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Keywords:

  • C;
  • D;
  • O;
  • Q
  • Event history analysis;
  • Dairy farms;
  • Growth;
  • Determinants of growth

Abstract

This article investigates determinants of growth of milk production in German dairy farms with the use of event history analysis. This methodology enables the analysts to consider time as a proxy for not measurable effects on growth. The likelihood of a farm's moving from a nongrowth episode into a growth episode is estimated and the impact of various covariates on that likelihood is assessed. The analysis is based upon a balanced panel of annual farm accounts from 616 specialized dairy farms in Germany, covering the financial years 1995/1996–2008/2009. The results from event history analyses are presented for low and high growth rates. For both groups, it was found that the probability of entering a growth episode, defined as the event to be analyzed, increases over time, e.g., as a consequence of an increasing need to improve competitiveness. Moreover, several covariates, such as the share of subsidies in returns, farmer's age, and milk price, had a significant impact on growth in a farm's milk production. The analysis revealed, however, that the effect-direction of some explanatory variables differed between the two groups.