New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2008‒03‒01
nine papers chosen by

  1. Financial Intermediation and Macroeconomic Efficiency By Yves Kuhry; Laurent Weill
  2. Knowledge-based productivity in low-tech industries: evidence from firms in developing countries. By Goedhuys, Micheline; Janz, Norbert; Mohnen, Pierre
  3. Convergence in Banking Efficiency Across European Countries By Laurent Weill
  4. Does Financial Intermediation Matter for macroeconomic Efficiency ? By Pierre-Guillaume Méon; Laurent Weill
  5. Do Technology Shocks Lead to Productivity Slowdowns? Evidence from Patent Data By Lone E. Christiansen
  6. The Effects of Concentration on Competition and Efficiency : Some Evidence from the French Audit Market By Géraldine Broye; Laurent Weill
  7. Sources of Technical Efficiency among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Southern Malawi By Ephraim W. Chirwa
  8. Benchmarking the Efficiency of Public Expenditure in the Russian Federation By David Hauner
  9. Rule-of-thumb consumers, productivity and hours By Francesco Furlanetto; Martin Seneca

  1. By: Yves Kuhry; Laurent Weill (Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Strasbourg)
    Keywords: Financial development, income, aggregate productivity, efficiency.
    JEL: C33 O11 O16 O47
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Goedhuys, Micheline (UNU-MERIT and University of Antwerpen); Janz, Norbert (UNU-MERIT and Aachen University of Applied Sciences); Mohnen, Pierre (UNU-MERIT and University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: Using firm level data from five countries - Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa, Tanzania and Bangladesh - this paper examines the knowledge-based determinants of productivity of firms active in food processing, textiles, and garments and leather products. In particular, it seeks to investigate the importance of various sources of knowledge in explaining productivity in the different industries. The knowledge sources driving productivity performance are very different across sectors. In food processing, firm productivity is most strongly affected by quality of management and foreign ownership linkages. In textiles, firms raise productivity levels by importing new machinery and through research and development. In garments and leather products, R&D and design activities, high quality management and licensing technology from foreign firms are significant productivity determinants. Firms' productivity levels are further depressed by regulatory and financial constraints.
    Keywords: Productivity, Knowledge, R&D, Developing Countries, Food Processing, Textiles, Garments, Leather
    JEL: D24 L66 L67 O14 O31
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Laurent Weill (Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Strasbourg)
    Abstract: Since the preparation of the Single Market program in the 80s, financial integration in Europe has been expected to provide gains in growth by favoring competition and efficiency on financial markets. Our paper aims to check whether financial integration has taken place on the banking markets, by investigating the convergence in banking efficiency for European Union countries. We measure cost efficiency of banks from 10 EU countries between 1994 and 2005 with the stochastic frontier approach. Our work then constitutes the first one to apply tests of β and σ convergence specified for panel data on banking efficiency measures. We provide evidence of cross-country differences in cost efficiency and of an improvement in cost efficiency for all EU countries. Tests of convergence support the view of a process in convergence in cost efficiency between EU countries. Robustness checks with alternative specifications confirm these findings. These results support the view that financial integration has taken place on the EU banking markets in the recent years.
    Keywords: Banking, convergence, efficiency, European integration, stochastic frontier approach.
    JEL: G21 D21 F36
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Pierre-Guillaume Méon; Laurent Weill (Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Strasbourg)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether financial intermediary development influences macroeconomic technical efficiency on a sample of 47 countries, both developed and developing, over 1980-1995. We do so by applying Battese and Coelli (1995)’s method at the aggregate level. It is found that financial intermediary development, except financial depth, is on average associated with more efficiency. However we find strong evidence that this relationship is conditional on the level of economic development. The lower economic development the weaker is the impact of financial development on efficiency. That impact can even become negative in the poorest countries.
    Keywords: Financial development, income, aggregate productivity, efficiency.
    JEL: C33 O11 O16 O47
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Lone E. Christiansen
    Abstract: This paper provides empirical evidence on the response of labor productivity to the arrival of new inventions. The benchmark measure of technological progress is given by data on patent applications in the U.S. over the period 1889-2002. The analysis shows that labor productivity may temporarily fall below trend after technological progress. However, the effects on productivity differ between the pre- and post-World War II periods. The pre-war period shows evidence of a productivity slowdown as a result of the arrival of new technology, whereas the post-World War II period does not. Positive effects of technology shocks tend to show up sooner in the productivity data in the later period.
    Keywords: Productivity , Labor , Investment ,
    Date: 2008–01–31
  6. By: Géraldine Broye; Laurent Weill (Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Strasbourg)
    Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the effects of concentration on competition and cost efficiency of the French audit market. Competition is measured with the Rosse-Panzar model, while cost efficiency is estimated with stochastic frontier approach. Cost efficiency levels are estimated at around 75% with greater efficiency for Big-Four firms, while the nature of competition appears to be monopolistic competition. Dynamic analysis shows a reduction in competition, and a decrease in cost efficiency for Big-Four and non-Big-Four firms between 1999 and 2003. We therefore provide support to a negative impact of concentration on competition and cost efficiency.
    Keywords: Auditing, audit market, competition, efficiency.
    JEL: L1 M4
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Ephraim W. Chirwa
    Abstract: The agricultural sector in Malawi is vital to the economy for incomes and food security. The sector accounts for 35% of national income, generates 90% of foreign exchange, and provides paid and self-employment to 92% of the rural population. One constraint in achieving food security has been the small size and fragmented nature of land holdings among a large proportion of households in Malawi. Nonetheless, since independence there have been several attempts by the government to improve the productivity of food crops on small farms, particularly for maize, including the development of high yielding maize varieties, subsidization of farm inputs, provision of credit facilities, and the liberalization of both farm produce prices and farm produce marketing. While there have been several studies on food production in Malawi, the focus has mainly been on technology development and adoption, production constraints, the impact of structural adjustment policies, and the impact of price and marketing liberalization. This paper estimates technical efficiency among smallholder maize farmers in Malawi and identifies sources of inefficiency using plot-level data. We find that smallholder maize farmers in Malawi are inefficient; the average efficiency score is 46.23% and 79% of the plots have efficiency scores below 70%. The results of the study reveal that inefficiency declines on plots planted with hybrid seeds and for those controlled by farmers who belong to households with membership in a farmers club or association.
    Date: 2007–11
  8. By: David Hauner
    Abstract: This paper benchmarks the efficiency of public expenditure in the social sectors in the Russian Federation relative to other countries and among the country's regions. It finds that there is substantial room for efficiency gains, particularly in health care and social protection, although less so in education. An econometric analysis of efficiency differences between the regions suggests that they are positively related to per capita income and the quality of governance and democratic control, while they are negatively related to the share of federal transfers in the respective region's government revenue and the level of spending relative to gross regional product.
    Keywords: Working Paper , Government expenditures , Russian Federation , Public sector , Productivity , Governance , Fiscal analysis ,
    Date: 2007–10–29
  9. By: Francesco Furlanetto (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway)); Martin Seneca (University of Aarhus and Danmarks Nationalbank)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the transmission mechanisms of productivity shocks in a model with rule-of-thumb consumers. In the literature, this financial friction has been studied only with reference to fiscal shocks. We show that the presence of rule-of-thumb consumers is also very helpful in accounting for recent empirical evidence on productivity shocks. Rule-of-thumb agents, together with nominal and real rigidities, play an important role in reproducing the negative response of hours and the delayed responses of output and consumption after a productivity shock.
    Keywords: rule-of-thumb consumers, productivity shocks, nominal rigidities, real rigidities.
    JEL: E32
    Date: 2007–11–14

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