New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2010‒01‒30
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Export Status and Performance in a Panel of Italian Manufacturing Firms By Vito Amendolagine; Rosa Capolupo; Nadia Petragallo
  2. Spatial-Temporal Dimensions of Efficiency among Electric Cooperatives in the Philippines By Rouselle F. Lavado; Erniel B. Barrios
  3. Return to retail banking and payments. By Iftekhar Hasan; Heiko Schmiedel; Liang Song
  4. Competition and Economic Growth: an Empirical Analysis for a Panel of 20 OECD Countries By Scopelliti, Alessandro Diego
  5. Payment scale economies, competition, and pricing. By David B. Humphrey
  6. A Century of Rice Innovations By Saturnina C. Halos
  7. Livestock and water interactions in mixed crop-livestock farming systems of Sub-Saharan Africa: interventions for improved productivity By Descheemaeker, Katrien; Amede, Tilahun; Haileslassie, A.
  8. Agglomeration or Selection? The Case of the Japanese Silk-reeling Industry, 1909-1916 By ARIMOTO Yutaka; NAKAJIMA Kentaro; OKAZAKI Tetsuji
  9. Productivity and Firm Selection: Quantifying the "New" Gains from Trade. By Gregory Corcos; Massimo Del Gatto; Giordano Mion; Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano
  10. Evaluating the Productivity of Researchers and their Communities: The RP-Index and the CP-Index By Jorn Altmann; Alireza Abbasi; Junseok Hwang
  11. Growth, fluctuations and technology in the U.S. post-war economy By Jesús Rodríguez López
  12. Green Revolutions and Miracle Economies - Agricultural Innovation, Trade and Growth By Brishti Guha

  1. By: Vito Amendolagine (Department of Economics & Mathematics, University of Bari); Rosa Capolupo (Department of Economics & Mathematics, University of Bari); Nadia Petragallo (Department of Economics & Mathematics, University of Bari)
    Abstract: Following a growing literature we test, in this paper, the two alternative hypotheses of self selection and learning by exporting across different Italian manufacturing firms. Using matched sampling techniques, we estimate whether new export-oriented firms are more efficient than domestically-oriented firms on the basis of three Italian representative Surveys of manufacturing firms covering consecutive triennial periods (1995-2003). Our findings indicate that export entrants improve their productivity in the first period after entry. This occurs for both total factor productivity (TFP) and labour productivity growth rates. These results are consistent with those found in the existing literature for many countries. The only lasting significant effect that we find among the different measures of performances is that new exporters earn higher profits than their domestic counterparts.
    Keywords: international trade, Export-led growth, productivity, matched techniques
    JEL: F11 F14 O12 C22
    Date: 2010–01
  2. By: Rouselle F. Lavado; Erniel B. Barrios (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
    Abstract: The efficiency of 119 electric cooperatives in the Philippines from 1990-2002 is analyzed using a stochastic frontier model augmented with spatial-temporal terms, addressing the underestimation of technical efficiency usually encountered among maximum-likelihood based methods. The model is also robust to the choice of environmental variables that will be included in the inefficiency equation provided that the spatial distance measure substantially captures the efficiency-enhancing factors. The average of estimated technical efficiency is 0.86. The growth in technical efficiency of 1-2% per year is explained by the slow adjustment process in the operation of the cooperatives lacking the medium to feedback production outcomes in the previous year to their operation cycle in the following year. Medium-sized cooperatives need to organize for strategic competitive advantage and to facilitate attainment of production efficiency.
    Keywords: stochastic frontier, technical efficiency, electric cooperative, spatial externalities
    JEL: C21 C23 C51 D24
    Date: 2010–01
  3. By: Iftekhar Hasan (The Lally School of Management and Technology of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street - Pittsburgh Building, Troy, NY12180, U.S.A.); Heiko Schmiedel (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Liang Song (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street - Pittsburgh Building, Troy, NY 12180, U.S.A.)
    Abstract: The European banking industry joined forces to achieve a fully integrated market for retail payment services in the euro area: the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Against this background, the present paper examines the fundamental relationship between retail payment business and overall bank performance. Using data from across 27 European markets over the period 2000-07, we analyse whether the provisions of retail payment services are reflected in improved bank performance, using accounting ratios and efficiency measures. The results confirm that the performance of banks in countries with more developed retail payment service markets is better. This relationship is stronger in countries with a relatively high adoption of retail payment transaction technologies. Retail payment transaction technology itself can also improve bank performance, and evidence shows that heterogeneity in retail payment instruments is associated with enhanced bank performance. Similarly, a higher usage of electronic retail payment instruments seems to stimulate banking business. We also show that retail payment services have a more significant impact on savings and cooperative bank performance although they have a positive influence on the performance of commercial banks. Additionally, findings reveal that impact of retail services on bank performance is dominated by fee income. Finally, an effective payment service market is found to be associated with higher bank stability. Our findings are robust to different regression specifications. The results may also be informative for the industry when reconsidering its business models in the light of current financial market developments. JEL Classification: G21, G28.
