New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2005‒10‒15
five papers chosen by

  1. Do Social PreferencesIncrease Productivity? Field experimental evidence from fishermen in Toyoma Bay By Jeffrey Carpenter; Erika Seki
  2. Productivity, Ownership and the Investment Climate: International Lessons for Priorities in Serbia By Itzhak Goldberg; Branko Radulovic; Mark E. Schaffer
  3. Using Efficiency Analysis to Measure Individual Well-Being with an Illustration for Catalonia By Xavi Ramos
  4. "Technology Adoption, Learning by Doing, and Productivity: A Study of Steel Refining Furnaces" By Tsuyoshi Nakamura; Hiroshi Ohashi
  5. Deregulation of electricity markets—The Norwegian experience By Torstein Bye and Einar Hope

  1. By: Jeffrey Carpenter; Erika Seki
    Abstract: We provide a reason for the wider economics profession to take social preferences, a concern for the outcomes achieved by other reference agents, seriously. Although, we show that student measures of social preference elicited in an experiment have little external validity when compared to measures obtained from a field experiment with a population of participants who face a social dilemma in their daily lives (i.e. team production), we do find strong links between the social preferences of our field participants and their productivity at work. We also find that the stock of social preferences evolves endogeously with respect to how widely team production is utilized.
    Keywords: Field experiment, social preference, income pooling, productivity
    JEL: C93 D21 D24 H41 J24 M52 M54 Z13
    Date: 2005
  2. By: Itzhak Goldberg; Branko Radulovic; Mark E. Schaffer
    Abstract: This article uses data on 27,000 firms from 50 countries, half of which are transition economies, together with the specific case of Serbia to examine the relationship between productivity, the investment climate and private ownership of firms. As government capacity to address the investment climate constraints is limited, the prioritization of the constraints is critical. Identification of the relative effects of various investment climate constraints and ownership on productivity should serve as a guide for such prioritization. Although ownership has recently received less attention in policy decisions than previously, according to the econometric analysis of productivity reported in the paper, private ownership is an equally or more important determinant of productivity than other components of the investment climate. The importance of ownership shows that an unfinished privatization and restructuring agenda might have negative effects on productivity, in parallel to poor investment climate. Another important finding is that countries in which firms complain more about infrastructure tend to have less productive firms.
    Keywords: Serbia, investment climate, productivity, transition
    JEL: P3 D24 L33 O17
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Xavi Ramos (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper shows how distance functions, a tool typically employed in production economics to measure the distance between a set of inputs and a set of outputs, can be employed to approximate a composite measure encompassing the many dimensions of well-being. It also illustrates how to implement the methodology originally put forth by Lovell et al. (1994), using new data for Catalonia. We draw policy implications and critically appraise the discussed methodology suggesting avenues for further research.
    Keywords: well-being, multidimensional poverty, distance function, Catalonia
    JEL: D31 D63 I31 I32
    Date: 2005–09
  4. By: Tsuyoshi Nakamura (Department of Economics, Tokyo Keizai University); Hiroshi Ohashi (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Models of vintage-capital learning by doing predict an initial fall in productivity after the introduction of new technology. This paper examines the impact of new technology on plant-level productivity in the Japanese steel industry in the 1950s and 1960s. The introduction of the basic oxygen furnace was the greatest breakthrough in the steel re.ning process in the last century. We estimate production function, taking account of the di.erences in technology between the re.ning furnaces owned by a plant. Estimation results indicate that a more productive plant was likely to adopt the new technology, and that the adoption would be timed to occur right after the peak of the productivity level achieved with the old technology. We have found that the adoption of the new technology primarily accounted not only for the industry's productivity slowdown in the early 1960s, but also for the industry's remarkable growth in the post-war period. These results are robust to endogeneity in the choice of input and technology.
    Date: 2005–09
  5. By: Torstein Bye and Einar Hope (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: In this paper, we describe the approach to, and experience of, the deregulation and liberalisation of the Norwegian electricity sector from 1991. The Norwegian electricity market was subsequently integrated with the Swedish, Finnish and Danish markets to become the Nordic electricity market: the first common, integrated, intercountry electric power market in the world. We discuss the background to electricity market reform, the analytical and legal foundations for reform, and the chosen market and regulatory design. We find that the market has performed well in terms of economic efficiency and market functionality, even when exposed to severe supply shocks because of water shortages for a power system that relies heavily on hydropower. However, we also identify issues and challenges that must be addressed to improve the performance of the Nordic electricity market and its regulatory system.
    Keywords: Deregulation; Market design; Electricity markets
    JEL: D21 D41 D42 Q4
    Date: 2005–09

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