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The Value of 'Free': Estimating the Contribution of Free Water Inputs to Agriculture Industry Productivity

Jodi York
Statistics New Zealand
info@stats.govt.nz

Abstract

The productivity model used by national statistical organisations assumes that the total product of a given input to production is equal to its total cost. This means that any free inputs, such as natural resources, are implicitly assumed to add nothing of measurable value to the production process. This paper uses the case of water, which is currently free to farmers, to examine the potential impact of free natural resources on industry productivity. It also considers methods for estimating their contribution. Analysis uses volumes derived from Ministry for Environment water allocation data for irrigation and stock 1999, 2006, and 2010.

Keywords

natural resources, productivity, agriculture
JEL Codes: D24, Q32, O44

pdf icon.  The Value of 'Free': Estimating the Contribution of Free Water Inputs to Agriculture Industry Productivity  (PDF, 341kb)

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