New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2007‒12‒01
nine papers chosen by

  1. Non-Performing Loans and Productivity in Chinese Banks: 1997-2006 By Matthews, Kent; Guo, Jianguang; Zhang, Nina
  3. Productivity and innovation: an overview of the issues By Petr Hanel
  4. Health Econometric: Uncovering the Anthropometric Behavior on Women's Labor Market By Lopez-Pablos, Rodrigo A.
  5. DOES SERVICE QUALITY MATTER IN MEASURING PERFORMANCE OF WATER UTILITIES? By Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo; Francisco J. Sáez-Fernández; Francisco González-Gómez
  6. A Probabilistic Approach for Assessing the Significance of Contextual Variables in Nonparametric Frontier Models: an Application for Brazilian Banks By Roberta Blass Staub; Geraldo da Silva e Souza
  7. The Productivity Effects of Privatization in Ukraine: Estimates from Comprehensive Manufacturing Firm Panel Data, 1989–2005 By J. David Brown; John S. Earle
  8. Impact of Trade on Productivity of Skilled and Unskilled Intensive Industries: A Cross-Country Investigation By Sohrab Abizadeh; Manish Pandey; Mehmet Serkan Tosun
  9. FDI Spillovers in the Chinese Manufacturing Sector: Evidence of firm heterogeneity By Abraham, Filip; Konings, Jozef; Slootmaekers, Veerle

