New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2006‒04‒01
five papers chosen by

  1. Outstanding outsourcers: a firm- and plant-level analysis of production sharing By Christopher Johann Kurz
  2. Logistic efficiency through horizontal cooperation: the case of Flemish road transportation companies By Cruijssen,Frans; Dullaert,Wout; Joro,Tarja
  3. The Effects of Teacher Training on Teacher Value Added By Douglas Harris; Tim R. Sass
  4. On the aggregate and distributional implications of productivity differences across countries By Andres Erosa; Tatyana Koreshkova; Diego Restuccia
  5. Does Privatization Hurt Workers? Lessons from Comprehensive Manufacturing Firm Panel Data in Hungary, Romania, Russia and Ukraine By J. David Brown; John S. Earle; Álmos Telegdy

  1. By: Christopher Johann Kurz
    Abstract: This paper examines the differences in characteristics between outsourcers and non-outsourcers with a particular focus on productivity. The measure of outsourcing comes from a question in the 1987 and 1992 Census of Manufactures regarding plant-level purchases of foreign intermediate materials. There are two key findings. First, outsourcers are "outstanding." That is, all else equal, outsourcers tend to have premia for plant and firm characteristics, such as being larger, more capital intensive, and more productive. One exception to this outsourcing premia is that wages tend to be the same for both outsourcers and non-outsourcers. Second, outsourcing firms, but not plants, have significantly higher productivity growth.
    Keywords: Industrial productivity ; Manufactures
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Cruijssen,Frans; Dullaert,Wout; Joro,Tarja (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper describes a practical application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to the Flemish road transportation sector. The efficiency of 82 road transportation companies responding to a large-scale survey focused on horizontal cooperation is evaluated, based on two inputs and two outputs. Various DEA models are used to identify differences between subgroups of respondents. The results demonstrate that, in general, Flemish road transportation companies operate at unacceptably low efficiency levels. Given the findings that the median company is operating on too small a scale one apparent remedy would be a dramatic increase in market concentration through mergers and acquisitions
    Keywords: horizontal cooperation;road transportaion companies;data envelopment analysis
    JEL: C44 L92
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Douglas Harris (Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Florida State University); Tim R. Sass (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
    Abstract: We study the effects of various types of education and training on teacherproductivity. Previous studies on the subject have been hampered by inadequatemeasures of teacher training and difficulties addressing the non-random selectionof teachers to students and of teachers to training. We address all of theselimitations by estimating models with student, teacher, and school fixed effectsusing an extensive database from the state of Florida. Our results suggest thatteacher training generally has little influence on productivity. One exception isthat content-focused teacher professional development is positively associatedwith productivity in middle and high school math. In addition, more experiencedteachers appear more effective in teaching elementary and middle school reading.There is no evidence that either pre-service (undergraduate) training or thescholastic aptitude of teachers influences their productivity. These results callinto question previous findings based on models that do not adequately control forthe various forms of selection bias.
    Keywords: Teacher Quality, Teacher Training, Teacher Productivity, Student Achievement
    JEL: I2 J24 J44
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Andres Erosa; Tatyana Koreshkova; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: We develop a quantitative theory of human capital with heterogeneous agents in order to assess the sources of cross-country income differences. The cross-sectional implications of the theory and U.S. data are used to restrict the parameters of human capital technology. We then assess the model's ability to explain the cross-country data. Our quantitative model generates a total-factor-productivity (TFP) elasticity of output per worker of 2.8. This implies that a factor of 3 difference in TFP is amplified through physical and human capital accumulation to generate a factor of 20 difference in output per worker --- as observed in the data between rich and poor countries. The implied difference in TFP is in the range of estimates from micro studies. The theory suggests that using Mincer returns to measure human capital understates human capital differences across countries by a factor of 2. The cross-country differences in human capital implied by the theory are consistent with evidence from earnings of immigrants in the United States. We also find that TFP has substantial effects on cross-sectional inequality and intergenerational mobility and that public education policies can have important aggregate and distributional implications.
    Keywords: Human capital
    Date: 2006
  5. By: J. David Brown; John S. Earle; Álmos Telegdy (Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of privatization on firm-level wages and employment in four transition economies. Contrary to workers' fears, our fixed effect and random trend estimates imply little effect of domestic privatization, except for a slight negative effect in Russia, and they provide some evidence of positive foreign effects on both wages and employment in all four countries. The negligible employment impact of domestic privatization results from effects on efficiency and scale that are large, positive, but offsetting in Hungary and Romania, and from small effects of both types in Russia and Ukraine. The positive employment and wage bill consequences of foreign ownership result from a substantial scale-expansion effect that dominates the efficiency effect.
    Keywords: privatization, employment, wages, foreign ownership, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Ukraine
    JEL: D21 G34 J23 J31 L33 P31
    Date: 2006–01–12

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