Social capital and technical efficiency of Tilapia aquaculture production in Nueva Vizcaya
This paper describes the factors that determine aquaculture production in the province of Nueva Vizcaya. A cross sectional analysis of 202 fish farm operators from the 10 municipalities was conducted. Empirical analysis was initially subjected to an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analysis to determine the effects of variable inputs such as fingerling, labor, land and feeds on the dependent variable harvest. However, since OLS estimation procedure cannot provide estimates of producer-specific technical efficiency of the datasets, the analysis extends into identifying technical efficiency variables using stochastic production frontier to improve the model. This study incorporates social capital as an additional determinant of technical efficiency measured by social network and trust to the residents in the community. The results suggest that social capital using social network as proxy variable has an indirect but significant relationship to aquaculture harvest, which implies that an increase in social network decreases output of the farmer. On the other hand, harvest is significantly influenced by the "community trustworthiness" variable, another dimension of social capital. The findings show that the more the fish farmer distrusts the residents in the community in terms of lending money, the more he/she increases aquaculture harvest. For, the funds of the fish farm operators are not compromised if not lent to the residents in the community. A brief overview of the socio-economic profile of the fish farm operators and their profitability is also provided.