New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2008‒08‒06
nine papers chosen by

  1. Efficiency analysis of the Portuguese beam trawl fleet that targets the common prawn Palaemon serratus (Pennant) By Rui J. Lopes; Agostinho S. Rosa; Luis A. Coelho; Manuela Oliveira; Manuel B. Gaspar
  2. Economies of Density and Productivity in Service Industries: An Analysis of Personal-Service Industries Based on Establishment-Level Data By MORIKAWA Masayuki
  3. Productivity and Survival of Family Firms in Japan: An Analysis Using Firm-Level Microdata By MORIKAWA Masayuki
  4. Organizational Redesign, Information Technologies and Workplace Productivity By Dostie, Benoit; Jayaraman, Rajshri
  5. Measuring the Technical Efficiency of Municipal Water Suppliers: the Role of Environmental Factors By Steven Renzetti; Diane P. Dupont
  6. Learning by Doing By Peter Thompson
  7. Testing procedures for detection of linear dependencies in efficiency models By Antonio Peyrache; Tim Coelli
  8. International TFP Dynamics and Human Capital Stocks: a Panel Data Analysis, 1960-2003 By Adriana Di Liberto; Francesco Pigliaru; Piergiorgio Chelucci
  9. Productivity Matters for Trade Policy: Theory and Evidence By Baybars Karacaovali

