New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2011‒03‒05
28 papers chosen by

  1. Agricultural Productivity Growth in Africa: Is Efficiency Catching-up or Lagging Behind? By Mugera, Amin; Ojede, Andrew
  2. Empirical Analysis of Agricultural Productivity: Growth in Benin and Mainly Factors which Influence Growth By Constant, Labintan
  3. Efficiency, Productivity and Environmental Policy: A Case Study of Power Generation in the EU By Jaraite, Jurate; Di Maria, Corrado
  4. Productivity pathways: climate-adjusted production frontiers for the Australian broadacre cropping industry By Hughes, Neal; Lawson, Kenton; Davidson, Alistair; Jackson, Tom; Sheng, Yu
  6. Vessel-level productivity in Commonwealth fisheries By Perks, Christopher; McGill, Kristin; Curtotti, Robert
  7. Productivity Changes in Canadian Airports and Technological Change Analysis By Carlos Pestana Barros; Nicolas Peypoch; Philippe Villard
  8. Public investment in R&D and extension and productivity in Australian broadacre agriculture By Sheng, Yu; Gray, Emily; Mullen, John
  9. Economic and Marketing Efficiency Among Corn Ethanol Plants By Sesmero, Juan; Perrin, Richard; Fulginiti, Lilyan
  10. Efficiency and integration in European banking markets By Cândida Ferreira
  11. European integration and banking efficiency: a panel cost frontier approach By Cândida Ferreira
  12. Energy use reduction and input productivity growth in Australian industries By Syed, Arif
  13. Distinguishing Different Industry Technologies and Localized Technical Change By Sauer, Johannes; Morrison-Paul, Catherine
  14. Productivity and farm size in Australian agriculture: reinvestigating the returns to scale By Sheng, Yu; Zhao, Shiji; Nossal, Katarina
  15. Nigeria’ Power Sector: Analysis of Productivity By Carlos Pestana Barros; Ade Ibiwoye; Shunsuke Managi
  16. A metafrontier approach to measuring technical efficiencies across the UK dairy sector By Barnes, Andrew P; Revoredo-Giha, Cesar; Sauer, Johannes
  17. Foreign Investments and Productivity Evidence from European Regions By Davide Castellani; Fabio Pieri
  18. Sub-vector Efficiency analysis in Chance Constrained Stochastic DEA: An application to irrigation water use in the Krishna river basin, India By Chellattan Veettil, Prakashan; Ashok, Arathy; Speelman, Stijn; Buysse, Jeroen; Van Huylenbroeck, Guido
  19. An index number decomposition of profit change in two Australian fishing sectors By Vieria, Simon
  20. Methodological innovations in estimating the (inverse) relationship between farm productivity and farm size in a developing economy: a case study of Burundi By Verschelde, Marijn; Vandamme, Ellen; DâHaese, Marijke; Rayp, Glenn
  21. Heterogeneous Productivity Shocks, Elasticity of Substitution and Aggregate Fluctuations By Alessio, Moro; Rodolfo, Stucchi
  22. Evaluating the genetic progress of wheat in NSW, 1992-2009 By Redmond, Thomas; Nolan, Elizabeth; Martin, Peter
  23. Efficiency of LEADER Programmes in the creation of tangible and intangible outputs: a Data Envelopment Analysis application to Local Action Groups performances By Lopolito, Antonio; Giannoccaro, Giacomo; Prosperi, Maurizio
  24. Fiscal Policy and TFP in the OECD: A Non-Stationary Panel Approach By R. SCHOONACKERS; F. HEYLEN
  25. Skill distribution and comparative advantage: a comparison of China and India By Asuyama, Yoko
  26. Real output of bank services: what counts is what banks do, not what they own By Robert Inklaar; J. Christina Wang
  27. A Model of Total Factor Productivity Built on Hayek’s View of Knowledge: What Really Went Wrong with Socialist Planned Economies? By Harashima, Taiji
  28. Migration, Skills and Productivity By Michael Landesmann; Robert Stehrer; Robert Hierländer; Peter Huber; Anna Iara; Klaus Nowotny; Mary O'Mahony; Fei Peng; Catherine Robinson

  1. By: Mugera, Amin; Ojede, Andrew
    Abstract: Recent empirical studies on agricultural productivity growth in African countries have produced mixed results; some find that uptake of new technology (technical progress) is the main source of total factor productivity growth while others point to improved use of existing technology (efficiency catch-up). This study tests for efficiency catch-up in the agricultural productivity of 33 African countries from 1966 to 2001. We use recent advances in data envelopment analysis (DEA) to generate standard and bootstrap bias corrected technical efficiency scores. In general, we find no evidence of efficiency catching-up. The standard DEA overestimated the efficiency scores of some countries due to small sample bias.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Efficiency Catch-up, Bootstrap DEA, Africa, International Development, Production Economics,
