nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2009‒10‒03
nine papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Small is Beautiful: Empirical Evidence of an Inverse Relationship between Farm Size and Productive Efficiency in Small-Holder Cassava Production in Ideato North LGA of Imo State By Okoye, B.C; Agbaeze, C.C; Asumugha, G.N; Aniedu, O.C; Mbanaso, E.N.A
  2. Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in the Market Liberalization Period of Bolivia By Carlos Gustavo Machicado; Juan Cristóbal Birbuet
  3. Trade Complexity and Productivity By Gabor Békés; Carlo Altomonte
  4. Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance: Evidence from European Regions By Giovanni Prarolo; Elena Bellini; Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano; Dino Pinelli
  5. Mendel versus Malthus: Research, Productivity and Food Prices in the Long Run By Alston, Julian M.; Beddow, Jason M.; Pardey, Philip G.
  6. Productivity and Ownership Changes in the Supermarket Industry By Chung, Wonho; Yeap, Clarissa
  7. Understanding Productivity Levels, Dispersion and Growth in the Leather Shoe Industry: Effects of Size and Informality By Juan Cristóbal Birbuet; Carlos Gustavo Machicado
  8. Long-Run Trends in School Productivity: Evidence From Australia By Andrew Leigh; Chris Ryan
  9. Technological Progress and Productivity in the Quinoa Sector By Juan Cristóbal Birbuet; Carlos Gustavo Machicado

  1. By: Okoye, B.C; Agbaeze, C.C; Asumugha, G.N; Aniedu, O.C; Mbanaso, E.N.A
    Abstract: This study examined the relationship between farm size and technical efficiency in small holder cassava production in Ideato LGA of Imo state using data from a 2008 farm-level survey of 90 rural households. The study showed a strong inverse relationship between farm size and technical efficiency. Smaller farms are found to be more technically efficient, than larger farms. These results favour land redistribution policies targeted towards giving lands to the small-holder farmers. Policies of de-emphasizing cassava production in the estate sector while encouraging it in smallholdings will foster equity and efficiency.
    Keywords: Farm Size; Productivity and Technical Efficiency
    JEL: D6 D61
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Carlos Gustavo Machicado (Institute for Advanced Development Studies); Juan Cristóbal Birbuet (Centre for the Promotion of Sustainable Technologies (CPTS))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes productivity levels, dispersion and growth in the Bolivian Manufacturing Sector during the Market Liberalization Period: 1988-2001. These years are characterized first, by a period of macroeconomic stabilization and 1st Generation Reforms (1988-1993), second, by a period of privatization and 2nd Generation Reforms (1994-1997) and third, by a Post-reforms period (1998-2001). The 1st and 2nd Generation Reforms were framed in line with the Washington Consensus and their main objectives were to guarantee macroeconomic stability, to improve the efficiency and allocation of resources in the economy and to promote economic growth with fairness. We show that in contrast to what was expected, productivity in the manufacturing sector decreased steadily. We compute Total Factor Productivity (TFP), for the first time, using firm-level data and in addition we break down this measure in productivity per se and resource misallocation. We find that both issues contributed to the decline in productivity and if resource misallocation were eliminated, the gains in productivity would have been in the order of 60 percent, but the trend of productivity along time would have been the same, which means that there are also structural problems that affect productivity in Bolivia. In addition, we evaluate TFP considering exporting firms, size of firms, age of firms and geographical location.
    Keywords: TFP, Market Structure, Manufacturing
    JEL: D24 L1 L6
    Date: 2009–08
  3. By: Gabor Békés (Hungarian Academy of Science); Carlo Altomonte (AM - Bocconi University, KITeS and FEEM)
    Abstract: We exploit a panel dataset of Hungarian firms merged with product-level trade data for the period 1992-2003 to investigate the relation between firms' trading activities (importing, exporting or both) and productivity. We find important self-selection effects of the most productive firms induced by the existence of heterogeneous sunk costs of trade, for both importers and exporters. We relate these sunk costs of trade to the relationship-specific nature of the trade activities, entailing a certain degree of technological and organizational complexity. We also show that, to the extent that imports and exports are correlated within firms, failing to control for the importing activity leads to overstated average productivity premia of exporters.
