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Modeling Spatial Interaction in Stochastic Frontier Analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francisco ArealORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


We compare farm level efficiency rankings derived from non-spatial and a variety of spatial model specifications that account for unobserved heterogeneity in both the production and the efficiency sides of the stochastic frontier model in an empirical application on rice farming in the Philippines. We show how not accounting for unobserved spatial heterogeneity affects efficiency estimates and farm efficiency rankings. When not accounting for unobserved spatial heterogeneity efficiency, models show farms to be relatively more inefficient than they actually are (i.e., once unobserved spatial heterogeneity is incorporated in the models). More importantly from a policy perspective, the rankings of the farms in terms of efficiency are altered once unobserved spatial heterogeneity is incorporated in efficiency models. We recommend the use of unobserved effects in both production and efficiency within the stochastic frontier analysis framework to avoid making any misleading recommendations to farmers and policymakers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Areal FJ, Pede VO

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems

Year: 2021

Volume: 5

Online publication date: 04/06/2021

Acceptance date: 19/04/2021

Date deposited: 04/06/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2571-581X

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation


DOI: 10.3389/fsufs.2021.673039


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Funder referenceFunder name
Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Science (JIRCAS)
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
RICE CGIAR Research Program