Agricultural Competitiveness

  • V. Eldon Ball
  • J.-P. Butault
  • Carlos San Juan
  • Ricardo Mora
Part of the Studies in Productivity and Efficiency book series (SIPE, volume 7)


This study looks at international competitiveness of agriculture in the United States and the European Union. At the outset, it is necessary to define a measure of competitiveness. We define international competitiveness as the price of output in the member states of the European Union relative to that in the United States. We then decompose relative price movements into changes in relative input prices and changes in relative productivity levels. Our price comparisons indicate that the United States was more competitive than its European counterparts throughout the period 1973–2002, except for the years 1973–1974 and 1983–1985. Our results also suggest that the relative productivity level was the most important factor in determining international competitiveness. Over time, however, changes in competitiveness were strongly influenced by variations in exchange rates through their impact on relative input prices. During the periods 1979–1984 and 1996–2001, the strengthening dollar helped the European countries improve their competitive position, even as their relative productivity performance lagged.


Relative Price Purchasing Power Parity Input Price Relative Prex Purchase Power Parity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ball, V.E., Bureau, J.-C., Butault, J.-P., Nehring, R. (2001), Levels of farm sector productivity: An international comparison, Journal of Productivity Analysis 15: 5–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beutel, J. (1997), Capital Stock Data for the European Union, Vol. 17. Report to the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Luxembourg.Google Scholar
  3. Caselli, F., Tenreyro, S. (2005), Is Poland the Next Spain? Center for Economic Performance Discussion Paper No 668, UK: London.Google Scholar
  4. Caves, D.W., Christensen, L.R., Diewert, W.E. (1982), Multilateral comparisons of output, input, and productivity using superlative index numbers, Economic Journal 92: 73–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Diewert, W.E. (1976), Exact and superlative indexes, Journal of Econometrics 4: 115–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Diewert, W.E. (1992), The measurement of productivity, Bulletin of Economic Research 44: 163–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Drechsler, L. (1973),Weighting of index numbers in multilateral international comparisons, Review of Income and Wealth 19: 17–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eswaren, H., Beinroth, F., Reich, P. (2003), A global assessment of land quality, In K. Weibe (ed.), Land Quality, Agricultural Productivity, and Food Security, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 111–132.Google Scholar
  9. Eurostat. (2000), Manual on the Economic Accounts for Agriculture and Forestry, Eurostat, Luxembourg.Google Scholar
  10. Jorgenson, D.W., Griliches, Z. (1967), The explanation of productivity change, Review of Economic Studies 34: 249–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jorgenson, D.W., Nishimizu, M. (1978), U.S. and Japanese economic growth, 1952–1974: An international comparison, Economic Journal 83: 707–726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jorgenson, D.W., Nishimizu, M. (1981), International differences in levels of technology: A comparison between U.S. and Japanese industries. In International Roundtable Congress Proceedings, Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  13. Mora, R., San Juan, C. (2004), Geographical specialization in Spanish agriculture before and after integration in the European Union, Regional Science and Urban Economics 34: 309–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (1999), Purchasing Power Parities and Real Expenditures, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris.Google Scholar
  15. Penson, J.B., Hughes, D.W., Nelson, G.L. (1977), Measurement of capacity depreciation based on engineering data, American Journal of Agricultural Economics 35: 321–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Romain, R., Penson, J.B., Lambert, R. (1987), Capacity depreciation, implicit rental prices, and investment demand for farm tractors in Canada, Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 35: 373–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rosen, S.M. (1974), Hedonic prices and implicit markets: product differentiation in pure competition, Journal of Political Economy 82: 34–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Samuelson, P.A. (1953), Prices of factors and goods in general equilibrium, Review of Economic Studies 21: 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shephard, R.W. (1953), Cost and Production Functions, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  20. Shephard, R.W. (1970), Theory of Cost and Production Functions, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  21. Shi, U.J., Phipps, T.T., Colyer, D. (1997), Agricultural land values under urbanizing influences, Land Economics 73: 90–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. U.S. Department of Commerce (2003), Fixed Reproducible Tangible Wealth in the United States, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Eldon Ball
    • 1
  • J.-P. Butault
    • 2
  • Carlos San Juan
    • 3
  • Ricardo Mora
    • 3
  1. 1.US Department of AgricultureEconomic Research ServiceWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Institut National de la Recherche AgronomiqueParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity Carlos IIIMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations