The impact of agricultural cooperatives on apple farmers' technical efficiency (TE) in China was examined. The cooperatives were divided into two groups: a collective marketing group for farmers and an equivalent non-marketing group that did not provide a marketing service, although other functions remained the same. Using the propensity score matching (PSM) procedure and stochastic production frontier (SPF) modelling, cooperatives' key functions that potentially increase farmers' TE can be identified. The results indicate that membership of either group is positively related to yield. However, cooperatives that were not engaged in marketing achieved higher TE than non-members. This suggests that policy makers should encourage cooperatives to focus on activities that do not include direct marketing to increase TE in apple production in China.
- agricultural cooperatives
- apple production
- propensity score matching
- stochastic production frontier
- technical efficiency