New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2010‒06‒04
thirteen papers chosen by

  1. Total Factor Productivity in Thai Agriculture Measurement and Determinants By Waleerat Suphannachart; Peter Warr
  2. European Electricity Market Reforms: Any Signs of Efficiency Improvements? By Ziga Zarnic
  3. On the measurement of technological progress across countries By Jakub Growiec
  4. Do Reservation Policies Affect Productivity In The Indian Railways? By Ashwini Deshpande; Thomas E. Weisskopf
  5. Economics and Efficiency of Organic Farming vis-à-vis Conventional Farming in India By D. Kumara Charyulu; Subho Biswas
  6. An epsilon-based measure of efficiency in DEA revisited -A third pole of technical efficiency By Kaoru Tone; Miki Tsutsui
  7. A Semi-parametric Analysis of Technology, with an Application to U.S. Dairy Farms By de los Campos, Gustavos; Foltz, Jeremy; Chavas, Jean-Paul; Gianola, Daniel
  8. Agricultural Trade Liberalization, Productivity Gain and Poverty Alleviation: a General Equilibrium Analysis By Nadia Belhaj Hassine; Véronique Robichaud; Bernard Decaluwé
  9. Factors Affecting Cotton Production in Pakistan:Empirical Evidence from Multan District By Anwar, Mumtaz; Chaudhry, Imran Sharif; Khan, Muhammad Bashir
  10. The Poverty of States: Do State Tax Policies Affect State Labor Productivity? By McPhail, Joseph E.; Orazem, Peter; Singh, Rajesh
  11. Environmental Performance and Regional Innovation Spillovers By Valeria Costantini; Massimiliano Mazzanti; Anna Montini
  12. Geography, environmental efficiency and Italian economic growth: a spatially-adapted Environmental Kuznets Curve By Ciriaci, Daria; Palma, Daniela
  13. The Credit Crisis around the Globe: Why Did Some Banks Perform Better? By Beltratti, Andrea; Stulz, Rene M.

  1. By: Waleerat Suphannachart (Department of Agricultural and Resource Department, Kasetsart University); Peter Warr (The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)
    Abstract: This paper studies total factor productivity (TFP) in Thai agriculture to provide better empirical evidence on the TFP measure and the factors influencing it. It employs time-series data at an aggregate level over the period 1970-2006 for both crops and livestock,individually, using the conventional growth accounting framework. The TFP measures are then used to investigate their determinants using the error correction modeling technique. The results confirm the general expectation from previous studies that TFP makes an important contribution to output growth and that agricultural research plays an important role in determining TFP in both the crop and livestock sectors.
    Keywords: total factor productivity, TFP decomposition, Thai agriculture
    JEL: O40 Q19
    Date: 2010–04
  2. By: Ziga Zarnic
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether European electricity market reforms have induced any changes in rm eciency either through productive, allocative or dynamic eciency improve- ments. In particular, this ex-post analysis looks closely at productivity eects of changing industry structure, ownership structure and regulation with respect to barriers to entry and access to wholesale and retail markets. Based on the European rm-level data for the period 1996-2007, the results indicate sluggish productivity improvements of European electricity rms due to reforms implemented in the last decade. In particular, productivity gains are associated with high-productivity rms close to the technology frontier, while no signicant impact is found for the laggards. Looking from a dynamic perspective, it seems that the clos- est are the rms to the frontier the more they are able to improve productivity in response to liberalization eorts stimulating competition.
    Keywords: EU electricity market reforms; rms; productivity; regulation; TFP
    JEL: F10 L11 L51 L94
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Jakub Growiec (National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute)
    Abstract: We construct 14 alternative measures of technological progress for 19 OECD countries over the period 1970–2000, distinguishing between measures of productivity gains actually obtained in a given country (TFP growth, Malmquist index) and technological progress at the world technology frontier (potential TFP growth, the “frontier shift” index). We then compare these measures according to a range of characteristics, shedding light on some of their relative weaknesses and strengths. We find that these characteristics are sensitive to the precision of estimates of the world technology frontier, and then we demonstrate that this precision can be increased substantially by allowing for imperfect substitutability between unskilled and skilled labor and using US state-level data apart from cross-country data for estimating the world technology frontier. Because none of the 14 measures dominates all others on all dimensions, we conclude that the choice of appropriate measurement method should be suited to the question addressed in each particular study.
