Skip to main content Accessibility help

Recent Applications of Nonparametric Programming Methods

  • Hyunok Lee (a1)


Nonparametric techniques have recently come into vogue in agricultural economics: Applications abound in both consumer and producer models of the agricultural economy. Moreover, several distinct approaches to nonparametric analysis exist. There are nonparametric statistical techniques, semiparametric estimation techniques, nonparametric revealed-preference analysis of consumption data, and nonparametric analysis of production data. Both revealed-preference analysis and nonparametric analysis of production data rely on the basic fact, which provides the foundation for much of modern duality theory, that convex sets can be completely characterized by their supporting hyperplanes. This observation allows one to apply simple mathematical programming (in particular, linear programming) methods to analyze production and consumption data. My task today is to provide an overview of nonparametric programming approaches to production data. Thus, I will not address any of the other topics cited above. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention the close connection between these subject areas and what I intend to survey today. Moreover, one should also recognize that very closely related to the literature on nonparametric programming analysis of production data are the fields of estimation of efficiency frontier via statistical methods. (A useful survey here is Lovell and Schmidt).



Hide All
Afriat, S.N.Efficiency Estimation of Production Functions.” International Economic Review 13 (1972):568–98.
Aigner, D.J., and Chu, S.F.On Estimating the Industry Production Function.” American Economic Review 58, no. 4(September 1968):826–39.
Chambers, R.G. “Recent Developments in Production Economics.” Paper presented at the Australian Economics Congress, Canberra, August 1988.
Chames, A., Cooper, W.W., and Rhodes, E.Measuring Efficiency of Decision Making Units.” European Journal of Operational Research 2 (1978):429–44.
Cheung, S.N.S. The Theory of Share Tenancy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969.
Färe, R., Grosskopf, S., and Lovell, C.A.K. The Measurement of Efficiency of Production. Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff, 1985.
Färe, R., Grosskopf, S., Lovell, C.A.K., and Pasurka, C.Multilateral Productivity Comparisons When Some Outputs Are Undesirable: A Nonparametric Approach.” Review of Economics and Statistics 71, no. 1 (1989):9098.
Färe, R., Grosskopf, S., Lovell, C.A.K., and Yaisawarng, S.Derivation of Virtual Prices for Undesirable Outputs: A Distance Function Approach.” Review of Economic and Statistics Forthcoming.
Färe, R., Grosskopf, S., and Lee, H.A Nonparametric Approach to Expenditure-Constrained Profit Maximization.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 12, no. 3 (August 1990):574–81.
Farrell, M.J.Measurement of Productive Efficiency.” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, General (1957):253–81.
Farrell, M.J., and Fieldhouse, M.Estimating Efficient Production Functions under Increasing Returns to Scale.” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A-125, no. 2 (1962):252–67.
Ferguson, C.E. The Neoclassical Theory of Production and Distribution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971.
Hanoch, H., and Rothschild, M.Testing the Assumptions of Production Theory: A Nonparametric Approach.” Journal of Political Economy 80 (1972):256–75.
Helpman, E.Increasing Returns, Imperfect Markets and Trade Theory.” In Handbook of International Economics, edited by Jones, R. and Kenen, P. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
Johnson, D.G.Resource Allocation Under Share Contracts.” Journal of Political Economy 58, no. 2 (April 1950):111–23.
Lee, H., and Chambers, R.Expenditure Constraints and Profit Maximization in U.S. Agriculture.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 68, no. 4 (November 1986):857–65.
Lee, Hyunok, and Somwaru, Agapi. “The Efficiency of Share Tenancy.” In The Measurement of Productive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications, edited by Lovell, K., Schmidt, S., and Fried, H. Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.
Lovell, C.A.K., and Schmidt, P.A Comparison of Alternative Approaches to the Measurement of Productive Efficiency.” In Applications of Modern Production Theory: Efficiency and Productivity, edited by Dogramaci, A. and Färe, R., 332. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988.
Markusen, J.R., and Schweinberger, A.G.The Positive Theory of Production Externalities Under Perfect Competition.” Journal of International Economics 29(1990).
Schultz, Theodore W. The Economic Organization of Agriculture. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1953.
Shephard, Ronald W. Indirect Production Functions. Meisenheim Am Glan: Verlag Anton Hain, 1974.
Timmer, C.P.Using a Probabilistic Frontier Production Function to Measure Technical Efficiency.” Journal of Political Economy 79 (1971):776–94.
Varian, H.R.The Nonparametric Approach to Production Analysis.” Econometrica 52 (1984):579–97.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Agricultural and Resource Economics Review
  • ISSN: 0899-367X
  • EISSN: -
  • URL: /core/journals/agricultural-and-resource-economics-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed