New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2006‒10‒07
ten papers chosen by

  1. Determinants of long-run regional productivity: the role of R&D, human capital and public infrastructure By Raffaello Bronzini; Paolo Piselli
  2. Technical Efficiency and Contractual Incentives: the Case of Urban Public Transport in France By William Roy
  3. Measuring Technical Efficiency under Factor Non-Substitution: A Stochastic von Liebig Crop Response Model By Margarita Genius; Maria Mavraki; Vangelis Tzouvelekas
  4. S&T activities and firm performance - microeconomic evidence from manufacturing in Shanghai By Zhu, Pingfang; Li, Lei; Lundin, Nannan
  5. The role of agriculture in poverty reduction an empirical perspective By Christiaensen, Luc; Demery, Lionel; Kuhl, Jesper
  6. Institutions and ICT Adoption By Kiessling, Johan
  7. Coping with missing public infrastructure: An analysis of Russian industrial enterprises By Solanko, Laura
  8. Productividad y estructura productiva en Andalucía: un análisis comparativo a nivel sectorial By Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez
  9. Efficiency and Equity of European Education and Training Policies By Ludger Woessmann
  10. Profitability of foreign banks in Central and Eastern Europe: Does the entry mode matter? By Havrylchyk , Olena; Jurzyk, Emilia