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Constant, Labintan
    Abstract: This study examined changes in agricultural productivity at Benin in the context of diverse institutional arrangements using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA).A time series data which consists of information on agricultural production and means of production were obtained from World Research Institute database, INSAE and rainfall data from AMMA database. The information was for a 43-year period (1961-2003); DEA method was used to measure Malquist index of total factor productivity to evaluate technical change efficiency and technological efficiency change across the countryâs 12 provinces. A decomposition of TFP measures revealed whether the performance of factors productivity is due to technological change or technical efficiency change over the reference period. The study further examined the effect of land quality, agriculture labor, and selected governance indicators such as government effectiveness and openness on productivity growth. All the variables included in the model are significant effect on the TPF and the country agriculture growth. They equally performed well in terms of expected relationship with TFP except land quality index which unexpectedly had an inverse relationship with TFP.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis, Efficiency, Productivity, Benin, Agribusiness, N57, C01, C23,
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Jaraite, Jurate (CERE, Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics); Di Maria, Corrado (Economics and Finance Research Group)
    Abstract: This study uses the EU public power generating sector as a case study to investigate the environmental efficiency and productivity enhancing performance of the EU ETS in its pilot phase. Using Data Envelopment Analysis methods, we measures the environmental efficiency and the productivity growth registered in public power generation across the EU over the 1996-2007 period. In the second stage of our analysis we attempt to explain changes in productivity and efficiency over time using state-of-the-art econometric techniques. Our analysis suggests two conclusions: on the one hand carbon pricing led to an increase in environmental efficiency and to a shift outwards of the technological frontier; on the other hand, the overly generous allocation of emission permits had a negative impact on both measures. These results are shown to be quite robust to changes in controls and specifications.
    Keywords: Emissions Trading; EU ETS; Environmental Efficiency; Productivity GrowthM; Data Envelopment Analysis
    JEL: O38 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2011–02–22
  4. By: Hughes, Neal; Lawson, Kenton; Davidson, Alistair; Jackson, Tom; Sheng, Yu
    Abstract: This study introduces two advances to the aggregate productivity index methodology typically employed by ABARES. First, it accounts for the effects of climate variability on measured productivity by matching spatial climate data to individual farms in the ABARES farm surveys database. Second, a farm-level production frontier estimation technique is employed to facilitate the decomposition of productivity change into several key components, including technical change and technical efficiency change.The study makes use of farm-level data from the ABARES Australian agricultural and grazing industries survey database. An unbalanced panel dataset is constructed containing 13 430 observations (4255 farms) over the period 1977â78 to 2007â08. Spatial climate data, including winter and summer seasonal rainfall and average maximum and minimum temperatures, were obtained via the Australian Water Availability Project. These data were mapped to individual farms using Geographic Information System methods. The study employed stochastic frontier analysis methods to estimate a production frontier with time varying technical efficiency effects of the form proposed by Battese and Coelli (1992). Production frontiers are estimated for each of the three major Grains Research and Development Corporation regions: southern, northern and western.Selected climate variables are shown to display a high degree of explanatory power over farm output. The results confirm that deterioration in average climate conditions has contributed significantly to the decline in estimated productivity over the post-2000 period. Technical change is shown to be the primary driver of productivity growth in the industry in the long run, offset by a gradual decline in technical efficiency. After controlling for climate variability, a gradual decline in the rate of technical change is still observed.