    Keywords: retail payment; bank performance; cost and profit efficiency.
    Date: 2009–12
  4. By: Scopelliti, Alessandro Diego
    Abstract: This paper aims at analyzing, from an empirical point of view, the relationship between product market competition and economic growth, using the data on multi-factor productivity for a panel of 20 OECD countries over a period 1995-2005, and considering the role of the distance from the technological frontier in the growth process. Section A examines the impact of economic freedom and of the distance to frontier on the level and on the growth rate of multi-factor productivity. The analysis distinguishes between the indicators of business freedom and trade freedom, as proxies for the competitive pressures coming from domestic market and from foreign market. Then, trade liberalizations are more beneficial for the countries far from the frontier, because they can exploit the opportunities given by international trade also in order to adopt the existing technologies developed by the advanced economies. On the other hand, business liberalizations are more advantageous for the countries close to the frontier, because the elimination of regulatory barriers increases the possibility of entry in the market and then rises the potential competition to the incumbent firms. Section B studies the effect of product market regulation, employment protection legislation and of the distance to frontier on the level and on the growth rate of multi-factor productivity. Product market liberalization as well as labour market deregulation determine an increase of total factor productivity: moreover, the interaction of market rigidities with the distance to the frontier mostly displays an innovationenhancing effect, since the positive effect of market liberalizations on TFP is higher for the countries close to the frontier, where the existing technology level would reinforce the incentive for innovation.
    Keywords: multi-factor productivity; economic freedom; product market regulation; employment protection legislation; distance to frontier
    JEL: L44 O47 O43 L43
    Date: 2009–12
  5. By: David B. Humphrey (Department of Finance, Florida State University, 600 W. College Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32306, United States.)
    Abstract: Payment scale economies affect banking costs, competition in payment services, and pricing. Our scale measure relates operating cost to physical measures of European banking "output", finding large economies. This differs from relating total cost to the value of balance sheet assets (the conventional approach). Interest expenses are excluded since differences here are primarily due to mix, not scale. Also, since standard indicators of competition can give inconsistent results, a revenue-based frontier measure is developed and applied to European banks, with little difference evident across countries. Existing differences in bank prices (EC report) are associated with small differences in competition. JEL Classification: E41, C53.
    Keywords: Payment scale economies; bank competition; frontier analysis; European banks.
    Date: 2009–12
  6. By: Saturnina C. Halos (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
    Abstract: Rice innovations are technologies and practices extensively adopted so as to change production practices and productivity. This paper documents the changes in rice productivity, policy and institutions in the last 100 years and identifies the technological change that may have affected rice productivity. One hundred years has totally changed rice production practices and improved productivity. Technical innovations that helped improved rice productivity include irrigation, pest management notably, the management of locust outbreaks, fertilization, modern varieties, farm mechanization, improved rice milling and crop rotation. Irrigation increased productivity and the total annual area planted to rice. More technologies associated with irrigated lowland rice cropping were developed and disseminated subsequently rice productivity in irrigated areas is higher than in other areas. The rice innovation system comprised of technology developers, innovators or promoters of technologies and their delivery systems. Technology developers include public institutions like BA/BPI, UPCA/UPLB, IRRI, PhilRice, other SUCs as well as agri-input companies. NGOs are recent technology developers as well as innovators. The major innovator is the government, the Department of Agriculture with its rice programs. Of its various rice programs, the Masagana 99 Program revolutionized rice production with its legacy of farmers receptive to technological change. Rice productivity slowly rose from 0.832 MT/ha in 1903 to 3.28 MT/ha in 2002, this latter represents only half of possible maximum yield. This slow rate of productivity increase is due mainly to slow adoption of new technologies rather than lack of new technologies. Of the critical technologies contributory to yield, only the use of modern varieties is extensively adopted whereas irrigation, fertilization and pest management practices are yet to be extensively applied. Further improvements in the government rice program, in the extension system and new technology designs are needed to improve technology adoption. Technology developers should include in the design of technology its acceptability and its delivery strategy to rice farmers. Other considerations in technology design should include global warming, decreasing water supply, and environmental protection. Needless to say, investments in RDE must be increased and improvements in the R & D climate to retain rice scientists versed in new methodologies in the country must be made.
