New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2009‒03‒07
ten papers chosen by

  1. Technical efficiency, farm size and tropical deforestation in the Brazilian Amazonian Forest By Marchand, Sebastien
  2. The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity By Margarida Duarte; Diego Restuccia
  3. The impact of training on firm performance: Case of Vietnam By N. NGOC THANG; N. VAN THU; D. BUYENS
  4. What drives firm productivity growth ? By Anos-Casero, Paloma; Udomsaph, Charles
  5. Capital services estimates in Portuguese industries, 1977-2003 By Ester Gomes da Silva
  6. Training, organizational strategy, and firm performance By N. NGOC THANG; D. BUYENS
  7. Gender differentials in agricultural productivity: evidence from Nepalese household data By Thapa, Sridhar
  8. Accounting for Output Fluctuations in Mexico. By Arturo Antón Sarabia
  9. Direction and Intensity of Technical Change: a Micro Model By Luca Zamparelli
  10. Firm Performance and Managerial Turnover: The Case of Ukraine By Muravyev, Alexander; Bilyk, Olga; Grechaniuk, Bogdana

  1. By: Marchand, Sebastien
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to estimate the impact of farm productivity on deforestation and to analyse whether this effect depends on farm size. Census-tract-level data from the Censo Agropecuario 1995-96 is used and data collected are based on Brazilian agricultural activity. This dataset allows us to analyse the agricultural productivity and the land use across the Brazilian Legal Amazon. A two step approach is used. In the first step, a stochastic production frontier model is used in order to estimate technical efficiency and in the second one, this estimated efficiency is introduced in a land use model to estimate the impact of productivity on deforestation. We found that technical efficiency has a convex non-linear effect. This result suggests that less and more efficient farms use more land for agricultural activities and that these farms increase deforested areas. However the majority of farms are on the ascendant slope so that efficiency implies more deforestation in Brazilian Legal Amazon. Moreover farm size has a robust negative effect on deforestation. This result implies that small farms convert more natural (forested) land into agricultural land than large landowners.
    Keywords: Tropical deforestation; Productivity; Stochastic frontier model; Land use model; Brazil
    JEL: Q23 O54 O13 Q15
    Date: 2009–02–26
  2. By: Margarida Duarte; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: We investigate the role of sectoral differences in labor productivity in explaining the process of structural transformation - the secular reallocation of labor across sectors - and the time path of aggregate productivity across countries. Using a simple model of the structural transformation that is calibrated to the growth experience of the United States, we measure sectoral labor productivity differences across countries. Productivity differences between rich and poor countries are large in agriculture and services and smaller in manufacturing. Moreover, over time, productivity gaps have been substantially reduced in agriculture and industry but not nearly as much in services. In the model, these sectoral productivity patterns generate implications that are broadly consistent with the cross-country evidence on the structural transformation, aggregate productivity paths, and relative prices. We show that productivity catch-up in industry explains about 50 percent of the gains in aggregate productivity across countries, while low relative productivity in services and the lack of catch-up explains all the experiences of slowdown, stagnation, and decline observed across countries.
    Keywords: labor productivity, structural transformation, sectoral productivity, employment, hours, cross-country data
    JEL: O1 O4
    Date: 2009–02–19
    Abstract: This study uses data from the Vietnam Employer survey to measure the impact of training programs on firm performance. From the survey of 196 companies, the major findings indicate that companies that implemented training in 2006 have increased sales and productivity of both manufacturing and non-manufacturing companies in 2006. However, manufacturing companies that implemented training programs after 2005 lead to an increase of 9 percent in total sales and 9.1 percent in productivity per year between 2005 and 2006 but has no statistically significant effect on 2005-2006 percent change in sales and productivity of non-manufacturing companies if these companies provided training after 2005
    Keywords: Training; sales; productivity; firm performance.
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: Anos-Casero, Paloma; Udomsaph, Charles
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on the causal links between changes in the business environment and firm productivity growth. It contributes to the literature in three important aspects. First, it constructs a unique database merging information from two large firm-level databases. The samples of both databases are merged on four criteria-country, sub-national location, firm size, and year-producing a panel of 22,004 firms in eight economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia,, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine. Second, the paper addresses shortcomings of earlier studies, namely reverse causation, multicollinearity, and unreliable productivity estimates. Firm productivity growth is estimated drawing on corporate financial data from manufacturing firms included in the AMADEUS database. Changes in the business environment are estimated from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys conducted in 2002 and 2005. Multicollinearity problems in the full model regression are mitigated by constructing a set of six aggregate indicators of the business environment (using principal component analysis). The paper finds that, over the period 2001 to 2004, an increase of one standard deviation in infrastructure quality, financial development, governance, labor market flexibility, labor quality, and market competition raises the total factor productivity of the average firm by 9.8, 7.8, 3.2, 3.4, 5.8, and 3 percent, respectively. Lastly, the paper decomposes firm productivity growth and ranks the relative impact of changes in these six aspects of the business environment by country, by firm size, and by industry.
