New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2006‒12‒22
nine papers chosen by

  1. The effects of public capital on the productivity of the Italian regions By Emanuela Marrocu; Raffaele Paci
  2. Productivity and ICT: A Review of the Evidence By Mirko Draca; Raffaella Sadun; John Van Reenen
  3. An R&D-Based Model of Multi-Sector Growth By Rachel Ngai; Roberto M. Samaniego
  4. Dynastic Management By Francesco Caselli; Nicola Gennaioli
  5. Tracing Mobile Inventors The Causality between Inventor Mobility and Inventor Productivity By Hoisl, Karin
  6. Does Mobility Increase the Productivity of Inventors? New Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Design By Hoisl, Karin
  7. Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights By Paul Conway; Giuseppe Nicoletti
  8. Work-Life Balance, Management Practices and Productivity By Nick Bloom; Tobias Kretschmer; John Van Reenen
  9. Boosting Innovation Performance in Brazil By Carlos H. de Brito Cruz; Luiz de Mello

  1. By: Emanuela Marrocu; Raffaele Paci
    Abstract: This paper investigates on the role played by public capital in increasing the productivity levels in Italy. For the construction of the regional series for the public capital stock over the period 1996-2003, the study benefits from the use of the rich dataset on public expenditure, recently published by the Italian Ministry of Economy. We have estimated panel production functions with the inclusion of traditional factors and also intangible inputs like R&D expenditure, human capital and social capital. The results point out that public capital has a positive and significant effect on production. Moreover, the effects of all production factors vary considerably between the two macro-areas of the country, namely Centre-North and Mezzogiorno. More specifically, while private capital is more effective in the South, labour and public capital exhibits an elasticity much higher in the Centre-North with respect to the Mezzogiorno. The disaggregation of the public capital stock into economic categories indicates a significant different impact in the two macro-areas. When the analysis is carried out by distinguishing among government levels it turns out that the decentralized administrative bodies are much less efficient in the South in delivering public expenditure.
    Keywords: public capital, production function, regional disparities, Italy
    JEL: D24 H54 O47 R11 C23
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Mirko Draca; Raffaella Sadun; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: We survey the micro and macro literature on the impact of Information and CommunicationTechnologies (ICTs) on productivity. The "Solow Paradox" of the absence of an impact ofICT on productivity no longer holds, if it ever did. Both growth accounting and econometricevidence suggest an important role for ICTs in accounting for productivity. In fact, theempirical estimates suggest a much larger impact of ICT on productivity than would beexpected from the standard neoclassical model that we focus on. We discuss the variousexplanations for these results, including the popular notion of complementary organizationalcapital. Finally, we offer suggestions for where the literature needs to go.
    Keywords: ICT, productivity, organisation
    JEL: E22 E23 F1 O11
    Date: 2006–08
  3. By: Rachel Ngai; Roberto M. Samaniego
    Abstract: We develop a multi-sector general equilibrium model in which productivity growth is drivenby the production of sector-specific knowledge. In the model, we find that long rundifferences in total factor productivity growth across sectors are independent of theparameters of the knowledge production function except for one, which we term the fertilityof knowledge. Differences in R&D intensity are also independent of most other parameters.The fertility of knowledge in the capital sector is central to the growth properties of the modeleconomy.
    Keywords: Endogenous technical change, multisector growth, fertility of knowledge, totalfactor productivity, R&D intensity, investment-specific technical change
    JEL: D24 D92 O31 O41
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: Francesco Caselli; Nicola Gennaioli
    Abstract: The most striking difference in corporate-governance arrangements between rich and poorcountries is that the latter rely much more heavily on the dynastic family firm, whereownership and control are passed on from one generation to the other. We argue that if theheir to the family firm has no talent for managerial decision making, dynastic management isa failure of meritocracy that reduces a firm's Total Factor Productivity. We present a simplemodel that studies the macreconomic causes and consequences of dynastic management. Inour model, the incidence of dynastic management depends, among other factors, on theimperfections of contractual enforcement. A plausible calibration suggests that, via dynasticmanagement, poor contract enforcement may be a substantial contributor to observed crosscountrydifferences in aggregate Total Factor Productivity.
