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Single versus multiple objective(s) decision making: an application to subsistence farms in Northern Ethiopia

Zenebe Gebreegziabher
G. Cornelis van Kooten


Single objective approach is most widely used whereas consideration of multiple objectives is the rule rather than an exception in many real life decision-making circumstances. This paper, therefore, investigates whether or not single and multiple criteria/objective approaches necessarily lead to differing conclusions. The central questions are could the single objective approach be a reasonable approximation for subsistence farm settings or does the multiple objectives approach has anything to add? Does the pattern of resource allocation change when priorities attached to the different objectives/ goals change? The study employs linear and goal programming techniques on a dataset from a stratified sample of 200 farm households drawn from Tigrai regional state, Northern Ethiopia, for 2001 and 2002 production years. Findings reveal that the two approaches might not necessarily lead to differing conclusions.

Keywords: Single versus Multiple Criteria/Objectives; Linear Programming, Goal Programming; Subsistence Farms; Northern Ethiopia

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eISSN: 1993-3681