  1. By: Matthews, Kent (Cardiff Business School); Guo, Jianguang; Zhang, Nina
    Abstract: This study examines the productivity growth of the nationwide banks of China over the ten years to 2006. Using a bootstrap method for the Malmquist index estimates of productivity growth are constructed with appropriate confidence intervals. The paper adjusts for the quality of the output by accounting for the non-performing loans on the balance sheets and test for the robustness of the results by examining alternative sets of outputs. The productivity growth of the state-owned banks is compared with the Joint-stock banks and it determinants evaluated. The paper finds that average productivity of the Chinese banks improved modestly over this period. Adjusting for the quality of loans, by treating NPLs as an undesirable output, the average productivity growth of the state-owned banks was zero or negative while productivity of the Joint-Stock banks was markedly higher.
    Keywords: Bank Efficiency; Productivity; Malmquist index; Bootstrapping
    JEL: D24 G21
    Date: 2007–11
  2. By: Rivera Rivera, Edward Bernard Bastiaan; Costantin, Paulo Dutra
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to use the techniques of Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) to estimate the increase or decrease of inefficiencies through time, as well as the linear programming procedure Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and the Malmquist index in order to analyze the sources of changes in TFP in the main Brazilian grain crops – rice, beans, maize, soybeans and wheat – throughout the period 2001-2006. The results indicate that, although there have been positive changes in TFP for the sample analyzed, a decline in the use of technology has been evidenced for all the main Brazilian grain crops between 2005/2006 – period in which we observe a remarkable downfall in the use of inputs in Brazilian agriculture.
    Keywords: Agriculture; Total Factor Productivity; Stochastic Frontier; Data Envelopment Analysis
    JEL: Q16 C23 D24
    Date: 2007–08–11
  3. By: Petr Hanel (CIRST, GREDI, Faculte d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke)
    Abstract: To introduce the subject, the paper compares the Canadian performance on principal indicators of productivity and innovation with the U.S. and other countries. Follows an overview of principal sources of economic welfare, economic growth and increasing productivity with a special attention given to the relationship between productivity growth and innovation. Before addressing the relationship between innovation and productivity, the paper introduces the concepts and their operational measures or indicators, the sources of innovation and their effects as well as financing and public policies in support of innovation. In the section on the link between innovation and productivity the paper surveys the representative empirical studies of this relationship on industry and enterprise level, including the evidence on private and social returns on investment in R&D and innovation in Canada and abroad. Follows a description of the current econometric modelling of micro-data on innovation and its effect on firm performance. These innovation surveys-based micro econometric studies are inspired by the four-stage CDM model that predicts (1) the probability that a firm innovates, (2) the resources it invests in the activity, (3) the commercial results of innovation and (4) the effect of innovation on firms’ performance indicators such as sales per employee, labour productivity and its growth etc. This model provides the standardized methodology for an ongoing international research project analyzing the data from innovation surveys of majority of OECD countries.
    Keywords: Innovation, R&D, productivity, econometric modelling, Canada
    JEL: D24 L6 O47
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Lopez-Pablos, Rodrigo A.
    Abstract: Exploring current literature which assess relations between cognitive ability and height, obesity, and its productivity-employability effect on women's labor market; we appraised the Argentine case to find these social-physical relations that involve anthropometric and traditional economic variables. Adapting an anthropometric Mincer approach by using probabilistic and censured econometric models which were developed for it. Have been found evidence that could be understood as existence of discriminative behavior on obese women to market entrance; besides, a good performance of women height as an unobserved approximation of cognitive ability measure to explain feminine productivity.
    Keywords: Height; Obesity; Anthropometric Mincer; Discrimination.
    JEL: I12 J24 C34
    Date: 2007–08–30
  5. By: Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo (Universitat de València. Dpto. Economía Aplicada II.); Francisco J. Sáez-Fernández (Universidad de Granada. Dpto. Economía Aplicada.); Francisco González-Gómez (Universidad de Granada. Dpto. Economía Aplicada.)
    Abstract: Quality is a dimension of water services that has been repeatedly omitted in the study of performance of water utilities. In this paper, we make use of Data Envelopment Analysis techniques (DEA) to compute both conventional quantity-based and quality-adjusted indicators of technical efficiency for a sample of Spanish water utilities. The key assumptions are that a lack of quality (bad quality) can be regarded as a bad output, and the existence of a trade-off between quantity and quality. Our main results indicate that quality matters in measuring technical performance, the difference between conventional and quality-adjusted evaluations representing the opportunity cost of maintaining quality. Averages and distribution functions significantly differ between both assessments of performance, although water utilities do not seem to rank differently.
    Keywords: water utilities; quality; Data Envelopment Analysis.
    JEL: L20 L95 C61
    Date: 2007–11–22
  6. By: Roberta Blass Staub; Geraldo da Silva e Souza
    Abstract: This article presents an empirical application illustrating the use of a nonparametric frontier model relying on a probabilistic definition of the production frontier. The significance of the variable nonperforming loans in productive efficiency is assessed, for a sample of Brazilian banks, using the concepts of condicional and unconditional efficiency measures, in a context where it is not necessary to impose any particular distribution for the production data. The analysis is robust relative to the assumptions of separability.
    Date: 2007–10
  7. By: J. David Brown (Heriot-Watt University); John S. Earle (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and Central European University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of domestic and foreign privatization on multifactor productivity (MFP) using long panel data for nearly the universe of initially state-owned manufacturing firms in Ukraine. The longitudinal dimension of the data is used to measure and control for pre-privatization selection bias and to estimate long-run impacts. The data imply steadily increasing MFP as a result of domestic privatization, reaching about 25 percent relative to state-owned firms after six years. Until recently, Ukraine has had relatively few cases of privatization to foreign investors, and estimates of the MFP impact are more sensitive to controls for selection bias, but the results suggest foreign privatization produces a productivity advantage of about 40 percent in 2004–2005.
    Keywords: productivity, privatization, selection bias, foreign ownership, Ukraine
    JEL: D21 G34 J23 J31 L33 P31
    Date: 2007–05
  8. By: Sohrab Abizadeh (Department of Economics, University of Winnipeg); Manish Pandey (Department of Economics, University of Winnipeg); Mehmet Serkan Tosun (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of trade openness on the productivity of skilled labor intensive and unskilled labor intensive industries in the group of 20 OECD countries. Using panel data and fixed effects approach, we find that skilled workers’ relative gains in productivity exceed those of their unskilled counterpart. Given this differential impact of trade openness on the relative productivity of the skilled and unskilled intensive industries, our findings lend support to the conclusions of past studies that skilled labor is likely to be more pro trade than unskilled labor.
    Keywords: Trade openness; Skilled intensive industries; Unskilled intensive industries; Productivity
    JEL: F16
    Date: 2007–11
  9. By: Abraham, Filip; Konings, Jozef; Slootmaekers, Veerle
    Abstract: We use a new longitudinal data set of more than 15,000 Chinese manufacturing plants to show that the direct and indirect effects of foreign direct investment on measured firm level productivity depend on a number of firm specific features and institutional factors. We find that domestic firms engaged in a joint-venture with a foreign partner are on average more productive, as well as exporting plants and plants located in special economic zones. In addition, domestic firms benefit from horizontal spillovers from foreign firms on average. However, these spillovers depend on the structure and origin of ownership as well as on specific characteristics of the special economic zones. First, spillovers are less likely to occur from fully foreign owned firms than from joint-ventures. Second, spillovers from foreign direct investment originating from oversees Chinese (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) are stronger than from the rest of the world. Third, spillovers are higher in the special economic zone aimed at attracting foreign capital to fasten the development of China’s own high tech industries.
    Keywords: China; firm heterogeneity; Productivity; Spillovers
    JEL: F21 L2
    Date: 2007–11

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.