    Keywords: Meritocracy, Family firms, Financial Development, TFP
    JEL: E1 E2 G1 G3 O1 O4
    Date: 2006–08
  5. By: Hoisl, Karin
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the causality between inventor productivity and inventor mobility. The results show that the level of education has no influence on inventor productivity. Making use of external sources of knowledge, on the contrary, has a significant effect on productivity. Finally, firm size has a positive impact on productivity. Firm size also influences inventor mobility, although negatively. Whereas existing research implicitly assumes causality to point in one direction, this study ex-ante allows for a simultaneous relationship. To deal with the expected endogeneity problem, instrumental variables techniques will be employed. Results show that mobile inventors are more than four times as productive as non-movers. Whereas mobility increases productivity, an increase in productivity decreases the number of moves.
    Keywords: Inventor; Productivity; Mobility; Match Quality; Patent
    JEL: O34 O32 J M54
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Hoisl, Karin
    Abstract: Although labor mobility has been recognized as a key mechanism to transfer tacit knowledge, prior research on inventors has so far neglected to address the question of the consequence of a move on inventive performance. This paper improves on the current R&D literature by presenting a quasi-experimental approach to explore the effect of a specific move of an inventor on his performance. The quasi-experiment provides a favorable setting to test this relationship since it allows interpreting changes of inventive performance causal to a particular move. Results reveal that in the post-move period inventors produce more patentable innovations that are characterized by a higher grant rate and by higher value. However, the gains from movement seem to dissipate over time. Data for the analysis was derived from a survey of German inventors (N = 3,049).
    Keywords: Inventor; Productivity; Mobility; Quasi Experiment; Patent
    JEL: O34 O32 J M54
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Paul Conway; Giuseppe Nicoletti
    Abstract: Product market regulation in the non-manufacturing sectors of OECD countries: measurement and highlights This paper describes a new set of indicators that measure differences in the regulation of non-manufacturing sectors of OECD countries over the past three decades. The indicators focus on regulations that affect competitive pressures in areas where competition is economically viable and on the potential costs that these regulations entail for economic activities that use the output of regulated sectors as intermediate inputs in production. The paper illustrates the methodology used to compute the indicators and the patterns of product market regulation and regulatory reform that emerge from the analysis. The robustness of results is assessed in three ways: comparing the indicators to other available data covering the same areas; computing confidence intervals around the indicator values; and listing econometric results obtained by linking the indicators to measures of competition and economic performance. <P>Régulation des services dans les pays de l’OCDE : évaluation et traits saillants <BR>Régulation des services dans les pays de l’OCDE : évaluation et traits saillants Ce document décrit un nouvel ensemble d'indicateurs qui mesurent les différences dans la régulation des secteurs non-manufacturiels des pays de l'OCDE au cours de trois dernières décennies. Les indicateurs se concentrent sur les régulations qui influencent la pression concurrentielle dans les domaines d'activité économique où la concurrence est possible, ainsi que sur les coûts potentiels que ces régulations impliquent pour les activités économiques qui utilisent les produits des secteurs régulés comme biens intermédiaires. Le document illustre la méthodologie utilisée pour calculer les indicateurs ainsi que les profils de régulation et de réforme des marchés des biens qui émergent de l'analyse. La robustesse des résultats est vérifiée de trois façons: on compare les indicateurs à d'autres sources d'information concernant les même domaines d'analyse; on calcule des intervalles de confiance centrés sur les valeurs estimées des indicateurs; et on mentionne les résultats conometriques qui ont été obtenus par les nombreuses études qui ont exploité ces indicateurs pour examiner la relation entre l'intensité de la concurrence et la performance économique.