    Keywords: technological progress, world technology frontier, countrylevel data, US state-level data, production function, DEA
    JEL: E23 O11 O14 O33 O47
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Ashwini Deshpande; Thomas E. Weisskopf
    Abstract: The 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. A systematic empirical analysis of productivity in the Indian Railways is undertaken 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. No evidence have been found that affirmative action in hiring has reduced the efficiency of the Indian Railways. Indeed, some of the results suggest that the opposite is true, providing tentative support for the claim that greater labour force diversity boosts productivity. [Working Paper No. 185]
    Keywords: Affirmative, Action, Policies, Marginalised, Communities, Skilled, Positions, Efficeincies, Indian, Railways, Scheduled, Castes, Tribes, Labour, Force, Productivity, Diversity, Boosts
    Date: 2010
  5. By: D. Kumara Charyulu; Subho Biswas
    Abstract: The present paper focuses mainly on the issues like economics and efficiency of organic farming visà- vis conventional farming in India. Four states namely Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab and U.P were purposively selected for the present study. Similarly, four major crops i.e., cotton, sugarcane, paddy and wheat were chosen for comparison. A model based nonparametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) was used for analyzing the efficiency of the farming systems.
    Keywords: India, cotton, data, Gujarat, maharashtra, punjab, UP, padday, non-parametric, economics, efficiency, organic farming, conventional farming, DEA analysis,
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Kaoru Tone (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Miki Tsutsui (Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry)
    Abstract: In DEA, we have two measures of technical efficiency with different characteristics: radial and non-radial. In this paper we compile them into a composite model called “epsilon-based measure (EBM).” For this purpose we introduce two parameters which connect radial and non-radial models. These two parameters are obtained from the newly defined affinity index between inputs or outputs along with principal component analysis on the affinity matrix. Thus, EBM takes into account diversity of input/output data and their relative importance for measuring technical efficiency.
    Keywords: Data envelopment analysis, Radial, Non-radial, CCR, SBM, EBM, Principal component analysis
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: de los Campos, Gustavos (University of Alabama, Birmingham); Foltz, Jeremy (University of Wisconsin); Chavas, Jean-Paul (University of Wisconsin); Gianola, Daniel (University of Wisconsin)
    Abstract: This article proposes a semi-parametric stochastic frontier model (SPSF) in which components of the technology and of technical efficiency are represented using semi-parametric methods and estimated in a Bayesian framework. The approach is illustrated in an application to US farm data. The analysis shows important scale economies for small and medium herds and constant return to scale for larger herds. With the exception of labor, estimates of marginal products were close to the value expected under profit maximization. Finally, the results suggest important opportunities to increase productivity through reductions in technical inefficiencies.
    Date: 2010–03
  8. By: Nadia Belhaj Hassine; Véronique Robichaud; Bernard Decaluwé
    Abstract: Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models have gained continuously in popularity as an empirical tool for assessing the impact of trade liberalization on agricultural growth, poverty and income distribution. Conventional models ignore however the channels linking technical change in agriculture, trade openness and poverty. This study seeks to incorporate econometric evidence of these linkages into a CGE model to estimate the impact of alternative trade liberalization scenarios on poverty and equity. The analysis uses the Latent Class Stochastic Frontier Model (LCSFM) and the metafrontier function to investigate the influence of trade openness on agricultural technological change. The estimated productivity effects induced from higher levels of trade are combined with a general equilibrium analysis of trade liberalization to evaluate the income and prices changes. These effects are then used to infer the impact on poverty and inequality following the top-down approach. The model is applied to Tunisian data using the social accounting matrix of 2001 and the 2000 household expenditures surveys. Poverty is found to decline under agricultural and full trade liberalization and this decline is much more pronounced when the productivity effects are included.
    Keywords: Openness, Agriculture, Productivity, Poverty, CGE modeling
    JEL: C24 C33 D24 F43 I32 Q17
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Anwar, Mumtaz; Chaudhry, Imran Sharif; Khan, Muhammad Bashir
    Abstract: This paper attempts to examine the factors affecting cotton production in Multan region using primary source of data. A sample of 60 small farmers, 25 medium and 15 large farmers was randomly selected from two Tehsils namely Multan and Shujabad of district Multan. The Cobb-Douglas Production Function is employed to assess the effects of various inputs like cultivation, seed and sowing, irrigation, fertilizer, plant protection, inter-culturing / hoeing and labour cost on cotton yield. The results depicted that seed, fertilizer and irrigation were found scarce commodity for all category of farmers in district Multan. The Cobb-Douglas Production Function results revealed that the coefficients for cultivation (0.113) and seed (0.103) were found statistically significant at 1 percent level. The Cost-Benefit Ratio for the large farmers was found higher (1.41) than that of small (1.22) and medium (1.24) farmers. There is a dire need to ensure the availability of these scarce inputs by both public and private sectors as these inputs were major requirement of the cotton crop.
