, using both data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) with a generalized cross-entropy (GCE) approach, for comparison purposes. Afterwards, by using the scores as dependent variable, we apply quantile regressions using a set of possible influencing variables within the agricultural sector able to explain technical efficiency scores. Results allow us to conclude that although DEA and SFA are quite distinguishable methodologies, and despite attained results are different in terms of technical efficiency scores, both are able to identify analogously the worst and better countries. They also suggest that it is important to include resources productivity and subsidies in determining technical efficiency due to its positive and significant exerted influence.


Agriculture resources productivity European subsidies Common agricultural policy (CAP) Data envelopment analysis (DEA) Stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) Generalized cross-entropy (GCE) 



This work was supported in part by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia), through CIDMA—Center for Research and Development in Mathematics and Applications, within project UID/MAT/04106/2013 and by the Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policy—GOVCOPP (project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-008540), funded by FEDER funds through COMPETE2020—Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI), and by national funds through FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. We thank the comments received from the reviewers and the Editor of this article which helped us to improve this final version. Any remaining errors and shortcomings are our own responsibility.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GOVCOPP - Research Unit in Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policy, and Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism (DEGEIT)University of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.CIDMA - Center for Research and Development in Mathematics and Applications, Department of MathematicsUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.CEFAGE – Center of Advanced Studies in Management and Economics Portugal and Department of ManagementUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal

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