nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2010‒09‒03
eight papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Public and Private Inputs in Aggregate Production and Growth: A Cross-country Efficiency Approach By António Afonso; Miguel St. Aubyn
  2. ICT and Productivity Growth in the 1990's: Panel Data Evidence on Europe By Christian M. Dahl; Hans Christian Kongsted; Anders Sørensen
  3. Competitiveness, Productivity and Efficiency in the Agricultural and Agri-Food Sectors By Laure Latruffe
  4. The Exporter Productivity Premium along the Productivity Distribution: First Evidence from a Quantile Regression Approach for Fixed Effects Panel Data Models By David Powell; Joachim Wagner
  5. "Ownership Changes and Economic Efficiency: Plant-Level Evidence from the Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry, 1900-1911" (in Japanese) By Tetsuji Okazaki
  6. An application of statistical interference in DEA models: An analysis of public owned university departments' efficiency By George E. Halkos; Nickolaos G. Tzeremes; Stavros A. Kourtzidis
  7. The Benefits from Agricultural Research and Development, Innovation, and Productivity Growth By Julian M. Alston
  8. How ICTs Raise Manufacturing Performance: Firm-level Evidence in Southeast Asia. By Tomohiro MACHIKITA; Masatsugu TSUJI; Yasushi UEKI

  1. By: António Afonso; Miguel St. Aubyn
    Abstract: In a cross section of OECD countries we replace the macroeconomic production function by a production possibility frontier, TFP being the composite effect of efficiency scores and possibility frontier changes. We consider, for the periods 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, one output: GDP per worker; three inputs: human capital, public physical capital per worker and private physical capital per worker. We use a semiparametric analysis, computing Malmquist productivity indexes, and we also resort to stochastic frontier analysis. Results show that private capital is important for growth, although public and human capital also contribute positively. A governance indicator, a non-discretionary input, explains inefficiency. Better governance helps countries to achieve a better performance. Non-parametric and parametric results coincide rather closely on the countries movements vis-à-vis the possibility frontier, and on their relative distances to the frontier.
    Keywords: economic growth; public spending; efficiency; Malmquist index.
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2010–05
  2. By: Christian M. Dahl (University of Southern Denmark, CEBR and CREATES); Hans Christian Kongsted (University of Copenhagen, CAM and CEBR); Anders Sørensen (Copenhagen Business School and CEBR)
    Abstract: What has been the quantitative effect on productivity growth of information and communication technology (ICT) in Europe after 1995? Based on a multi-country sectoral panel data set, we provide econometric evidence of positive and signi?cant productivity effects of ICT in Europe, mainly due to advances in total factor productivity. The impact of ICT in Europe has happened against a negative macro economic shock not related to ICT. This is in contrast to the established evidence for the US. Our main results challenge the consensus in the growth-accounting literature that there has been no acceleration of productivity growth in Europe, mainly due to a dismal performance of ICT-using sectors.
    Keywords: Labor productivity, total factor productivity, information and communications technology, panel data methods.
    JEL: E32 C23 O47
    Date: 2010–08–25
  3. By: Laure Latruffe
    Abstract: This report reviews the literature on competitiveness, productivity and efficiency in the agricultural and agri-food sectors. It clarifies concepts and terminology used in this area, and provides a critical assessment of approaches and indicators used in the literature to measure competitiveness, productivity and efficiency at sectoral and farm levels. It also discusses recent findings on productivity growth, changes in relative competitiveness between sub-sectors and countries, and determinants of competitiveness, in addition to identifying the major knowledge gaps. This report suggests that more attention should be paid to the agri-food sector, non-price factors of competitiveness, and the impact of government intervention on competitiveness.
