This article contributes to the literature to assess the factors that influence the technical efficiency of agricultural production in agrarian reform settlements in Mato Grosso do Sul state. For the study, 429 farms were selected from 2009 to 2010. In relation to the data analysis, we used the methodology of Stochastic Frontier Production, specifying the mincerian function adjusted to estimate the technical efficiency levels. Then, the Two-Limit Tobit regression method was applied to estimate the effects on technical efficiency of various socioeconomic characteristics of the settlers. The analysis reveals that the average technical efficiency score is equal to 54.5%, suggesting significant scope for productivity gains in establishments through better use of available resources. The study shows that public policies (rural credit, technical assistance, diversification and associations) for settlers with level of formal education lower than four years are not effective to achieve productivity gains. There are 80% of the establishments visited in this situation. Improvements are required in the formal education services to go beyond this limit. Thus, the additional productivity gains would be achieved by new investments in human capital and related factors.
land reform; settlement; stochastic frontier analysis; technical efficiency; Two-Limit Tobit