Determinants of food industry performance: Survey data and regressions for Denmark

W. H. Furtan, J. Sauer

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This paper investigates empirically the determinants of firms' performance in the agri-food sector by using recent survey data for Denmark. Treating sales per employee as a proxy for value added, we estimate several bootstrapped regression models to draw conclusions on the marginal effects of potential performance determinants such as the form and nature of ownership, stage of the food chain and commodity sector, new product development, staff quality, firms' competitive stance, and elements of firms' strategy. To draw robust inferences we apply, besides the ordinary heteroscedasticity-corrected Tobit maximum likelihood estimator, a non-parametric least absolute deviations estimator (LAD/CLAD) based on a quantile regression procedure. The results indicate that we cannot reject the hypothesis of no influence of dominant orientation on value added. Rather, firms' focus on human capital, stage and commodity sector better explains their value addition. We reject the hypothesis that regional networks have no influence on value added. Location in Århus, emphasis on human capital and the negative influence of outsourcing on value added all provide supporting evidence. We reject the hypothesis of no influence of foreign direct investment (FDI), and moreover propose that FDI has targeted the Danish domestic market as a source of value added.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-573
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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