Competitive Pressure and Technology Adoption: Evidence from a Policy Reform in Western Canada

Reprint No. 2016:19

Author(s): Shon Ferguson and M. Rose OlfertYear: 2016 Title: American Journal of Agricultural Economics Volume (No.): 98 (2) Pages: 422–446
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

We estimate the impact that removing a railway transportation subsidy has on the adoption of production technology for Western Canadian farms by using a unique combination of census and freight rate data. We exploit the large regional variation in these one-time freight rate increases to identify causal effects of increased competitive pressure. Using a difference-in-differences methodology, we find that higher freight rates—and hence lower farm gate prices—induced farmers to adopt new, more efficient production technology. We also find that farmers experiencing the greatest transportation cost increases also increased their fertilizer usage and made significant land use changes.

Ferguson, Shon and M. Rose Olfert (2016), "Competitive Pressure and Technology Adoption: Evidence from a Policy Reform in Western Canada". American Journal of Agricultural Economics 98(2), 422–446.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se