New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2010‒07‒31
ten papers chosen by

  2. Understanding gender differences in agricultural productivity in Uganda and Nigeria By Peterman, Amber; Quisumbing, Agnes; Behrman, Julia; Nkonya, Ephraim
  3. FDI Spillovers: Evidence from the British Retail Sector By Dolores Anon Higon; Nicholas Vasilakos
  4. Productivity and Heterogeneous Knowledge: Exploring the Relationship in a Sample of Drug Developers By Giulio Bottazzi; Tatiana Plotnikova
  5. Regularization of Nonparametric Frontier Estimators By Daouia, Abdelaati; Florens, Jean-Pierre; Simar, Léopold
  6. An Efficient Data Envelopment Analysis with Large Data Set in Stata By Choonjoo Lee
  7. Exchange Rate Fluctuations, Plant Turnover and Productivity By Ben Tomlin
  8. The role of subsidies for exports: Evidence for Portuguese manufacturing firms By Armando Silva
  9. Sector CO2 and SOx emissions efficiency and investment: homogeneous vs heterogeneous estimates using the Italian NAMEA By Marin, Giovanni
  10. The Effect of Unobserved Heterogeneity in Stochastic Frontier Estimation: Comparison of Cross Section and Panel with Simulated Data for The Postal Sector By Cazals, Catherine; Dudley, Paul; Florens, Jean-Pierre; Jones, Michael

