New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2008‒11‒04
seven papers chosen by

  1. A benchmarking model for measuring the efficiency of a humanitarian aid program: a case study of an international NGO By Malki, Elli
  2. Potential Gains from Mergers in Local Public Transport : An Efficiency Analysis Applied to Germany By Matthias Walter; Astrid Cullmann
  3. Exports and Profitability - First Evidence for German Manufacturing Firms By Helmut Fryges and Joachim Wagner
  4. Next Stop: Restructuring? : A Nonparametric Efficiency Analysis of German Public Transport Companies By Christian von Hirschhausen; Astrid Cullmann
  5. How does competition affect efficiency and soundness in banking? New empirical evidence. By Klaus Schaeck; Martin ?ihák
  6. Does Technology Spill Over across National Borders and Technology Regimes? By J.W.B. Bos; C. Economidou; B. Candelon
  7. Measuring Residential Energy Efficiency Improvements with DEA By Peter Grösche

  1. By: Malki, Elli
    Abstract: This article presents a benchmarking model for measuring the efficiency of organizations that provide humanitarian aid. The model was developed and implemented in the framework of a large international aid program. The model is based on measuring the labor productivity of each organization that provides services and comparing it to the benchmark. Two main results came out from the estimation of the model: (a) there were positive economies of scale in the program meaning that larger organizations were inherently more efficient than smaller ones; (b) the source of the inefficiency was identified, not in the administrative part of the organization, but rather in the programmatic part.
    Keywords: NGO; efficiency; cost-effectiveness; productivity
    JEL: I38 L31
    Date: 2008–10–24
  2. By: Matthias Walter; Astrid Cullmann
    Abstract: We analyze potential gains from hypothetical mergers in local public transport using the non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis with bias corrections by means of bootstrapping. Our sample consists of 41 public transport companies from Germany's most densely populated region, North Rhine-Westphalia. We merge them into geographically meaningful, larger units that operate partially on a joint tram network. Merger gains are then decomposed into individual technical efficiency, synergy and size effects following the methodology of Bogetoft and Wang [Bogetoft, P., Wang, D., 2005. Estimating the Potential Gains from Mergers. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 23(2), 145-171]. Our empirical findings suggest that substantial gains up to 16 percent of factor inputs are present, mainly resulting from synergy effects.
    Keywords: Merger; Public Transport; Efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis
    JEL: L92 C14 L11
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Helmut Fryges and Joachim Wagner (Institute of Economics, University of Lüneburg)
    Abstract: Using unique recently released nationally representative high-quality longitudinal data at the enterprise level for Germany, this paper presents the first comprehensive evidence on the relationship between exports and profitability. It documents that the positive profitability differential of exporters compared to non-exporters is statistically significant, though rather small, when observed firm characteristics and unobserved firm specific effects are controlled for. In contrast to nearly all empirical studies on the relationship between productivity and exports we do not find any evidence for selfselection of more profitable firms into export markets. Due to the sampling frame of the data used we cannot test the hypothesis that firms which start exporting perform better in the years after the start than their counterparts which do not start. Instead, we use a newly developed continuous treatment approach and show that exporting improves the profitability almost over the whole range of the export-sales ratio. Only firms that generate 90 percent and more of their total sales abroad do not benefit from exporting in terms of an increased rate of profit. This means, that the usually observed higher productivity of exporters is not completely absorbed by the extra costs of exporting or by higher wages paid by internationally active firms.
    Keywords: exports, profitability, micro data, Germany
    JEL: F14 D21
    Date: 2008–10
  4. By: Christian von Hirschhausen; Astrid Cullmann
    Abstract: In this paper, we present a nonparametric comparative efficiency analysis of 179 communal public transport bus companies in Germany (1990-2004). We apply both deterministic data envelopment analysis (DEA) and bootstrapping to test the robustness of our estimates and to test the hypothesis of global and individual constant returns to scale. We find that the average technical efficiency of German bus companies is relatively low. We observe that the industry appears to be characterized by increasing returns to scale for smaller companies. These results would imply increasing pressure on bus companies to restructure.
    Keywords: Public transport, buses, efficiency analysis, nonparametric methods, DEA, bootstrapping
    JEL: L11 L51 L92 C14
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Klaus Schaeck (Bangor Business School, Hen Goleg, College Road, Bangor, LL57 2DG, UK.); Martin ?ihák (International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street N. W. Washington, D. C. 20431, USA.)
    Abstract: A growing body of literature indicates that competition increases bank soundness. Applying an industrial organization based approach to large data sets for European and U.S. banks, we offer new empirical evidence that efficiency plays a key role in the transmission from competition to soundness. We use a twopronged approach. First, we employ Granger causality tests to establish the link between competition and measures of profit efficiency in banking, and find that competition indeed increases bank efficiency. Second, building on these results, we examine the relation between the Boone indicator [Boone, J. (2001)Intensity of competition and the incentive to innovate. IJIO, Vol. 19, pp. 705-726], an innovative measure of competition that focuses on the impact of competition on performance of efficient banks, and relate this measure to bank soundness. We find evidence that competition robustly increases bank soundness, via the efficiency channel. JEL Classification: G21, G28, L11.
    Keywords: Bank competition, efficiency, soundness, market structure, regulation.
    Date: 2008–09
  6. By: J.W.B. Bos; C. Economidou; B. Candelon
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether technology spills over across national borders and technology regimes. We advocate a modeling strategy where changes in technical efficiency capture technology spillovers as industries absorb and implement the best-practice (frontier) technology. Recently developed dynamic panel-based techniques are used to determine whether efficiency series move together in the long run (cointegrate) and/or move closer together over time (converge). We contribute to the literature by controlling for technological heterogeneity and for cross-sectional dependence in the data. For a panel of manufacturing industries in six EU countries, we find evidence of long-run relationships among industries' efficiency levels in different countries and technology regimes. Furthermore, we find convergence among manufacturing industries, both across countries and across technology regimes.
    Keywords: technology spillovers, efficiency, panel cointegration, convergence, manufacturing industries
    JEL: C23 L60 O14
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Peter Grösche
    Abstract: This paper measures energy efficiency improvements of US single-family homes between 1997 and 2001 using a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, an indicator of energy efficiency is derived by means of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA),and the analogy between theDEAestimator and traditional measures of energy efficiency is demonstrated. The second stage employs a bootstrapped truncated regression technique to decompose the variation in the obtained efficiency estimates into a climatic component and factors attributed to efficiency improvements. Results indicate a small but significant improvement of energy efficiency over the studied time interval, mainly accounted for by fuel oil and natural gas users.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency, household production, data envelopment analysis, bootstrap
    JEL: C14 C61 D13 Q4
    Date: 2008–08

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