    Keywords: Trade Openness, Firms' Heterogeneity, Productivity
    JEL: F12 F14 L25
    Date: 2009–08
  4. By: Giovanni Prarolo (Università di Bologna); Elena Bellini (FEEM); Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano (University of Bologna, FEEM and CEPR); Dino Pinelli (FEEM)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between diversity and productivity in Europe using an original dataset covering the NUTS 3 regions of 12 countries of the EU15 (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, former Western Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). In so doing, we follow the empirical methodology developed by Ottaviano and Peri (2006a) in the case of US cities. The main idea is that, as cultural diversity may affect both production and consumption through positive or negative externalities, the joint estimation of price and income equations is needed to identify the dominant effect. Based on this methodology, we find that diversity is positively correlated with productivity. Moreover, we find evidence that causation runs from the former to the latter. These results for EU regions are broadly consistent with those found by Ottaviano and Peri for US cities.
    Keywords: Cultural Diversity, Economic Performance, Productivity, Europe
    JEL: O5 O11 O57 R5 R58
    Date: 2009–08
  5. By: Alston, Julian M.; Beddow, Jason M.; Pardey, Philip G.
    Abstract: Over the past 50 years and longer, the supply of food commodities has grown faster than the effective market demand, in spite of increasing population and per capita incomes. Consequently, the real (deflated) prices of food commodities have steadily trended down. The past increases in agricultural productivity and production, and the resulting real price trends, are attributable in large part to technological changes enabled by investments in agricultural R&D. Evidence is beginning to emerge of a slowdown in the long-term path of agricultural productivity growth. These productivity patterns mirror a progressive slowing down in the growth rate of total spending on agricultural R&D and a redirection of the funds away from farm productivity that began 20-30 years ago.
    Keywords: Demand and Price Analysis, Productivity Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2009–09
  6. By: Chung, Wonho; Yeap, Clarissa
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Industrial Organization,
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Juan Cristóbal Birbuet (Centre for the Promotion of Sustainable Technologies (CPTS)); Carlos Gustavo Machicado (Institute for Advanced Development Studies)
    Abstract: In this case study performed on the industrial sub-sector of manufacture of leather shoes in Bolivia, we use the Hsieh and Klenow model (2008) to determine the differences between productivity of larger and formal companies and productivity of smaller and informal companies. Our results reveal that there are not many differences in terms of productivity among these types of companies. We think that informality is indeed the most important factor that contributes to this phenomenon. Apparently, the decrease in costs associated with informality compensates to some extend the economies of scale of formal companies with bigger dimensions and better technology. A notable fact in the shoe manufacturing industry is that it had experienced an atomization process in the last years. This trend is the consequence of a progressive creation of many small informal companies instead of the consolidation of this industry in medium and large formal companies. In a way, informality has contributed to this process. First, because it allows the survival of less productive companies that if they were not informal, they would have to bear costs that would not allow them to continue in business. Second, because informality creates strong incentives for employees to start their own business. In the other hand, many costs associated to formality discourage legally operating companies to employ more people, raise capital and growth.
    Keywords: Productivity, Informality, Bolivia
    JEL: D24 L1 L6
    Date: 2009–08
  8. By: Andrew Leigh; Chris Ryan
    Abstract: Outside the United States (U.S.), very little is known about long-run trends in school productivity. We present new evidence using two data series from Australia, where comparable tests are available back to the 1960s. For young teenagers (aged 13-14), we find a small but statistically significant fall in numeracy over the period 1964- 2003, and in both literacy and numeracy over the period 1975-1998. The decline is in the order of one-tenth to one-fifth of a standard deviation. Adjusting this decline for changes in student demographics does not affect this conclusion; if anything, the decline appears to be more acute. The available evidence also suggests that any changes in student attitudes, school violence, and television viewing are unlikely to have had a major impact on test scores. Real per-child school expenditure increased substantially over this period, implying a fall in school productivity. Although we cannot account for all the phenomena that might have affected school productivity, we identify a number of plausible explanations.
    Keywords: education production function, literacy, numeracy
    JEL: H52 I21 I22
    Date: 2009–08
  9. By: Juan Cristóbal Birbuet (Centre for the Promotion of Sustainable Technologies (CPTS)); Carlos Gustavo Machicado (Institute for Advanced Development Studies)
    Abstract: The main objective of this case study is to analyze the effect that a significant technological innovation in quinoa processing has had on the productivity of companies devoted to this activity and the impact of such an innovation on the growth and organization of the quinoa cluster in Bolivia, and its possible effects on the future. The study will explain how the boost engendered by technological innovation in quinoa processing has triggered a series of events that have allowed the establishment of an ambitious development program. The sector’s main companies and producer associations are part of this program, which is called the “Quinoa Alliance.” The program has become a unique opportunity for agro-industrial development in the Bolivian Altiplano, so far characterized by subsistence agriculture.
    Keywords: Quinoa, saponin, unit operation, specific consumption, productivity
    JEL: D24 L1 L6
    Date: 2009–08

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