  1. By: Renaud Bourlès (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579); Gilbert Cette (BDF - banque de france - Banque de France, DEFI - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II); Jimmy Lopez (BDF - banque de france - Banque de France); Jacques Mairesse (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique); Giuseppe Nicoletti (Economics Departement - OECD)
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the influence of upstream competition for productivity outcomes in downstream sectors. This relation is illustrated with a neo-Schumpeterian theoretical model of innovation (Aghion et al., 1997) with market imperfections in the production of intermediate goods. In this context, upstream market imperfections create barriers to competition in downstream markets and upstream producers use their market power to share innovation rents sought by downstream firms. Thus, lack of competition in upstream markets curbs incentives to improve productivity downstream, negatively affecting productivity outcomes. We test this prediction by estimating an error correction model that differentiates the potential downstream effects of lack of upstream competition in situations close and far from the global technological frontier. We measure competition upstream with regulatory burden indicators derived from OECD data on sectoral product market regulation and the industry-level efficiency improvement and the distance to frontier variables by means of a multifactor productivity (MFP) index. Panel regressions are run for 15 OECD countries and 20 sectors over the 1985-2007 period with country, sector and year fixed effects. We find clear evidence that anticompetitive regulations in upstream sectors have curbed MFP growth downstream over the past 15 years. These effects tend to be strongest for observations (i.e. country/sector/period triads) that are close to the global technological frontier. Our results suggest that, measured at the average distance to frontier and average level of anticompetitive regulations, the marginal effect of increasing competition by easing such regulations is to increase MFP growth by between 1 and 1.5 per cent per year in the OECD countries covered by our sample. Our results are robust to changes in the way MFP and the regulatory burden indicators are constructed, as well as to variations in the sample of countries and/or sectors.
    Keywords: Productivity, Growth, Regulations, Competition, Catch-up
    Date: 2010–07–20
  2. By: Peterman, Amber; Quisumbing, Agnes; Behrman, Julia; Nkonya, Ephraim
    Abstract: We investigate gender differences in agricultural productivity using data collected in 2005 from Nigeria and in 2003 from Uganda. Results indicate that lower productivity is persistent from female-owned plots and female-headed households, accounting for a range of socioeconomic variables, agricultural inputs, and crop choices using multivariate Tobit models. These results are robust to the inclusion of household-level unobservables. However, productivity differences depend on the type of gender indicator used, crop-specific samples, agroecological region, and inclusion of biophysical characteristics. More nuanced gender data collection and analysis in agricultural research spanning diverse regions are encouraged to identify interventions that will increase productivity and program effectiveness for male and female farmers.
    Keywords: Agricultural productivity, Gender,
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Dolores Anon Higon; Nicholas Vasilakos
    Abstract: This paper discusses the impact of foreign-ownership presence on the productivity performance of British-owned domestic retailers. In particular, we analyse the existence of productivity spillovers, in the form of knowledge transfer, by using establishment-level data from the Annual Respondents Dataset over the period 1997-2003. The results confirm the presence of such spillovers and highlight their positive and significant impact on the productivity of domestic firms, though these spillovers are mostly confined to the region in which foreign subsidiaries locate. There is also evidence that the productivity benefit from regional FDI spillovers increases with the absorptive capacity of domestic retailers.
    Keywords: FDI, Multinationals, Productivity, Retailing, Spillovers
    JEL: D24 F23 L25 L81
    Date: 2010–07
  4. By: Giulio Bottazzi (Sant'Anna School for Advanced Studies, Pisa); Tatiana Plotnikova (DFG Research Training Program "The Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the effect of knowledge characteristics on the total factor productivity of firms developing drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. We decompose knowledge into knowledge associated with the technological firm portfolio and knowledge related to R&D projects, which represent drug development at the clinical testing stage. The latter is attributed to the knowledge of relevant markets where the drugs will be sold. The results show that the effect of technological coherence vs. market coherence and of accumulated knowledge on the productivity of firms differs. Productivity increases with the number of patents and decreases with the patent diversity and project portfolio coherence. When considering only the project knowledge, the diversity of the project portfolio positively affects productivity.
    Keywords: total factor productivity, diversity,,coherence, knowledge
    JEL: D24 O32 L25 L65
    Date: 2010–07–26
  5. By: Daouia, Abdelaati; Florens, Jean-Pierre; Simar, Léopold
    Abstract: In production theory and efficiency analysis, we are interested in estimating the production frontier which is the locus of the maximal attainable level of an output (the production), given a set of inputs (the production factors). In other setups, we are rather willing to estimate an input (or cost) frontier that is defined as the minimal level of the input (cost) attainable for a given set of outputs (goods or services produced). In both cases the problem can be viewed as estimating a surface under shape constraints (monotonicity, . . . ). In this paper we derive the theory of an estimator of the frontier having an asymptotic normal distribution. The basic tool is the order-m partial frontier where we let the order m to converge to infinity when n ! 1 but at a slow rate. The final estimator is then corrected for its inherent bias. We thus can view our estimator as a regularized frontier estimator which, in addition, is more robust to extreme values and outliers than the usual nonparametric frontier estimators, like FDH. The performances of our estimators are evaluated in finite samples through some Monte-Carlo experiments. We illustrate also how to provide, in an easy way, confidence intervals for the frontier function both with a simulated data set and a real data set.
    Date: 2009–09
  6. By: Choonjoo Lee (Defense Science & Technology Department, Korea National Defense University)
    Abstract: In this presentation, the author presents an approach to improve the computational efficiency of Data Envelopment Analysis(DEA) with large data set in Stata. Since the author written "dea" program in Stata was presented in the DC09 Stata conference, the author reviewed various comments and requests by the Stata users and updated the code significantly in terms of computation time and model variants. The presentation illustrates an approach to reduce the computation time and improve the accuracy of DEA results using the 5 inputs and 1 output data set of 365 DMUs.
    Date: 2010–07–20
  7. By: Ben Tomlin
    Abstract: In a small open economy fluctuations in the real exchange rate can affect plant turnover, and thus aggregate productivity, by altering the makeup of plants that populate the market. An appreciation of the local currency increases the level of competition in the domestic market as import competition intensifies and export opportunities shrink, forcing less productive plants from the market and compelling new entrants to be more competitive than they otherwise would have been. Depreciations have the opposite effect, as import competition weakens and new export opportunities arise, less competitive plants are able to continue to operate in the market and crowd out new, more productive entrants. This paper develops a dynamic structural model that captures the effect of plantlevel productivity and real exchange rate fluctuations on plant entry and exit decisions in the Canadian agricultural implements industry, and how this, in turn, affects aggregate productivity. The model's dynamic parameters are estimated in two stages. Variable profit parameters and the per-period fixed cost of operation are estimated first using the Nested Pseudo Likelihood (NPL) algorithm, and then the parameters characterizing the distribution of unobserved potential entrant productivity, along with the cost of entry, are estimated in a second stage using the Method of Simulated Moments (MSM). Finally, simulations of the model are used to investigate the effects of shocks to the exchange rate process on aggregate industry productivity.
    Keywords: Productivity; Exchange rates; Market structure and pricing
    JEL: D21 D24 L11
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Armando Silva (Instituto Politécnico do Porto - ESEIG)
    Abstract: Using a longitudinal database (1996-2003) at the plant level, this paper aims to shed light on the causal nexus between production-related subsidies and exports, in Portugal. Given that there is a selection of firms for subsidies we implement a propensity score matching approach in order to evaluate adequately the effects of subsidies on both the probability of domestic firms to begin exporting and on the probability of increasing the export share of already exporters. At one hand, we find no impact of subsidies on the ability of domestic firms to become exporters; at the other hand, some evidence of positive effects of subsidies are detected on export shares, especially for higher levels of subsidy per employee and for specific sectors as a clear sectoral heterogeneity is observed. Complementarily, some weak positive effects of subsidies are noticed in employment but no evidence is observed for firms´ sales or efficiency.
    Keywords: Subsidies, Exports, Portugal, Matching
    JEL: F13 F14 H29
    Date: 2010–07
  9. By: Marin, Giovanni
    Abstract: The relationships between emissions ad economic drivers differ substantially both across countries and across sectors. In this paper I investigate cross-sector heterogeneity of emissions (CO2 and SOx) / investments relationships of Italian branches for the period 1990-2006 by using the Italian NAMEA (National Accounting Matrix including Environmental Accounts). The ‘environmental’ direction of investments in different types of capital goods is crucial in the prediction of future patterns of environmental efficiency due to the persistence of the choices regarding the features of the capital stock. Within this relationship, the role of variations in prices of energy fuels and in environmental taxes is considered to identify relevance and the direction of the technical changes induced by prices and taxes. I compare homogeneous estimates (FE) with heterogeneous estimates (SUR): homogeneity of slopes across branches is always rejected (aggregation bias). Furthermore, results differ substantially between CO2 and SOx, due to different environmental and economic features of the two types of emissions. Results show a relevant role of economic forces (investments) in explaining CO2 dynamics while SOx trends are determined to higher extent by exogenous events. The potential role of ICTs in promoting more environmental efficient production processes has not been exploited yet by Italian manufacturing sectors.
    Keywords: NAMEA; SUR; eco-innovation; emissions efficiency
    JEL: Q55 O33 C33
    Date: 2010–07
  10. By: Cazals, Catherine; Dudley, Paul; Florens, Jean-Pierre; Jones, Michael
    Date: 2010

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.