Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



This dissertation set out to evaluate the impact of land ownership and role of gender to the Filipino farmers and to investigate gender difference in agricultural productivity and technical efficiency of Malawian rural households. The first essay investigates the impact of land ownership on the productivity and technical efficiency of rice farmers in the Philippines. We use a 2007-2012 Loop Survey from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and analyzed it by using a stochastic frontier function method. Results show that land ownership has a significant impact on technical efficiency. In particular, counter to the theory, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Policy (CARP) may have reduced the technical efficiency of leasehold farmers compared with owner operators. Additionally, results show that land area, fuel cost, fertilizer cost, irrigation cost, and labor cost are significant factors that affect rice production. We found a mean technical efficiency score of 0.79—still leaving room for improvement. Finally, educated females and farmers leasing land have higher technical inefficiency. The second essay investigates the effect of gender on rice production using the average treatment effect and farm level data from the Philippines. Results indicate that female-headed farm households, despite having limited access to land, have a higher value of rice production than their male counterparts. However, there is no significant difference between net farm incomes earned by male- and female-headed farm households. Female-headed households have higher fixed costs, consequently earning less total household income. Findings from this study indicate that women are less efficient in farming, but are more likely to adopt improved seed varieties. In addition, female-headed farm households are better at controlling farming costs. The third essay examine how gender affects technical efficiency using a case of maize production in Malawi. Maize is a staple food crop in sub-Saharan Africa. Using the third Integrated Household Survey data from Malawi and stochastic production frontier, we estimate maize productivity and technical efficiency in Malawi for male-headed and female-headed farm households, separately. Results show that, contrary to expectations, technical efficiency is 5% higher for female-headed farm households than for male-headed farm households.



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Committee Chair

Mishra, Ashok K.