Quantifying the benefits associated with the use of alternative marketing arrangements by US farmers

Wu-Yueh Hu (Department of Finance, Providence University, Taichung, Taiwan)
Daniel Phaneuf (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA)
Xiaoyong Zheng (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)

China Agricultural Economic Review

ISSN: 1756-137X

Publication date: 28 January 2014



The purpose of this paper is to quantify the benefits to farmers from using alternative marketing arrangements (AMAs) in the USA. The authors first estimate a behavioral model explaining farmers' joint decisions on which commodities to produce and which marketing channels to use when selling their outputs. The authors then use the estimated model to quantify the benefits to farmers from using AMAs.


The authors use the discrete choice random utility maximization model to examine farmers' choices on production regimes, where a regime is defined as a possible combination of all the individual commodity/marketing arrangement channels that the farmer can choose to use. The farmer is assumed to compare the utilities he gets from each of the possible production regimes and then selects the production regime that yields the highest utility to him. The benefit of having access to a particular AMA is measured as the negative of the welfare loss associated with forcing the farmer to abandon that particular AMA.


The results indicate that AMAs yield an economically significant amount of benefits to farmers who rely on them to market their outputs. At the national level, the benefit of using production contracts to hog farmers is valued at $336.4 million. The benefits of using marketing contracts are valued at $374.2, $156.6 and $92.1 million for corn, soybeans and wheat producers.


The paper is the first study that uses the farm-level data to study the welfare effects of marketing contracts in the grain sector. The results show that considering a multi-enterprises farm, farmers' welfare loss might be smaller when the hog production contract is no longer existed.



Hu, W., Phaneuf, D. and Zheng, X. (2014), "Quantifying the benefits associated with the use of alternative marketing arrangements by US farmers", China Agricultural Economic Review, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 108-124. https://doi.org/10.1108/CAER-10-2011-0147

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