• Organic versus conventional farming;
  • production risk;
  • technical efficiency
  • Q12


This paper quantifies the importance of production risk and technical efficiency as two possible sources of production variability in German organic and conventional farming. Determinants of production risk and inefficiency are investigated based on a combination of Just and Pope’s stochastic production framework and a Stochastic Frontier Analysis. The empirical analysis is conducted using a balanced panel of farm records from 1999/2000 to 2006/2007 on 37 organic and conventional arable farms, respectively. Euclidian-Distance-Matching is used to identify for each organic farm a conventional counterpart with similar structural features. Results indicate that output variability in both production technologies is mainly caused by production risk. Land and labour are identified as risk-increasing inputs in both farm types whereas higher capital endowment, seed costs and soil quality have risk-reducing effects.