New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2005‒07‒03
four papers chosen by

  1. La crescita dell'economia italiana negli anni novanta tra ritardo tecnologico e rallentamento della produttività By Antonio Bassanetti; Massimiliano Iommi; Cecilia Jona-Lasinio; Francesco Zollino
  2. Productivity growth in UK industries, 1970-2000: structural change and the role of ICT By Nicholas Oulton; Sylaja Srinivasan
  3. Students and Teachers: A DEA Approach to the Relative Efficiency of Portuguese Public Universities By António Afonso; Mariana Santos
  4. Managerial behavior and cost/profit efficiency in the banking sectors of Central and Eastern European countries By Stefania P.S. Rossi; Markus Schwaiger; Gerhard Winkler

  1. By: Antonio Bassanetti (Bank of Italy); Massimiliano Iommi (Istat); Cecilia Jona-Lasinio (Istat); Francesco Zollino (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper presents a growth accounting exercise for the Italian economy over the last twenty years to assess the role of primary inputs and total factor productivity. The exercise was run at both the aggregate and the disaggregated level. For the first time in Italy it used a measure of capital services, disaggregated into several different components. Special attention was paid to the accumulation of ICT capital goods. A productive capital stock database was prepared, disaggregated by asset and sector, and the respective user costs, adjusted for fiscal factors, were calculated. In the period 1981-2001 total factor productivity contributed for less than one fourth to the Italian economic growth, and in the second half of the nineties TFP decelerated significantly. The largest contribution to economic activity was made by capital formation and specifically by assets not directly linked to new technologies, whose contribution was very small. The service sector, in particular transport and communications and financial intermediation, contributed most to the growth of TFP. In financial intermediation sector the role played by ICT capital was very substantial.
    Keywords: contabilità della crescita, costo d'uso, produttività totale dei fattori, tecnologie della comunicazione e informazione
    JEL: O47 I20 J24
    Date: 2004–12
  2. By: Nicholas Oulton; Sylaja Srinivasan
    Abstract: This paper uses a new industry-level dataset to quantify the roles of structural change and information and communication technology (ICT) in explaining productivity growth in the United Kingdom, 1970-2000. The dataset is for 34 industries covering the whole economy, of which 31 industries are in the market sector. Using growth accounting, we find that ICT capital accounted for 13% of productivity growth in the market sector in 1970-79 (ie 0.47 percentage points out of 3.62% per annum growth of GDP per hour), 26% in 1979-90, and 28% in 1990-2000. In 1995-2000 the proportion rises to 47%. ICT capital, despite only being a small fraction of the total capital stock, contributed as much to growth as non-ICT capital in 1990-2000 and getting on for twice as much in 1995-2000. Econometric evidence also supports an important role for ICT. Total factor productivity (TFP) growth slowed down in 1995-2000, but we find econometric evidence that a boom in 'complementary investment', ie expenditure on reorganisation that accompanies ICT investment but is not officially measured as investment, could have led to a decline in the conventional measure of TFP growth.
  3. By: António Afonso; Mariana Santos
    Abstract: We employ a non-parametric methodology, Data Envelopment Analysis, to estimate efficiency scores for Portuguese public universities, using data mainly for 2003. The input measures are constructed from the number of teachers and from universities’ spending while the outputs measures are based on the undergraduate success rate and on the number of doctoral dissertations. Using frontier analysis we are able to separate universities that might qualify, as “performing well” from those were some improvement might be possible in terms of efficiency. This could imply a better allocation by the universities of the usually scarce public financial resources available to tertiary education.
    Keywords: tertiary education, efficiency, production possibility frontier, DEA
    JEL: C14 H52 I21
  4. By: Stefania P.S. Rossi (Economics at the Faculty of Economics, University of Cagliari); Markus Schwaiger (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Financial Markets Analysis and Surveillance Division); Gerhard Winkler (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Credit Division)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes cost and profit efficiency level and the managerial behavior of banks in nine Central and Eastern European countries (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), providing cross-country and time series evidence on the period 1995-2002. A stochastic frontier analysis based on a Fourier flexible form indicates a generally low level of cost efficiency and an even lower level of profit efficiency. However, we also find significant differences among countries and some evidence of an increasing tendency over time in profit efficiency and, to an even stronger extent, in cost efficiency. Cost and profit efficiency scores are negatively correlated both on a country wide as well as on a bank by bank basis. Furthermore, instead of just looking at the determinants of cost and profit efficiency (e.g. asset quality, problem loans and risk), we test several hypotheses of managerial behavior using the Granger causality approach based on the intertemporal relation between bank efficiency, capitalization and problem loans, as proposed by Berger and DeYoung (1997). Even though a static analysis shows a negative correlation between problem loan and efficiency, we find no evidence of bad management hypothesis. Results provide evidence for the bad luck hypothesis suggesting the exogeneity of bad loans triggering inefficiency.
    Keywords: Cost and profit efficiency; CEECs; Stochastic frontier analysis; Managerial behavior
    JEL: G21 G28 C14 D21
    Date: 2005–03–04

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