nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2008‒10‒21
thirteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Imports, Productivity and the Origin Markets -the role of knowledge-intensive economies By Lööf, Hans; Andersson, Martin
  2. What accounts for growth in African agriculture By Nkamleu, Guy Blaise; Sylla, Kalilou; Zonon, Abdoulaye
  3. Working Paper 17-08 - Growth and Productivity in Belgium By Bernadette Biatour; Chantal Kegels
  4. Effects of Changes in Public Policy on Efficiency and Productivity of General Hospitals in Vietnam By Pinar Guven Uslu; Thuy Pham Linh
  5. An updated look at the recovery of agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa: By Nin Pratt, Alejandro; Yu, Bingxin
  6. Leading advertisers efficiency evaluated by data envelopment analysis By Andrea Ellero; Stefania Funari; Elena Moretti
  7. Trade and Sectoral Productivity By Harald Fadinger; Pablo Fleiss
  8. Learning-by-Exporting Revisited - the role of intensity and persistence By Andersson, Martin; Lööf, Hans
  9. Do farmers provide agri-environmental services efficiently? – An economic analysis By Kantelhardt, Jochen; Eckstein, Karin
  10. A Model of Costly Capital Reallocation and Aggregate Productivity By Shutao Cao
  11. FDI Spillovers and their Interrelationships with Trade By Molly Lesher; Sébastien Miroudot
  12. The impact of productive efficiency and quality of a regulated local public utility on final goods prices and consumers welfare By Alessandro Petretto
  13. Environmental policy and profitability - Evidence from Swedish industry By Brännlund, Runar; Lundgren, Tommy

  1. By: Lööf, Hans (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Andersson, Martin (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether domestic firms’ productivity is an increasing function of imports from the most knowledge intensive economies in the world, i.e. the G7 countries. Using Swedish firm-level data, we confirm an instantaneous causality going from imports to productivity. We also show that productivity is increasing in the G7-fraction of total imports. Our results highlight the importance of import flows from R&D and knowledge intensive economies for productivity and are consistent with imports being a vehicle for technology diffusion. Tests of the sensitivity of the results suggest that G7 imports are particularly important for firms in high-technology sectors and for firms belonging to multinationals and domestic corporations.
    Keywords: Technology diffusion; productivity; imports; panel data; GMM
    JEL: C81 F14 L10 L60 O33
    Date: 2008–10–13
  2. By: Nkamleu, Guy Blaise; Sylla, Kalilou; Zonon, Abdoulaye
    Abstract: Empirical relationships between the rates of growth and total factor productivity growth, physical input accumulation, as well as institutional and agro-ecological change is evaluated using an international panel data set on 26 African countries and covering the period 1970-2000. The analysis employs the broader framework provided by empirical growth literature and recent developments in TFP measurement. Results suggest a positive evolution of the total factor productivity during the studied period. This positive performance of the productivity of the agricultural sector was due to positive technological progress rather than technology absorption. However, growth accounting computation highlights the fact that factor accumulation accounts for a large share of agricultural output growth and fertilizer has been the most statistically important physical input contributor to agricultural growth. The study also highlights the extent to which agricultural growth contributors vary across countries and regions in relation with different country conditions, institutions and politico-historical factors.
    Keywords: Growth accounting; total factor productivity; factor accumulation; capital absorption; africa
    JEL: O47 N5
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Bernadette Biatour; Chantal Kegels
    Abstract: The objective of the report is to provide an overview of the main drivers of economic growth and the productivity evolution in Belgium, in comparison with the EU and the US, between 1970 and 2005, based on a consistent data set. The growth accounting methodology is applied to explain value added and labour productivity growth for the total economy, manufacturing and market services. This decomposition exercise diverges from what has been applied in Belgium up to now, as it uses capital services flows rather than the capital stock and labour services flows rather than the number of hours worked to measure the contribution of these factors of production to economic and productivity growth. Contributions of the main industries to value added, employment and productivity growth are also estimated.
