New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2010‒05‒15
seven papers chosen by

  1. Productivity Changes and Intangible Assets: Evidencesfrom French Plants By Corinne Autant-Bernard; Jean-Pascal Guironnet; Nadine Massart
  2. Study on the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending on tertiary education - Miguel St. Aubyn, Ãlvaro Pina, Filomena Garcia and Joana Pais By Miguel St. Aubyn; Ãlvaro Pina; Filomena Garcia; Joana Pais
  4. Regional economic divide and the role of technological spillovers in Italy. Evidence from microdata By Aiello, Francesco; Cardamone, Paola
  5. The Heterogeneous Effect of International Outsourcing on Firm Productivity By Fergal McCann
  6. An alternative theory of the plant size distribution with an application to trade By Thomas J. Holmes; John J. Stevens
  7. The determinants of technology transfer efficiency and the role of innovation policies: a survey By Maria D.M. Oliveira; Aurora A.C. Teixeira

  1. By: Corinne Autant-Bernard (Université de Lyon, Université Jean Monnet, F - 42023 Saint-Etienne, France, CNRS, GATE Lyon-St Etienne, UMR n° 5824, 69130 Ecully, France); Jean-Pascal Guironnet (GATE, Université de Lyon, Université Jean Monnet, F - 42023 Saint-Etienne, France, CNRS, GATE Lyon-St Etienne, UMR n° 5824, 69130 Ecully, France); Nadine Massart (GATE, Université de Lyon, Université Jean Monnet, F - 42023 Saint-Etienne, France, CNRS, GATE Lyon-St Etienne, UMR n° 5824, 69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of inter-firm and intra-firm spillovers on the productivity of firms, using French data. The Luenberger Productivity Indicator (LPI) is used to estimate the productivity and to break it down into several components (e.g. efficiency, biased technical progress, scale effects, etc.). Using this approach, negative productivity changes are found due to the unfavourable economic situation over 2000-2002. Intangible assets underlying productivity change are then investigated through a Maximum Likelihood Random Effect (MLRE) model. Spillover effects – influencing Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and its correspondent components, technological and efficiency changes – are found.
    Keywords: Productivity Change, Luenberger Indicator, Knowledge Externalities
    JEL: C31 C23 R11 R12
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Miguel St. Aubyn; Ãlvaro Pina; Filomena Garcia; Joana Pais
    Abstract: The purpose of the study is to assess efficiency in public tertiary education systems across EU countries plus Japan and the US with semi-parametric methods and stochastic frontier analysis.  The study identifies a core group of efficient countries. A good quality secondary system, output-based funding rules, institutions’ independent evaluation and staff policy autonomy are positively related to efficiency.  Moreover, the study provides evidence that public spending on tertiary education is more effective in what concerns labour productivity growth and employability when it is coupled with efficiency.
    Keywords: Efficiency, effectiveness, public spending, tertiary education, Universities, Study on the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending on tertiary education
    JEL: C14 C81 H52 I23 I28
    Date: 2009–11
  3. By: Ashwini Deshpande (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India); Thomas E. Weisskopf (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
    Abstract: Our objective in this paper is to shed some empirical light on a claim often made by critics of affirmative action policies: that increasing the representation of members of marginalized communities in jobs – and especially in relatively skilled positions – comes at a cost of reduced efficiency. We undertake a systematic empirical analysis of productivity in the Indian Railways in order to determine whether the policy of reserving jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has actually reduced productive efficiency in the railway system. We find no evidence that affirmative action in hiring has reduced the efficiency of the Indian Railways. Indeed, some of our results suggest that the opposite is true, providing tentative support for the claim that greater labour force diversity boosts productivity.
    JEL: J L
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Aiello, Francesco; Cardamone, Paola
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of R&D efforts on production in the North and Centre-South of Italy by using a panel of 1203 manufacturing firms over the period 1998-2003. The estimations are based on a nonlinear translog production function augmented by a measure of R&D spillovers. This measure combines the geographical distance between firms, the technological similarity within each pair of firms and the technical efficiency of each firm. The estimation method takes into account the endogeneity of regressors and the potential sample selection issue regarding firms’ decision to invest in R&D. Results show that the external stock of technology exerts a higher impact in the Centre-South of Italy. Finally, it emerges that R&D capital and R&D spillovers are substitutes for Northern firms and complements for Centre-Southern firms.
    Keywords: R&D spillovers; Italian economic divide; translog production function; technical efficiency
    JEL: C23 O33 L29
    Date: 2010–05–10
  5. By: Fergal McCann
    Abstract: This paper analyses how international outsourcing affects plant productivity. The results point to a striking pattern: the status of being an outsourcer matters strongly for firms that are indigenous and not exporting, while for exporters and foreign affiliates, tfp increases are lower, insignificant and sometimes negative. On the other hand, higher intensity of outsourcing matters for both exporters and foreign affiliates. Similarly, in dynamic analysis, indigenous non-exporters are found to increase tfp for two periods after entering into international outsourcing, while indigenous exporters experience one more weakly significant period of growth. The message is clear: international outsourcing’s effect on tfp is most pronounced when it serves as a first exposure to international markets.
    Keywords: International outsourcing; heterogeneous firms; productivity; firm structure
    JEL: F23 L23
    Date: 2010–03
  6. By: Thomas J. Holmes; John J. Stevens
    Abstract: There is wide variation in the sizes of manufacturing plants, even within the most narrowly defined industry classifications used by statistical agencies. Standard theories attribute all such size differences to productivity differences. This paper develops an alternative theory in which industries are made up of large plants producing standardized goods and small plants making custom or specialty goods. It uses confidential Census data to estimate the parameters of the model, including estimates of plant counts in the standardized and specialty segments by industry. The estimated model fits the data relatively well compared with estimates based on standard approaches. In particular, the predictions of the model for the impacts of a surge in imports from China are consistent with what happened to U.S. manufacturing industries that experienced such a surge over the period 1997--2007. Large-scale standardized plants were decimated, while small-scale specialty plants were relatively less impacted.
    Keywords: Productivity ; Imports
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Maria D.M. Oliveira (UPIN, Universidade do Porto); Aurora A.C. Teixeira (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto; INESC Porto; OBEGEF)
    Abstract: The diversity found in the various Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), besides being a consequence of the capacities and motives of the different stakeholders involved (public research organisations, industry, consulting firms and public authorities) also reflects the specificities of public incentives or policies and their differing degrees of commitment to technology transfer. Notwithstanding the fact that the literature on technology transfer is voluminous, few studies (up to the present date) have investigated the role of innovation policy on TTOs efficiency and the instruments available for governments to improve technology transfer from publicly funded research. The present paper surveys the literature on the determinants of TTOs efficiency, highlighting in particular the role of innovation policy. Additionally, evidence within the context of the European Union on innovation policies for technology transfer improvement is detailed.
    Keywords: Technology transfer, innovation policies, technology transfer efficiency
    JEL: O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2010–05

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