Date of Award

1989

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Mark D. Lange

Abstract

Agricultural research and extension is an important contributor to Louisiana agriculture. However, there is no documented work investigating the impacts of public agricultural research and extension on agricultural production in Louisiana. This study investigates the impacts of public agricultural research and extension and other quasi-fixed factors on production choices of the Louisiana farmers. The specific objectives of this study are: (1) to estimate conditional output supply equations for Louisiana's main crops and livestock and input demand equations for fertilizer and labor, (2) to evaluate the impacts of public agricultural research and extension and other quasi-fixed inputs on the Louisiana agricultural sector, (3) to investigate some properties of Louisiana agricultural technology, and (4) to explain economic structural changes revealed by estimated output supply and input demand elasticities. Data for the study are obtained from several published sources, primarily U.S. Department of Agriculture publications. The basis for the analysis is a normalized quadratic profit function. A system of fourteen output supply, input demand, and quasi-fixed factor shadow price equations are jointly estimated by seemingly unrelated regression. The results suggest that between 1949 and 1986, Louisiana product supply mean own-price elasticities ranged between.043 and 2.92 and mean own-price input demand elasticities were $-$0.31 and $-$1.51 for hired labor and fertilizer, respectively. During the same period, hired labor was a normal input in the production of most products, and the two variable inputs were substitutes. An increase in Louisiana public agricultural research increased the gross revenue shares of most products but decreased the cost shares of hired labor and fertilizer. Both public agricultural extension and research had similar impacts on output response. Estimates of marginal rate of return for Louisiana public agricultural research and extension were 19.61% and 15.70%, respectively. Thus, during the study period, social benefits, in the form of increased agricultural productivity attributable to Louisiana public agricultural research and extension activities, were above capital market rates of return. Based on tested hypotheses, the underlying technology for Louisiana agriculture was joint and nonhomothetic.

Pages

101

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