    Keywords: productivity growth, agriculture, agri-food sector, comparative advantage, Competitiveness indicators, domestic resource costs, farm productivity, determinants of competitiveness
    Date: 2010–08
  4. By: David Powell (RAND Corporation); Joachim Wagner (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: An emerging literature on international activities of heterogeneous firms documents that exporting firms are more productive than firms that only sell on the national market. This positive exporter productivity premium shows up in a large number of empirical studies after controlling for observed and unobserved firm characteristics in regression models including firm fixed effects. These studies test for a difference in productivity between exporters and non-exporters at the conditional mean of the productivity distribution. However, if firms are heterogeneous, it is possible that the size of the premium varies over the productivity distribution. In this paper we apply a newly developed estimator for fixed-effects quantile regression models to estimate the exporter productivity premium at quantiles of the productivity distribution for manufacturing enterprises in Germany, one of the leading actors in the world market for goods. We show that the premium decreases over the quantiles – a dimension of firm heterogeneity that cannot be detected through mean regression.
    Keywords: Exporter productivity premium, quantile regression, fixed effects
    JEL: F14 C21 C23
    Date: 2010–08
  5. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how ownership changes affect the plant performance, focusing on the cotton spinning industry in early twentieth century Japan, where many plants experienced ownership changes. Through analyses of detailed plant-level data, it is revealed that, after ownership changes, plants tended to focus on low grade and low price products and, at the same time, total factor productivity, machine productivity and profitability of the plants significantly increased. These results indicate that the plants were managed and utilized more efficiently under the new ownership.
    Date: 2010–08
  6. By: George E. Halkos; Nickolaos G. Tzeremes; Stavros A. Kourtzidis
    Abstract: This paper uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model formulations in order to determine the performance levels of 16 departments of the University of Thessaly. Particularly, the constant returns to scale (CRS) and variable returns to scale (VRS) models have been applied alongside with bootstrap techniques in order to determine accurate performance measurements of the 16 departments. The study illustrates how the recent developments in efficiency analysis and statistical inference can be applied when evaluating institutional performance issues. The paper provides the efficient departments and the target values which need to be adopted from the inefficient departments in order to operate in the most productive scale size (MPSS). Moreover it provides bias corrected estimates alongside with their confidence intervals. The analysis indicates that there are strong inefficiencies among the departments, emphasizing the misallocation of resources or/and inefficient application of departments policy developments.
    Keywords: A1, A2, A12, A14.
    Date: 2010–08–17
  7. By: Julian M. Alston
    Abstract: This report contains a review of the literature on the role of agricultural research and development in fostering innovation and productivity in agriculture. The review seeks to clarify concepts and terminology used in the area, provide a critical assessment of approaches found in the literature, report main results, and draw inferences. A key finding is that the social rate of return to investments in agricultural R&D has been generally high. Specific findings differ depending on methods and modelling assumptions, particularly assumptions concerning the research lag distribution, the nature of the research-induced technological change, and the nature of the markets for the affected commodities.
    Keywords: productivity growth, innovation, Agricultural R&D, agricultural productivity
    Date: 2010–08
  8. By: Tomohiro MACHIKITA (Inter-Disciplinary Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan); Masatsugu TSUJI (Graduate School of Applied Informatics, University of Hyogo, Japan); Yasushi UEKI (Bangkok Research Center, IDE/JETRO, Thailand)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on business performance, using firm-level data obtained through a questionnaire survey in four ASEAN countries (Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam). Sources of information and new technologies exchanged via ICTs by firms are also explored to investigate the mechanism behind ICT adoption. Empirical results verify that the introduction of ICT to reorganize business processes is significantly correlated with business performance, in particular the development of export markets and improvement of production management. ICTs facilitate access to information and technologies accumulated in in-house departments and joint-venture (JV) affiliates of the respondent firms. There are considerable differences between multinational companies (MNCs)/JVs and local firms. MNCs/JVs make use of information and technologies obtainable via ICTs from their own R&D departments, JVs established with local partners and foreign-owned suppliers/customers to improve factory management, mostly for product quality improvement and production cost reduction. In contrast, local firms interconnect their own R&D departments via ICTs to enhance their business performance in broader areas than MNCs/JVs, including the development of export markets.
    Date: 2010–08–01

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