Journal Article

Crop Yield Skewness Under Law of the Minimum Technology

David A. Hennessy

in American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 91, issue 1, pages 197-208
Published in print February 2009 | ISSN: 0002-9092
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1467-8276 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8276.2008.01181.x
Crop Yield Skewness Under Law of the Minimum Technology

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  • Technological Change; Research and Development
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No satisfactory motivation has been forwarded in favor of any crop yield distribution, including the normal. This article explores the foundations of yield distributions for the Law of the Minimum resource constraint technology at the plot level of analysis. With independent, identical, uniform resource availability distributions the yield skew is positive, whereas it is negative whenever the distributions are normal. Simulations show how asymmetries in resource availabilities determine skewness. It is suggested that a negative yield skew occurs whenever production is tightly controlled so that the left tails of some resources availabilities distributions are thin. Irrigation may increase yield skewness.

Keywords: beta-normal distribution; crop insurance; Liebig technology; limiting factors; order statistics; reliability; weakest-link; O320; Q120; Q150; Q160

Journal Article.  6685 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Technological Change; Research and Development ; Agricultural Economics

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