  1. By: Rui J. Lopes (CEFAGE-UE, Centro de Estudos e Forma‡Æo Avan‡ada em GestÆo e Economia, Universidade de vora); Agostinho S. Rosa (CEFAGE-UE, Centro de Estudos e Forma‡Æo Avan‡ada em GestÆo e Economia, Universidade de vora); Luis A. Coelho (CEFAGE-UE, Centro de Estudos e Forma‡Æo Avan‡ada em GestÆo e Economia, Universidade de vora); Manuela Oliveira (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biol¢gicos, I.P./ IPIMAR); Manuel B. Gaspar (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biol¢gicos, I.P./ IPIMAR)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the beam trawl fleet that operates in the centre-north of Portugal, and aims to estimate the technical efficiency of this in 2004 and to assess the technical efficiency change, the technical change of production technology and total factor productivity change for the period ranging from 1995 to 2004. The efficiency of the beam trawl fleet in 2004 was estimated, with parametric methods. To obtain the frontier form of production possibilities, we used the Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) Technique. The evolution of efficiency was based in non-parametric methods namely the Malmquist Index, which is based on Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) techniques. The results indicated that the technical efficiency of the Portuguese beam trawl fleet was relatively low. It was observed that the output depends positively and significantly of the engine power and the number of days at sea. The results showed a slightly decrease in the total factors productivity. This is a symptom of some inefficiency of the artisanal fishing sector, which has a greater role in social terms than in the economic ones. Technical efficiency grew slightly between 1995 and 2004, whereas technological change decreased, indicating that the beam trawl fleet had technological losses during the studied period. The conjugated effect of these two measures lead to a small decrease of the total factors productivity.
    Keywords: Beam trawl; Artisanal fleet; Technical Efficiency; Malmquist Index; Stochastic Frontier Analysis.
    JEL: Q22 D24 C21 C61
    Date: 2008
  2. By: MORIKAWA Masayuki
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the basic facts of service industry productivity, such as economies of scale, economies of scope, and economies of density in Japan. Specifically, by using establishment-level data on personal-service industries in which the simultaneity of production and consumption is especially prominent, the paper estimates production functions both for value-added and physical output measures. Key findings from the analysis are as follows: 1. In almost all the examined service industries, economies of scale in terms of establishment size and firm size, and economies of scope are found. 2. In almost all the examined service industries, significant economies of population density are observed, with productivity increases of 10%-20% when municipality population density doubles. The sizes of these coefficients are substantially larger than those observed in manufacturing industries for which sales destinations are far less restricted geographically; demonstrating demand density's importance to the productivity of service industries. 3. The above findings are confirmed by estimation using measures of physical output instead of the amount of value added. These findings suggest the possibility that consolidation and expansion at an establishment level, as well as multi-store and chain store operations at a firm level, may help improve the productivity of personal-service industries. Formation of population-dense areas is also suggested, as this would have a positive effect on productivity.
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: MORIKAWA Masayuki
    Abstract: This article, by using a unique dataset of a large number of Japanese firms, empirically investigates the relationship between the structure of shareholding and productivity, survival, and managerial objectives. The focus is on the distinct traits of family firms, which compose the majority of Japanese firms. According to the results, the managerial objectives and performance of family firms are qualitatively and quantitatively different from those of non-family firms. Specifically, 1) productivity growth of family firms are significantly slower than non-family firms, after controlling for firm size, firm age, and industry; 2) family firms' probability of survival is higher than that of non-family firms; and 3) even after controlling for the high propensity to survive, family firms' productivity growth is slower. As family firms' management objectives are different from non-family firms, these results cannot be interpreted normatively. However, it is desirable to expand ownership options by reducing barriers to going public or transferring ownership.
    Date: 2008–07
  4. By: Dostie, Benoit (HEC Montreal); Jayaraman, Rajshri (European School of Management and Technology (ESMT))
    Abstract: Using a large longitudinal, nationally representative workplace-level dataset, we explore the productivity gains associated with computer use and organizational redesign. The empirical strategy involves the estimation of a production function, augmented to account for technology use and organizational design, correcting for unobserved heterogeneity. We find large returns associated with computer use. We also find that computer use and organizational redesign may be complements or substitutes in production, and that the productivity gains associated with organizational redesign are industry-specific.
    Keywords: linked employer-employee data, workplace practices, productivity, information technologies
    JEL: D20 L20 M54 O33
    Date: 2008–07
  5. By: Steven Renzetti (Department of Economics, Brock University); Diane P. Dupont (Department of Economics, Brock University)
    Abstract: This paper extends the multistage procedure set out in Fried et al (1999) to examine the importance of environmental factors when assessing the technical efficiency of water agencies. However, following Simar and Wilson’s (2007) critique of multistage efficiency analyses, the paper uses a bootstrapping approach in order to have consistent inference. Data are from a cross-section of municipal water agencies in Ontario, Canada during 1996. The main findings are that environmental factors explain some of the observed variation in efficiency scores and that water agencies’ relative efficiency scores are changed substantially after controlling for environmental factors.
    Keywords: Water Utility, Data Envelopment Analysis, Technical Efficiency
    JEL: Q25 H42
    Date: 2008–07
  6. By: Peter Thompson (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on learning by doing. Many of the distinctive theoretical implications of learning by doing have been derived under the assumption that the cost-quantity relationships observed in numerous empirical studies are largely the result of passive learning, and some further require that passive learning is unbounded. The empirical literature raises doubts about both assumptions. When observed cost-quantity relationships indicate sustained productivity growth, factors other than passive learning are generally at work. When passive learning is the dominant factor, productivity growth is invariably bounded. Thus, empirically-relevant theories incorporating learning by doing are hybrid models in which passive learning coexists with other sources of growth. But in such models, many of the distinctive implications of passive learning become unimportant. Moreover, passive learning is often an inessential component of long-run growth; to the contrary, too much learning can lead to stagnation.
    Keywords: Learning by doing, learning curves, passive learning, progress curves, cost-quantity relationship, knowledge spillovers, forgetting, endogenous growth, technological change.
    JEL: D24 D92 F12 L11 L16 O3
    Date: 2008–08
  7. By: Antonio Peyrache; Tim Coelli (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Adriana Di Liberto; Francesco Pigliaru; Piergiorgio Chelucci
    Abstract: This paper adopts a fixed-effect panel methodology that enables us to take into account both TFP and neoclassical convergence. We use a sample of 76 countries, 1960-2003 and estimate TFP values obtained by using different estimators such as LSDV, Kiviet-corrected LSDV, and GMM à la Arellano and Bond. In our estimates, cross-country TFP dynamics shows that most countries in the sample do not catch up with the USA. We also find conditional convergence in TFP levels and that human capital acts as a robust enhancing factor of technology adoption, as suggested by Nelson and Phelps in 1966. In contrast with previous evidence, in our results even very low level of human capital stocks allow a country to enter a “conditional TFP convergence club” – a result again consistent with the original version of the Nelson-Phelps hypothesis. Further, our results imply a plausible link between stages of development and returns to different levels of education. Finally, the positive influence of human capital on technology catch up is robust to the inclusion of controls for a country’s institutional quality.
    Keywords: TFP, catching up, panel data, human capital
    JEL: O47 O33 C23
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Baybars Karacaovali (Fordham University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: There is a growing literature where authors investigate the effect of trade liberalization on productivity. Nearly all such studies assume that trade policy is determined independently of productivity, hence it is exogenous. I show, both theoretically and empirically, that this assumption is not valid in general and that researchers may be underestimating the positive effect of liberalization on productivity when they do not account for the endogeneity bias. More productive sectors receive more protection and the sectors with a higher productivity gain are liberalized less even in the presence of a large unilateral liberalization shock that affects all sectors.
    Keywords: Productivity, trade liberalization, endogeneity, political economy of trade policy, learning-by-doing
    JEL: D24 F13 F14
    Date: 2008

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