nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2009‒04‒18
five papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Explaining Productivity Variation among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Tanzania By Msuya, Elibariki Emmanuel; Hisano, Shuji; Nariu, Tatsuhiko
  2. Does Innovation Help the Good or the Poor Performing Firms? By Jože P. Damijan; Crt Kostevc; Matija Rojec
  3. Has the industrial cluster project improved the R&D efficiency of industry-university partnership in Japan? By Nishimura, Junichi; Okamuro, Hiroyuki
  4. Trends in Kenyan Agricultural Productivity: 1997-2007 By Betty Kibaara; Joshua Ariga; John Olwande; T.S. Jayne
  5. Trends and Spatial Distribution of Public Agricultural Spending in Zambia: Implication for Agricultural Productivity Growth. By Jones Govereh; Emma Malawo; Tadeyo Lungu; T.S. Jayne; Kasweka Chinyama; Pius Chilonda

  1. By: Msuya, Elibariki Emmanuel; Hisano, Shuji; Nariu, Tatsuhiko
    Abstract: Using a stochastic frontier production model proposed by Battese and Coelli (1995), the paper estimates the levels of technical efficiency of 233 smallholder maize farmers in Tanzania and provides an empirical analysis of the determinants of inefficiency with the aim of finding way to increase smallholders’ maize production and productivity. Results shows that smallholder productivity is very low and highly variable, ranging form 0.01t/ha to 6.77t/ha, averaging 1.19t/ha. Technical efficiencies of smallholder maize farmers range from 0.011 to 0.910 with a mean of 0.606. Low levels of education, lack of extension services, limited capital, land fragmentation, and unavailability and high input prices are found to have a negative effect on technical efficiency. Smallholder farmers using hand-hoe and farmers with cash incomes outside their farm holdings (petty business) are found to more efficient. However, farmers who use agrochemicals are found to be less efficient. Policy implications drawn from the results include a review of agricultural policy with regard to renewed public support to revamp the agricultural extension system, and interventions towards improving market infrastructure in order to reduce the transaction element in the input and output marketing.
    Keywords: Productivity variation; smallholder farmers; technical efficiency; maize; tanzania
    JEL: Q12 D24
    Date: 2008–07
  2. By: Jože P. Damijan; Crt Kostevc; Matija Rojec
    Abstract: Using firm-level innovation data for a large sample of Slovenian firms in the period 1996-2002, the paper finds surprising results that innovation is not benefitting all firms. We find that only manufacturing firms with below average productivity growth (the lowest four deciles) are likely to experience significant benefits from successful innovation, while faster growing firms do not extract any additional benefits from innovation. This evidence demonstrates how innovation can affect the observed convergence of firms in terms of productivity in the manufacturing sector.
    Keywords: research and development, innovation, knowledge spillovers, productivity growth
    JEL: D24
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Nishimura, Junichi; Okamuro, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: We evaluate the “Industrial Cluster Project†in Japan initiated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in 2001 in terms of industry-university partnership (IUP), using original questionnaire data of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In this paper, we use the number of patent applications as the measure of both the performance of the cluster project and the industry-university partnership. Specifically, we test the following hypotheses: 1) The SMEs that participate in the cluster project apply for more patents than those that do not. 2) The effect of participation in the cluster project on R&D productivity is enhanced by collaboration with national universities within the same cluster area. We collected the data of 229 R&D intensive SMEs with up to 300 employees through a survey conducted in 2005. We employ negative binomial regression to test how participation in the cluster project affects R&D productivity, controlling for firm characteristics such as the number of employees, R&D intensity, the number of IUP projects, the dummy variable for collaboration with national universities, the dummy variable for joint R&D, the dummy variable for collaboration within cluster regions, and industry dummies. Moreover, we estimate the treatment effect model and the instrumental variables (IV) regression, considering the possibility that participation in a cluster project is endogenous. We use firm age as an instrumental variable because the cluster project aims at attracting start-ups and young firms. The estimation results can be summarized as follows. First, participation in the cluster projects alone does not affect patent application. Rather, local firms collaborating with partners outside the cluster show higher R&D productivity in general. Second, the cluster participants apply for more patents when they collaborate with national universities in the same cluster region. Further results reveal that, in this case, the quality of applied patents measured by the average number of claims does not significantly decrease, which is not in line with the argument that cluster firms are subject to administrative pressures to show off the performance of the cluster projects.
    Keywords: Industrial cluster, Industry-university partnership (IUP), Small and medium enterprise (SME), R&D, Patent, Japan
    JEL: O23 O32 O38 R38
    Date: 2008–11
  4. By: Betty Kibaara; Joshua Ariga; John Olwande; T.S. Jayne
    Abstract: Agriculture continues to be a fundamental instrument for sustainable development, poverty reduction and enhanced food security in developing countries. Agricultural productivity levels in Sub Sahara Africa are far below that of other regions in the world, and are well below that required to attain food security and poverty reduction goals. On the other hand, the rate of agricultural productivity growth since the early 2000s has been quite impressive in many African countries, including Kenya, yet this is no cause for complacency. Sustained and accelerated growth requires a sharp increase in productivity of smallholder farmers. The Strategy to Revitalize Agriculture (SRA), Kenya Vision 2030, Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) and Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) have underscored the importance of increasing agricultural productivity in the fight against poverty. In the past, agricultural production was largely a function of acreage, but further growth in production will have to be driven by productivity growth.
    Keywords: Africa, Kenya, productivity
    JEL: Q10
    Date: 2008–09
  5. By: Jones Govereh; Emma Malawo; Tadeyo Lungu; T.S. Jayne; Kasweka Chinyama; Pius Chilonda
    Abstract: This paper assesses the level and composition of the Zambia’s public expenditures in the agricultural sector from 2000 to 2008. By measuring the size of public agricultural expenditures, the study will answer whether the Government of Zambia met CAADP’s target of allocating 10% of national budget to agriculture in 2008. Furthermore, examining what the fund is being spent on will shed light on the extent to which spending contributes to agricultural growth. This review will also characterize the spatial patterns of expenditures across provincial boundaries. The results of this work will hopefully lay a foundation for future analysis of the impacts of public agricultural spending on sector performance.
    Keywords: food security, policy, Zambia, Africa, public finance, growth
    JEL: Q18
    Date: 2009–02

This nep-eff issue is ©2009 by Angelo Zago. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.