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Impact of Damage Control and Quality of Output: Estimating Pest Control Effectiveness

  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Damage control affects both realized output and product quality; ignoring leads to underestimates of damage control agent productivity. Empirical analysis of pesticide use in North Carolina apple production using the damage control approach shows that fungicides and pruning reduce both yield losses and quality degradation, while insecticides reduce quality damage. Quality accounts for substantial shares of profit-maximizing insecticide and fungicide use. Use of both insecticides and fungicides appears excessive, while the potential for substitution between mechanical and chemical disease control appears large. A Cobb-Douglas specification of the quantity production function gives substantially larger estimates of fungicide productivity than the damage control specification.

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