    Keywords: Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Islam, Nazrul; Xayavong, Vilaphonh; Kingwell, Ross
    Abstract: This paper examines broadacre farm performance in south-western Australia. This region has experienced pronounced climate variability and volatile commodity prices over the last decade or so. Relationships between productivity and profitability are explored using panel data from 50 farms in the study region. The data are analysed using non-parametric methods. Components of farm productivity and profitability are measured over the period 1998 to 2008. Economies of scale and scope are shown often to be positive contributors to productivity and profitability. However, the main finding is that technical change, much more so than technical efficiency, has supplied over 68 percent of the improvement in total factor productivity for farms in the different climatic zones of the region from 1998 to 2008. In addition, growth in total factor productivity is the main contributor to farm profitability. By implication, technical change, often accompanied by scale and mix efficiencies, is the main driver of farm profitability. These findings indicate a vital role for innovation and R,D&E to deliver technologies and practices that bolster farm profitability, as well as a continuing role for scale and scope economies. The products and knowledge that come from innovation and R,D&E are the springboard for technical change. Through technical change and scale and scope efficiencies farmers in this study have achieved higher profits.
    Keywords: Productivity, Profitability, Technical change, Farm businesses, Farm Management, Productivity Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Perks, Christopher; McGill, Kristin; Curtotti, Robert
    Abstract: The total factor productivity of the Commonwealth Trawl Sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery is estimated for the period 1996â97 to 2008â09 using vessel-level data and a traditional approach that captures the production decisions of fishers. The paper develops a replicable methodology and calculates benchmark productivity estimates by which future estimates for other Commonwealth fisheries can be evaluated. Productivity estimates presented in this paper are based on vessel-level financial and catch data collected by ABARES in its annual survey of the fishery and the application of the Fisher index method. The analysis of trends in productivity offers important new information to decision-makers. Changes in the way in which fishers organise the transformation of inputs into outputs have a direct impact on firm-level economic performance. Changes in productivity at the vessel level illustrate the response of the fleet to policy settings in the fishery and, more broadly, to environmental factors. This is of particular value for fishery managers when they consider policy instrumentsâsuch as fish stocks, technology and fleet structureâthat might affect the drivers of productivity growth in fisheries.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Carlos Pestana Barros; Nicolas Peypoch; Philippe Villard
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the productivity of a representative sample of Canadian airports from 2004 to 2009. Productivity scores are decomposed and the nature of technological change is analysed. It is found that many Canadian airports experienced productivity increase and biased technological changed. Discussions of the results as well as related policy implications are provided.
    Keywords: Airports; Canada; DEA; Luenberger productivity indicator; biased technological change.
    Date: 2011–02
  8. By: Sheng, Yu; Gray, Emily; Mullen, John
    Abstract: This paper uses time-series data to examine the relationship between public research and development (R&D) and extension investment and productivity growth in Australian broadacre agriculture. The results show that public R&D investment has significantly promoted productivity growth in Australiaâs broadacre sector over the past five decades (1953 to 2007). Moreover, the relative contributions of domestic and foreign R&D have been roughly equal, accounting for an estimated 0.6 per cent and 0.63 per cent of annual total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the broadacre sector, respectively. The elasticity of TFP to knowledge stocks of research (both domestic and foreign) and extension were estimated to be around 0.20â0.24 and 0.07â0.15, respectively. The ranges reflect the alternative distributions of benefits flowing from knowledge stocks that were assumed in the analysis. The elasticities translated into internal rates of return (IRRs) of around 15.4â38.2 per cent and 32.6â57.1 per cent a year for research and extension, respectively. While such rates are less than the average IRR of around 100 per cent reported in the international literature, they are consistent with previous estimates for Australian agriculture in the order of 15â40 per cent.