    Keywords: rice, innovation, productivity, innovation system, rice policy
    JEL: Q16 Q18 Q10
    Date: 2010–01
  7. By: Descheemaeker, Katrien; Amede, Tilahun; Haileslassie, A.
    Keywords: Farming systems / Livestock / Water productivity / Water scarcity / Land degradation / Feed production / Fodder / Grazing systems / Animal production / Food production / Policy
    Date: 2009
  8. By: ARIMOTO Yutaka; NAKAJIMA Kentaro; OKAZAKI Tetsuji
    Abstract: Plants in clusters are often more productive than those located in non-clusters. This has been explained by agglomeration effects that improve productivity of all plants in a region. However, recent theoretical development of trade and spatial economic theories with heterogeneous firms has shed light on another channel of productivity improvement in clusters, "plant-selection effects." This paper uses plant-level data on the Japanese silk reeling industry from 1909 to 1916 to distinguish between these two effects based on a nested model of firm-selection and agglomeration. We identify the plant-selection effect by using the fact that the two effects have different implications on the distribution of plant-level productivity. Major findings are as follows. First, we confirmed that plants in clusters were indeed more productive. Second, at the same time, the widths of distribution of plant productivity in clusters were narrower and more severely truncated than those in non-clusters. Finally, productivity distribution did not shift rightwards in clusters. Our findings imply that the plant-selection effect was the source of the higher plant-level productivity in silk-reeling clusters in this period.
    Date: 2010–01
  9. By: Gregory Corcos (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Massimo Del Gatto ("G.d'Annunzio" University and CRENoS); Giordano Mion (LSE, Department of Geography, NBB, CEP and CEPR); Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano (KITeS, Bocconi Univerity - Milan - Italy)
    Abstract: We discuss how standard computable equilibrium models of trade policy can be enriched with selection effects without missing other important channels of adjustment. This is achieved by estimating and simulating a partial equilibrium model that accounts for a number of real world effects of trade liberalisation: richer availability of product varieties; tougher competition and weaker market power of rms; better exploitation of economies of scale; and, of course, efficiency gains via the selection of the most efficient firms. The model is estimated on E.U. data and simulated in counterfactual scenarios that capture several dimensions of European integration. Simulations suggest that the gains from trade are much larger in the presence of selection effects. Even in a relatively integrated economy as the E.U., dismantling residual trade barriers would deliver relevant welfare gains stemming from lower production costs, smaller markups, lower prices, larger rm scale and richer product variety. We believe our analysis provides enough ground to support the inclusion of rm heterogeneity and selection effects in the standard toolkit of trade policy evaluation.
    Keywords: European integration, firm-level data, firm selection, gains from trade, total factor productivity
    JEL: F12 R13
    Date: 2009–03
  10. By: Jorn Altmann; Alireza Abbasi; Junseok Hwang (TEMEP, School of Industrial and Management Engineering College of Engineering, Seoul National University)
    Abstract: While the h-Index and the g-Index (as the major indices for quantifying the academic performance of researchers) take into consideration the citation count of publications, some other important indicators of research output (i.e. the number of authors per paper, lead author, year of publication) are omitted. Those indicators have to be considered in order to evaluate the productivity of researchers comprehensively. This paper analyzes the different indicators and proposes two new indices, the RP-Index and the CP-Index. The RP-Index evaluates the productivity of a researcher and the CP-Index evaluates the productivity of a group of researchers. After showing how these new indices can be applied and how they compare to the existing ones, an assessment of the two new indices is given.
    Keywords: h-Index, g-Index, research productivity evaluation, performance evaluation of researchers and groups, citation indices, metrics, empirical data analysis, knowledge creation, and knowledge transfer
    JEL: C43 D80 D83 D85 L25 M12 M21
    Date: 2010–01
  11. By: Jesús Rodríguez López (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: This paper explores several issues concerning how technology affects growth and fluctuations during several U.S. postwar series. The nature of technology is divided into neutral progress and investment-specific progress. Accounting for several changes in the first and second order moments of these series (the slowdown of productivity in 1974, the moderation of 1984 and the resurgence in productivity after 1994), I find that the contribution of investment-specific progress to growth has increased over time. I also find that neutral progress is crucial in explaining the cyclical component of output (before and after 1984), contrary to results found in related literature. However, the shocks to investment-specific progress have played an increasing role in output and other macroeconomic variables. Finally, I conclude that moderation in the macroeconomic series can be associated with technology. In sum, the quality of technological processes affecting long run growth and fluctuations has changed over the past decades.
    Keywords: Productivity growth; Investment-specific technological change; Neutral technological change
    JEL: O3 O4
    Date: 2010–01
  12. By: Brishti Guha (Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to develop a simple model of an economy in which growth is driven by a combination of exogenous technical change in agriculture as well as by a rising world demand for labor-intensive manufactured exports. We explore the relative roles of agricultural innovation and rising export demand in a model with two traded industrial goods and a non-traded agricultural good, food. When the non-traded sector uses a specific factor, we show that technical change in agriculture may be the key to sustained factor accumulation in industry, in particular driving intersectoral labor migration. A key assumption is a less than unitary price elasticity of demand for food. Our results could form a crucial link in capturing the story of labor-abundant economies which experienced structural transformation and growth through labor-intensive manufactured exports, without prior technology breakthroughs in industry. They contribute to explaining the massive growth in factor accumulation which shows up in some growth accounting studies - they may also imply that some of the contribution of “technical progress� is mistakenly attributed solely to factor accumulation.
    Keywords: Structural change, agricultural productivity, labor migration, terms of trade
    JEL: O3 O4 F1
    Date: 2010–01

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