This paper aims to analyze the effect of unanticipated contractual adjustments on the cost efficiency of citrus farms. The theoretical framework was based on the New Institutional Economics. Primary data for the crop year 2013/14 were collected from a representative random sample of 98 citrus farms. The single stage model developed by Battese and Coelli (1995) was used to estimate the stochastic cost frontier and the determinants of the efficiency of farms. It was found that the occurrence of contractual adjustments in 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 had a negative and statistically significant effect on the cost efficiency of citrus farms. The control variables used in the econometric model (production diversification and adoption of management tools) also proved to be important to explain the cost efficiency differentials. The empirical results confirm the established hypotheses about the variables and have important implications for the formulation of public policies and management strategies.
citrus industry; cost efficiency; governance structures; contracts; institutions