    JEL: O11 O33 O40 O47
    Date: 2008–09–29
  4. By: Pinar Guven Uslu (Norwich Business School and ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia); Thuy Pham Linh (Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: The health sector reform programme which began in Vietnam in 1989 in order to improve the efficiency of the health system has altered the way in which Vietnamese hospitals operate. The programme put the spotlight on input savings. This study aims to examine the relative efficiency of hospitals during the health reform process and assess - by looking at the relative efficiency of hospitals - the effects of the regulatory changes. The study employs the DEA two-stage approach referring to data from 101 general public hospitals over the period 1998-2006. The study revealed that there was evidence of improvement in the productivity of Vietnamese hospitals over the period 1998-2006, with a progress in total factor productivity of 1.4% per year. Furthermore, the differences in hospital efficiency can be attributed to both the regulatory changes and hospital-specific characteristics. The user feesand autonomy measures were found to increase technical efficiency. Provincial hospitals were revealed to be more technically efficient than their central counterparts and hospitals located in the North East, South East and Mekong River Delta regions performed better that hospitals from other regions.
    Keywords: changes in public policy, health services, data envelopment analysis, hospital, regulatory changes
    JEL: I18 I19
    Date: 2008–10
  5. By: Nin Pratt, Alejandro; Yu, Bingxin
    Abstract: "We analyze the evolution of Sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) over the past 40 years, looking for evidence of recent changes in growth patterns using a nonparametric Malmquist index. Our TFP estimates show a remarkable recovery in the performance of Sub-Saharan Africa's agriculture during the 1984–2003 period after a long period of poor performance and decline. That recovery is the consequence of improved efficiency in production resulting from changes in the output structure and an adjustment in the use of inputs, including an overall net reduction in fertilizer use but increased fertilizer use in most of the best-performing countries. Policy changes African countries conducted between the mid-1980s and the second half of the 1990s together with technological innovations available at that time appear to have played an important role in improving agriculture's performance. As TFP growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is mainly a result of catching up to the frontier, we expect growth to slow in the coming years unless African countries accelerate the incorporation of innovations into the production process and increase the speed of technical change." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Agriculture, Efficiency, Malmquist index, Total factor productivity, Technical change, Development strategies,
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Andrea Ellero (Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Venice); Stefania Funari (Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Venice); Elena Moretti (Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Venice)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the problem of measuring the advertising efficiency of the Leading US Advertisers during the period 2001-2006. We use the DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) approach that enables to evaluate the relative efficiency in case of multiple inputs and outputs. In particular, the classical CCR-DEA model is first implemented in each year considered; a windows analysis approach is then used in order to better capture the dynamics of efficiency. Finally, the effect on efficiency of advertising spending over time, is captured by Adstock as an additional variable of the DEA model. The dynamics of Adstock is described by a finite difference equation.
    JEL: C61 M37
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Harald Fadinger; Pablo Fleiss
    Abstract: Even though differences in sectoral total factor productivity are at the heart of Ricardian trade theory and many models of growth and development, very little is known about their size and their form. In this paper we try to fill this gap by using a Hybrid-Ricardo-Heckscher-Ohlin trade model and bilateral sectoral trade data to overcome the data problem that has limited previous studies, which have used input and output data to back out productivities, to a small number of OECD economies. We provide a comparable set of sectoral productivities for 24 manufacturing sectors and more than sixty countries at all stages of development. Our results show that TFP differences in manufacturing sectors between rich and poor countries are substantial and far more pronounced in skill and R&D intensive sectors. We also apply our productivity estimates to test theories on development that have implications for the patterns of sectoral productivities across countries.
    Keywords: Sectoral Productivity Differences, Trade and Production Data, Ricardo, Heckscher-Ohlin, Comparative Advantage
    JEL: F11 F43 O11 O41 O47
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Andersson, Martin (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Lööf, Hans (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Two not mutually exclusive hypotheses can explain the empirically established export premium: self-selection of more productive firms into export markets and learning-by-exporting. We reassess the learning-by-exporting hypothesis and maintain that the scope for learning is related to the persistence and the intensity of a firm’s exporting activity. Using a rich panel of Swedish manufacturing firms, we show that there is a causality going from exports to productivity only for persistent exporters with high export-intensity. No such relationship is found for either temporary exporters or persistent exporters with low export-intensity. Learning-by-exporting in the form of a causality going from exports to productivity only pertains to firms that persistently export a large fraction of their sales on a global scale. Results are robust to the inclusion of several firm characteristics such as imports, physical capital, firm size, skilled labour, capital structure, corporate ownership structure, and industry classification.