    Keywords: E-Business,Banks&Banking Reform,Labor Policies,Governance Indicators,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2009–02–01
  5. By: Ester Gomes da Silva (Faculdade de Letras, ISFLUP, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: This paper presents capital services estimates for 26 Portuguese industries for the 1977-2003 period. The estimation procedure follows an integrated approach under which the flows of capital services are approximated as a proportion of the capital stock converted into standard efficiency units. Our findings suggest a close proximity between the evolution of capital flows and the observed fluctuations of Portuguese macroeconomic growth. TFP growth estimates based on growth accounting reveal, furthermore, a very disappointing performance of the Portuguese economy during the period under study,with an average annual rate of TFP growth of 0.8% being observed. Performance varies across industries, but the bulk of activities show very modest rates of TFP growth.
    Keywords: Capital services, TFP, Portugal
    JEL: O47 D24
    Date: 2009–02
    Abstract: Although there has been growing studies of the effects of training on firm performance, research attention has been limited to the contextual conditional that moderate the training- firm performance relationship. In this study, we used a contingency approach to examines the relationship between training, organizational strategy and firm performance. Results of regression from The Vietnam Employer survey 2007 show that quality and flexibility strategies moderated the training - firm sales and productivity relationship. However, we found no significant of the moderating effects of cost strategy on the training- firm performance relationship.
    Keywords: training; organizational strategy; firm performance
    Date: 2008–11
  7. By: Thapa, Sridhar
    Abstract: This study analyzes productivity differentials between men and women in the peasant agriculture in Nepal. Both Cobb-Douglas and translog production functions are estimated using data from the Nepal Living Standard Survey 2003/04. Evidence is found for higher value of marginal product of adult family male than adult female, while marginal products of other inputs are found to be relatively higher than the prevailing market wages and prices, implying that these inputs have become gradually a binding constraint in production. Male managed farms produce more output per hectare with higher command in market input use, obtaining credit, and receiving agricultural extension services than female managed farms. In contrast, the result does not clearly support the hypothesis of separability or aggregation of male and female labour, but there is little justification of weak separability. Moreover, head’s sex as proxy for farm manager does not show any difference between male and female managed farms. However, the coefficients of location and household characteristics show significant variations in farm output among ethnic and caste groups residing in different ecological belts of Nepal. Overall, adult male labour is found to contribute more in production process than adult female labour.
    Keywords: gender differentials; agriculture; production functions; marginal products; Nepal
    JEL: J24 Q12 J16
    Date: 2008–12
  8. By: Arturo Antón Sarabia
    Abstract: During the last years, Mexico has registered relatively large output falls. The business cycle accounting method of Chari, Kehoe and McGrattan (2007) is applied to the two most recent recessions in Mexico (including the “Tequila crisis”) in order to understand what are the most important wedges driving output over the cycle and to evaluate to what extent such falls may be smoothed. First, it is found that efficiency and labor wedges may reasonably account for output fluctuations in each recession. Second, counterfactual exercises suggest that the elimination of distortions represented in terms of the efficiency wedge might result in output falls about one third of those observed in the data.
    Keywords: Business cycle accounting, Tequila crisis, Total factor productivity, Mexico
    JEL: E32 O41 O54
    Date: 2008–05
  9. By: Luca Zamparelli
    Abstract: This paper develops a growth model combining elements of endogenous growth and induced innovation literatures. In a standard induced innovation model firms select at no cost innovations from an innovation possibilities frontier describing the trade-off between increasing capital or labor productivity. The model proposed allows firms to choose not only the direction but also the size of innovation by representing the innovation possibilities through a cost function of capital and labor augmenting innovations. By so doing, it provides a micro-foundation both of the intensity and of the direction of technical change. The policy analysis implies that an increase in subsidies to R&D as opposed to capital accumulation raises per capita steady state growth, employment rate and wage share.
    Keywords: Induced innovation, endogenous growth, direction of technical change
    JEL: O31 O33 O40
    Date: 2009–02
  10. By: Muravyev, Alexander; Bilyk, Olga; Grechaniuk, Bogdana
    Abstract: The paper studies whether and how CEO turnover in Ukrainian firms is related to their performance. Based on a novel dataset covering Ukrainian joint stock companies in 2002-2006, the paper finds statistically significant negative association between the past performance of firms measured by return on sales and return on assets, and the likelihood of managerial turnover. While the strength of the turnover-performance relationship does not seem to depend on factors such as managerial ownership and supervisory board size, we do find significant entrenchments effects associated with ownership by managers. Overall, our analysis suggests that corporate governance in Ukraine operates with a certain degree of efficiency, despite the well-known lacunas in the country’s institutional environment.
    Keywords: corporate governance; managerial labor market; transition; Ukraine
    JEL: J40 G34 L29
    Date: 2009–01

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