The evolution of hog production and potential sources for future growth in China


By Hongbo Xiaoa, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China

Jimin Wangb, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China

Les Oxleyc, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Hengyun Mad, College of Economics and Management, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, China


Source: Food Policy, Volume 37, Issue 4, August 2012, Pages 366–377




Following reforms to the market, China’s hog industry has developed rapidly, however, with social and economic transitions, China’s hog industry is facing challenges which might restrict long-term growth in production. This paper analyzes the changes in regional scale, organization, input factors, and technological progress for China’s hog production over the last few decades. The paper seeks to reveal the sources of hog production growth and provide some suggestions for future development of the hog industry. To achieve these aims, the paper uses stochastic frontier production functions and the Malmquist index to measure total factor productivity (TFP) in the hog industry and decompose TFP into technical efficiency; technological progress; scale efficiency; and allocative efficiency using data for 25 provinces from 1980 to 2008. The results show firstly that; the TFP of hog production increased by 64.3% from 1980 to 2008, and allocative efficiency and scale efficiency improvements played a key role in this TFP growth. In contrast, technical efficiency and technical progress have changed little over this period. Secondly, TFP’s contribution to output was 39.7%, it being less than that of factor inputs to output. Thirdly, the results suggest that the growth of China’s pork production depends mostly on the increase in the quantity of factor inputs, especially feed. As a consequence, the key to ensuring long-term and stable development of China’s hog production would seem to involve focusing on enhancing total factor productivity and changing the pattern of production growth.



► TFP growth has begun to play a more important role in hog production growth than factor inputs by the 2000s.


► TFP growth was mainly driven by scale efficiency and technological change in the new Millennium.


► The regional variations in TFP growth were mainly caused by scale efficiency and allocative efficiency.


► The output elasticity of feed inputs was larger than unity and rose strongly post 2000.


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