    Keywords: export productivity premium; learning-by-exporting; productivity dynamics; panel data; dynamic models; temporary and persistent exporters
    JEL: C16 F14 L25 O33
    Date: 2008–10–13
  9. By: Kantelhardt, Jochen; Eckstein, Karin
    Abstract: Agricultural land use does not only concern farmers, but also has a large number of social and environmental effects. Consequently, it is to be assumed that farmers have to use financial resources as well as labour in order to provide these services. Using the nonparametric method of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), we calculated the economic as well as the ecological efficiencies of farms and examined whether farms are able to succeed in combining ecological and economic efficiency. In addition to this analysis, we studied the driving factors of the respective efficiencies. The study was carried out in four typical production regions in Bavaria which vary in their proportions of grassland as well as their yield potential; thus, the study regions reflect a gradient of agricultural land use which is typical for Southern Germany. In all regions, a farm survey was conducted covering a total of 122 farmers.
    Keywords: agricultural land use, data envelopment analysis, ecological efficiency, economic efficiency, Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2008–01–14
  10. By: Shutao Cao
    Abstract: The author studies the effects of capital reallocation (the flow of productive capital across firms and establishments mainly through changes in ownership) on aggregate labour productivity. Capital reallocation is an important activity in the United States: on average, its total value is 3-4 per cent of U.S. GDP. Firms with lower productivity are more likely to be reallocated to (i.e., bought by) more productive firms. Reallocated establishments experience an increase in productivity. The author develops a dynamic model of capital reallocation and compares its predictions with U.S. data. In the model, limited participation in acquisition markets by heterogeneous firms results in an increase in aggregate productivity. With reasonably chosen parameter values, policy experiments show that the increased reallocation of capital and labour contributed as much as a 17 per cent improvement in aggregate labour productivity in the mid-1980s. When a positive total-factor-productivity shock occurs, in steady state the increase in aggregate productivity arises entirely from this shock, and reallocation is unaffected.
    Keywords: Productivity; Economic models
    JEL: E22 L16
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Molly Lesher; Sébastien Miroudot
    Abstract: Foreign direct investment (FDI) represents an increasingly important dimension of international economic integration with global FDI flows growing faster than output over the past two decades. FDI is a particular form of investment, as it transfers knowledge as well as finance that may otherwise be unavailable in the domestic economy. This paper uses firm-level data to identify FDI spillovers across countries, sectors and time. The analysis suggests that knowledge-related spillovers from FDI vary considerably across sectors. Services industries enjoy the strongest productivity-enhancing effects of FDI, particularly through backward linkages. There is no strong evidence of horizontal productivity spillovers at the aggregate level. The results also indicate a significant and positive correlation between the degree of trade openness and output when measuring the impact of foreign presence in the domestic economy. A positive interaction is found between trade liberalisation and productivity spillovers. Thus, trade liberalisation can be seen as an important component of any reform package designed to help countries maximise the benefits of FDI.
    Keywords: trade openness, investment, services, micro data, FDI, trade liberalisation, technology, spillovers, backward linkage, forward linkage, IAS 19
    Date: 2008–10–07
  12. By: Alessandro Petretto (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche)
    Abstract: In this paper, we reconstruct the process by which the decisions of a regulated local public utility, in terms of productive efficiency and quality of the service provided, impact on prices of final consumption goods, supplied in a oligopolistic market operating in the same geographic area. We obtain some formula for these effects which can be quantified by estimating firms’ conditional input demand function of the public service and firms’ inverse demand function for this public good, non-rival, component. Finally, we draw the effects of productive efficiency and quality on consumer welfare and cost-of-living, via changes on tariffs, external effects and final goods prices.
    Keywords: regulation, x-efficiency, oligopoly, consumer welfare
    JEL: L51 D11 D21
    Date: 2008
  13. By: Brännlund, Runar (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Lundgren, Tommy (Department of Forest Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the existence of a “Porter effect” using firm level data on output and inputs from Swedish industry between 1990 and 2004. By utilizing a factor demand modeling approach, and specifying a profit function which has a technology component dependent upon firm specific effective tax on CO2, we are able to separate out the effect of regulatory pressure on technological progress. The results indicate that there is evidence of a reversed “Porter effect” in most industrial sectors, specifically energy intensive industries.
    Keywords: CO2 tax; factor demands; induced technological change; Porter argument
    JEL: D20 H23 Q52 Q55
    Date: 2008–10–10

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