    Keywords: Cotton; Cobb- Douglas Production Function; Cost Benefit Ratio; Marginal Value Product; Allocate Efficiency of Critical Inputs; Multan District; Pakistan
    JEL: D10 D61
    Date: 2009–12–01
  10. By: McPhail, Joseph E.; Orazem, Peter; Singh, Rajesh
    Abstract: There are substantial differences in output per worker across states that persist over time.  This study demonstrates that differences in state taxation of capital income, capital ownership, and consumption can explain why differences in labor productivity can persist.  First, state tax policies persist with little change in the taxes imposed over time.  Second, sales, property, and capital income taxes will all lower equilibrium labor productivity in the context of a neoclassical growth model.  The most negative effects occur at the highest marginal tax rates.  These theoretical predictions are supported, using data on state marginal tax rates and output per worker over the 1977-2004 sample period.  Over that period, the mix of state tax policies has led to a reduction in labor productivity averaging almost 20% per year.  The implied adverse effect of tax distortions on labor productivity across states is substantial, varying from -11.8% in Nevada to -27.6% in Iowa.  State tax policies have become increasingly damaging to labor productivity over time as states have increased their marginal tax rates.  On the other hand, government expenditure policies explain none of the variation in labor productivity across states or time.  
    Keywords: states; tax efficiency; Property tax; sales tax; corporate tax; income tax; capital gains tax; Solow growth model; labor productivity
    JEL: H2 H3 H7
    Date: 2010–05–26
  11. By: Valeria Costantini; Massimiliano Mazzanti; Anna Montini
    Abstract: The achievement of positive environmental performance at national level could strongly depend on differences in local capabilities of both institutions and the private business sector. Environmental regulation alone is a weak instrument if the institutional and business environment cannot transform regulation strengths into opportunities. In this paper, we use the new environmental accounting matrix for polluting emissions now available for the 20 Italian Regions that covers 24 sectors and combines a shift-share approach with spatial econometric modelling. We provide evidence of the role played by internal innovation, innovation spillovers and regional policies in shaping the geographical distribution of environmental performance achievements.
    Keywords: Environmental Performance, Technological Innovation, Regional Spillovers, Polluting Emissions, Italian Regions
    JEL: Q53 Q55 Q56 R15
    Date: 2010–05
  12. By: Ciriaci, Daria; Palma, Daniela
    Abstract: The present paper tests the hypothesis that environmental degradation and per capita income follow an inverted-U-shaped relationship (the so-called Environmental Kuznets Curve) at the Italian Nut3 level over the period 1990-2005. We adopt a spatial econometric approach to account for the localised nature of environmental damage. In this spatially-adapted EKC, we explicitly introduced the role of energy intensive sectors to control for local industrial structure. The experiment brought to light the existence of significant heterogeneity at the Italian Nut3 level and highlighted major differences between geographical clusters from the point of view of “ecological efficiency”.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets curves; Spatial econometrics; global and local pollutants; Geographically Weighted Regression Model.
    JEL: Q56 O13 Q53 C21
    Date: 2010–05–25
  13. By: Beltratti, Andrea (Bocconi University); Stulz, Rene M. (Ohio State University and ECGI)
    Abstract: Though overall bank performance from July 2007 to December 2008 was the worst since the Great Depression, there is significant variation in the cross-section of stock returns of large banks across the world during that period. We use this variation to evaluate the importance of factors that have been put forth as having contributed to the poor performance of banks during the credit crisis. Our evidence is inconsistent with the argument that poor governance of banks made the crisis worse, but it is supportive of theories that emphasize the fragility of banks financed with short-run capital market funding. Strikingly, differences in banking regulations across countries are generally uncorrelated with the performance of banks during the crisis, except that banks in countries with more restrictions on banking activities performed better, and are uncorrelated with observable risk measures of banks before the crisis. The better-performing banks had less leverage and lower returns in 2006 than the worst-performing banks.
    Date: 2010–03

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