Ekbom, Anders and Thomas Sterner. 2008. “Production Function Analysis of Soil Properties and Soil Conservation Investments in Tropical Agriculture.” EfD Discussion Paper 08.
This paper integrates traditional economic variables, soil properties, and variables on soil conservation technologies to estimate agricultural output among small-scale farmers in Kenya’s central highlands. The study finds that integrating traditional economics and soil science is invaluable, especially as omitting measures of soil capital can cause omitted-variable bias. The central policy implication is that while fertilizers are generally beneficial, their application is a complex art, and more is not necessarily better.