The effects of education in early-stage agriculture: some evidence from China
The stochastic production frontier approach is used to study the effects of education on agricultural efficiency for a cross-section of 'early-stage' farms from Guanghan County, Sichuan Province, China. Education for farm families in rural China is multifaceted with a combination of formal education, intragenerational transfer of knowledge within the home, and agricultural extension services. Since our survey data span two different years with markedly different policy environments, we are able to examine not only which aspects of education affect agricultural efficiency, but also whether or not the policy environment matters. We find limited evidence that in a policy environment that is conducive to agriculture, formal education provides positive returns in agriculture. Furthermore, general education may provide greater returns than the more targeted extension services.
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