    Keywords: competition, services, services, regulation, concurrence, régulation, indicators, indicateurs
    JEL: L50 L91 L92 L93 L94 L95 L96 L98
    Date: 2006–12–07
  8. By: Nick Bloom; Tobias Kretschmer; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: Do "Anglo-Saxon" management practices generate higher productivity only at the expense of lousywork-life balance (WLB) for workers? Many critics of "neo-libéralisme sauvage" have argued thatincreased competition from globalisation is damaging employees' quality of life. Others have arguedthe opposite that improving work-life balance is actually a competitive tool that companies can useto raise productivity. We try to shed some empirical light on these issues using an innovative surveytool to collect new data on management and work-life balance practices from 732 medium sizedmanufacturing firms in the US, France, Germany and the UK. First, we show that our measure ofwork-life balance is a useful summary of a range of policies in the firm - family-friendly policies,flexible working, shorter hours, more holidays, subsidised childcare, etc. We show that this worklifebalance measure is significantly associated with better management. Firms in environments thatare more competitive and/or who are more productive, however, do not have significantly worsework-life balance for their workers. These findings are inconsistent with the view that competition,globalisation and "Anglo-Saxon" management practices are intrinsically bad for the work-lifebalance of workers. On the other hand, neither are these findings supportive of the optimistic "winwin"view that work-life balance improves productivity in its own right. Rather we find support for a"hybrid" theory that work-life balance is a choice for managers that is compatible with low or highproductivity.
    Keywords: Work-Life Balance, Management Practices, Productivity, family-friendly workplaces, competition
    Date: 2006–01
  9. By: Carlos H. de Brito Cruz; Luiz de Mello
    Abstract: Brazil's main challenge in innovation policy is to encourage the business sector to engage in productivity-enhancing innovative activities. At 1% of GDP, R&D spending (both public and private) is comparatively low by OECD standards and is carried out predominantly by the government. Most scientists work in public universities and research institutions, rather than in the business sector. Output indicators, such as the number of patents held abroad, suggest that there is much scope for improvement. Academic patenting effort is being stepped up and should be facilitated by the easing of restrictions on the transfer and sharing of proceeds of intellectual property rights between businesses and public universities and research institutions. Innovation policy is beginning to focus on the potential synergies among science and technology promotion, R&D support and trade competitiveness. To be successful in boosting business innovation, these policies will need to be complemented by measures aimed at tackling the shortage of skills in the labour force; this shortage is among the most important deterrents to innovation in Brazil, particularly against the backdrop of a widening gap in tertiary educational attainment with respect to the OECD area. <P>Stimuler l'innovation en Brésil <BR>En matière de politique d'innovation, le principal enjeu pour le Brésil est d?encourager le secteur des entreprises à s'engager dans des activités innovantes génératrices de gains de productivité. À 1% du PIB, les dépenses de R-D (publiques et privées) sont relativement faibles par comparaison avec les niveaux observés dans les pays de l?OCDE, et elles sont surtout imputables au secteur public. La plupart des chercheurs travaillent dans des universités et des établissements de recherche publics, et non dans le secteur des entreprises. Les indicateurs des résultats, tels que le nombre de brevets déposés à l'étranger, donnent à penser que la situation pourrait être sensiblement améliorée. Les universités déposent de plus en plus de brevets et il faudrait faciliter cette évolution en assouplissant les règles qui restreignent le transfert et le partage des recettes tirées des droits de propriété intellectuelle entre les entreprises et les universités et établissements de recherche publics. La politique d?innovation commence à mettre l'accent sur les synergies potentielles entre la promotion de la recherche scientifique et technologique, le soutien à la R-D et la compétitivité commerciale. Pour parvenir à stimuler l?innovation dans les entreprises, il faudra compléter ces politiques par des mesures destinées à remédier à la pénurie de qualifications dans la population active qui constitue l?un des principaux obstacles à l'innovation compte tenu notamment du retard de plus en plus sensible du Brésil vis-à-vis de la zone OCDE en matière d?enseignement supérieur.
    Keywords: human capital, productivity, productivité, capital humain, innovation, innovation
    JEL: H25 I23 O30
    Date: 2006–12–06

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.