  1. By: Raffaello Bronzini (Bank of Italy); Paolo Piselli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the long-run relationship between regional total factor productivity, R&D, human capital and public infrastructure between 1980 and 2001. We take advantage of recent developments panel cointegration techniques that control for endogeneity of regressors to estimate cointegration vectors. Empirical evidence shows that there exists a long-run equilibrium between productivity level and the three kinds of capital; among them, human capital turns out to have the strongest impact on productivity. Regional productivity is found also to be positively affected by R&D activity and public infrastructure of neighbouring regions. Finally, results of the Granger-causality tests support the hypothesis that human capital and infrastructure Granger-cause productivity in the long-run while the opposite is not true; only for R&D stock is the bi-directional causality found.
    Keywords: Total factor productivity, research and development, public infrastructure, human capital, panel cointegration
    JEL: O4 O18 R11 C23
    Date: 2006–09
  2. By: William Roy (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: This paper studies the relative performances of contractual arrangements used in the French local public transport industry. Levels of inefficiency are estimated with a production frontier approach. The results confirm the theoretical properties of incentive contracts that lead to better technical efficiency.
    Keywords: Contracts ; Contractual Incentives ; Contractual arrangements ; Efficiency ; Performance ; Urban Public Transport ; Public service governance ; France
    Date: 2006–10–04
  3. By: Margarita Genius (Department of Economics, University of Crete); Maria Mavraki (Department of Economics, University of Crete); Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete)
    Abstract: The present paper develops an econometric model for measuring input-oriented technical efficiency when the underlying technology is characterized by the lack of substitution between inputs. In this instances, Farrell’s radial measure of technical inefficiency is inappropriate as it may be possible to identify a technical inefficient bundle as technical efficient. Instead Russell’s non-radial indices can adequately measure technical inefficiency in factor limitation models. To this end, a disequilibrium model augmented with a regime specific technical inefficiency term is proposed and its likelihood function derived together with the computation of technical efficiency under specific distributional assumptions. The framework under which the model is proposed is the well known von Liebig hypothesis that analyses crop response to different levels of fertilizer nutrients. Application of the proposed stochastic von Liebig crop response model to the experimental data of Heady and Pesek (1954) points out to the fact that technical inefficiency can arise for a subset of the nutrients considered.
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Zhu, Pingfang (Research Institute of Econometrics and School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.); Li, Lei (Research Institute of Econometrics and School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.); Lundin, Nannan (Örebro University and Trade Union Institute for Economic Research (FIEF))
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of R&D expenditure and technology import on the level and the growth of productivity, as well as on the general economic performance in manufacturing firms with various ownership structures in Shanghai, China. The empirical analyses are based on the firm-level information of a sample of manufacturing firms for the period 1998–2003. We find clear-cut evidence indicating that firms with foreign participation have a productivity advantage over their domestic counterparts. The expenditures on technology import not only have a direct and positive effect on productivity, but also indirectly enhance the absorptive capacity of firms to facilitate in-house R&D activities. This is particularly true for firms with foreign participation, or for firms in sectors with relatively high technical standards. Furthermore, R&D expenditure and technology import may also have positive effects on profitability and export performance, depending on the ownership structure of the firm and the technical standard in the sector.
    Keywords: Science and Technology policy; Science and Technology investment; R&D
    JEL: L52 O32 O38
    Date: 2005–07–08
  5. By: Christiaensen, Luc; Demery, Lionel; Kuhl, Jesper
    Abstract: The relative contribution of a sector to poverty reduction is shown to depend on its direct and indirect growth effects as well as its participation effect. The paper assesses how these effects compare between agriculture and non-agriculture by reviewing the literature and by analyzing cross-country national accounts and poverty data from household surveys. Special attention is given to Sub-Saharan Africa. While the direct growth effect of agriculture on poverty reduction is likely to be smaller than that of non-agriculture (though not because of inherently inferior productivity growth), the indirect growth effect of agriculture (through its linkages with nonagriculture) appears substantial and at least as large as the reverse feedback effect. The poor participate much more in growth in the agricultural sector, especially in low-income countries, resulting in much larger poverty reduction impact. Together, these findings support the overall premise that enhancing agricultural productivity is the critical entry-point in designing effective poverty reduction strategies, including in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, to maximize the poverty reducing effects, the right agricultural technology and investments must be pursued, underscoring the need for much more country specific analysis of the structure and institutional organization of the rural economy in designing poverty reduction strategies.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Pro-Poor Growth and Inequality,Economic Theory & Research,Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems
    Date: 2006–09–01
  6. By: Kiessling, Johan (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the global diffusion process for three ICT technologies: cellular telephony, Internet and personal computers to test the hypothesis that the difference between countries in institutional characteristics significantly affects the time to adoption of these technologies. The analysis shows that the quality of economic and financial institutions and, to a smaller degree political institutions, significantly affects the time to adoption of the studied ICT technologies. The institutional effects were not uniform during all stages of adoption and for all three technologies but the level effects were on average found to be of the same magnitude as those of education and GDP per capita. The results are robust also when controlled for a number of other possible determinants of productivity and growth as well as fixed country effects.
    Keywords: Barriers to technology adoption; Institutions; Technology diffusion
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2006–03–31
  7. By: Solanko, Laura (BOFIT)
    Abstract: During the Soviet period industrial firms not only formed the backbone of the economy but also directly provided a wide range of benefits to their municipalities. Firms were in charge of supplying a great variety of social services, such as housing, medical care and day care. The need to divest at least some of these functions was generally accepted already in the early 1990s. Industrial firms' engagement in the provision of infrastructure services, such as heating, electricity and road upkeep has to date received much less attention. Using a unique dataset of 404 large and medium-sized industrial enterprises in 40 regions of Russia, this paper examines public infrastructure provision by Russian industrial enterprises. We find that, first, to a large degree engagement in infrastructure provision – as proxied by district heating production – is a Soviet legacy. Second, firms providing district heating to users outside their plant area are more likely to have close relations with the local public sector along many other dimensions.
    Keywords: Russia; infrastructure; firm performance
    JEL: H54 P31 P35
    Date: 2006–04–20
  8. By: Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez (Universidad de Cádiz)
    Abstract: El objetivo fundamental de este trabajo es analizar la evolución de la productividad aparente del trabajo y la incidencia que, sobre ésta, ha tenido la productividad sectorial y la estructura y especialización productiva en Andalucía para el periodo 1980-2000, comparándola con el conjunto de las regiones españolas. Además, también hemos pretendido llevar a cabo la descomposición de las diferencias existentes entre la productividad del empleo de Andalucía y la del conjunto de las regiones españolas en los componentes sectorial, regional y asignativo, con el fin de explicar los rasgos principales de las disparidades existentes en la productividad del empleo. El examen realizado ha permitido determinar cuáles son las diferencias más relevantes en la eficiencia productiva a nivel sectorial entre Andalucía y el conjunto de las regiones españolas, lo que sin duda abre la posibilidad de identificar algunos rasgos diferenciales y autóctonos en la estructura productiva de Andalucía sobre los que se podrían llevar a cabo acciones con el fin de intentar remover los obstáculos que están impidiendo la convergencia en el nivel de desarrollo andaluz en el contexto de las regiones españolas y europeas.
    Keywords: apparent productivity of employment, sectorial structure, productivity of the capital, capitalization of employment.
    JEL: D24 E22 O47 R11
    Date: 2006
  9. By: Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: This paper reviews empirical evidence, especially from Europe, on how education and training policies can be designed to advance both efficiency and equity. Returns to educational investments tend to decrease over the life cycle. Moreover, they seem to be highest for children from disadvantaged families at early stages and for the well-off at late stages of the life cycle. This creates complementarities between efficiency and equity at early stages and trade-offs at late stages. The paper goes on to discuss specific policies for efficiency and equity at each educational stage, ranging from early childhood education and schools over vocational and higher education to training and lifelong learning. The available evidence suggests that both efficiency and equity can be enhanced by output-oriented reforms properly designed to each stage, where the state generally sets a regulatory framework that ensures accountability and funding and uses the forces of choice and competition to deliver best results. Designed this way, education and training systems can advance efficiency and equity at the same time.
    Keywords: education, training, Europe, efficiency, equity, life cycle, trade-off
    JEL: D60 H52 I28 J24
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Havrylchyk , Olena; Jurzyk, Emilia (K.U. Leuven, Belqium)
    Abstract: Using data for 265 banks in Central and Eastern European Countries for the period of 1995-2003, this paper analyses the differences in profitability between domestic and for-eign banks. We show that foreign banks, especially greenfield institutions, earn higher profits than domestic banks. However, this effect is acquired rather than inherited, since there is evidence that foreign banks tend to take over less profitable institutions. Profits of foreign banks in CEECs also exceed profits of their parent banks, explaining the reasons for their entry. Further, we study benefits and costs of foreign ownership by analyzing de-terminants of profitability for domestic, takeover, and greenfield banks. Profits of foreign banks are less affected by macroeconomic conditions in their host countries. However, greenfield banks are sensitive to the situation of their parent banks. Only domestic banks enjoy higher profits in more concentrated banking markets, whereas takeover banks suffer from diseconomies of scale due to the fact that they acquired large institutions.
    Keywords: foreign banks; bank profits; multinational banking; transition economies
    JEL: F36 G15 G21
    Date: 2006–04–25

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