    Keywords: R&D, total factor productivity, agriculture, Productivity Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Sesmero, Juan; Perrin, Richard; Fulginiti, Lilyan
    Abstract: We extend data envelopment analysis (DEA) to decompose the economic efficiency of a sample of ethanol plants into internal (technical and allocative) and boundary (marketing) sources. This decomposition allows us to evaluate the channels through which different plant characteristics affect plant performance. Results show that plants are very efficient from a technical point of view. Plants with higher production volumes seem to perform better not because of economies of scale but because they can secure more favorable prices (higher marketing efficiency) and execute production plans accordingly (higher allocative efficiency). This may rationalize the increase in the size of the average plant observed in the industry in recent years despite evidence of close to constant returns to scale. This suggests that plants may have incentives to horizontally integrate. Our results do not seem to point towards the existence of strong incentives to vertically integrate. Plants seem to have achieved significant improvements in performance through experience and learning-by-doing. Plants that are privately owned do not seem to perform better that those owned by farmersâ cooperatives.
    Keywords: corn ethanol, data envelopment analysis, economic efficiency decomposition, marketing efficiency, mergers, Crop Production/Industries, Marketing, Production Economics,
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Cândida Ferreira
    Abstract: This paper seeks to contribute to the relatively scarce published research on the relationship between bank efficiency and European integration in the wake of the recent financial crisis. Using Stochastic Frontier Analysis and Data Envelopment Analysis approaches, the study estimates bank efficiency for different panels of European Union countries during the time period 1994-2008. The main conclusions point to the persistence of inefficiencies, which decreased with the implementation of the European Monetary Union (in the time period 2000- 2008) but then increased slightly in the most recent phase (2004-2008), during which the EU had to adapt to the new universe of 27 member-states. On the other hand, there is evidence of a convergence process, although this is very slow and not strong enough to avoid the differences in the country efficiency scores.
    Date: 2011–02
  11. By: Cândida Ferreira
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to contribute to the relatively scarce published research on the relationship between European integration and banking efficiency. Estimating cost translog frontier functions for different panels of European Union countries for the time period 1994- 2008 we conclude that there is always technical inefficiency. Additionally, although country inefficiencies have decreased in recent years (2000-2008), there are no remarkable changes in the countries’ ranking positions. Our results also point to the existence of a quite slow convergence process across EU countries during the period analysed, as well as its acceleration after the establishment of the European Monetary Union.
    Keywords: Bank efficiency; European integration; convergence; cost frontier approach.
    JEL: G15 G21 F36
    Date: 2011–02
  12. By: Syed, Arif
    Abstract: A report by the Prime Ministerâs Task Group on Energy Efficiency (July 2010) emphasised the need for improved energy efficiency as a response to climate change to ensure a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from energy consumption in Australia. However, empirical evidence on energy efficiency and its effect on energy use in Australia is scarce. Given this, estimates of the magnitude of the autonomous energy efficiency improvement parameter and the bias in technological change in Australiaâs agricultural and industrial sectors have been made, using statistical and econometric techniques. The strong interaction prevailing between capital use and energy productivity in many industries indicates that energy use efficiency may be augmented by optimising capital use. This can be achieved by removing impediments to the use of new capitalâthat is, by making capital markets more flexible. This should ease the burden on energy efficiency policies or energy conservation measures by providing alternative ways to increase energy efficiency that do not focus on energy use as such.Results of the estimates for overall productivity, input use productivity, the influence of capital on energy productivity, and energy-saving and energy-using bias revealed widely different energy productivity growth rates in different industries studied. Such results suggest a need to revise the 0.5 per cent a year autonomous energy efficiency improvement parameter assumed in most economic projection models used in Australia.
    Keywords: energy efficiency, energy demand, energy policy, climate change., Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Sauer, Johannes; Morrison-Paul, Catherine
    Abstract: When different technologies are present in an industry, assuming a homogeneous technology will lead to misleading implications about technical change and inefficient policy recommendations. In this paper a latent class modelling approach and flexible estimation of the production structure is used to distinguish different technologies for a representative sample of E.U. dairy producers, as an industry exhibiting significant structural changes and differences in production systems in the past decades. The model uses a transformation function to recognize multiple outputs; separate technological classes based on multiple characteristics, a flexible generalized linear functional form, a variety of inputs, and random effects to capture firm heterogeneity; and measures of first- and second-order elasticities to represent technical change and biases. We find that if multiple production frontiers are embodied in the data, different firms exhibit different output or input intensities and changes associated with different production systems that are veiled by overall (average) measures. In particular, we find that farms that are larger and more capital intensive experience greater productivity, technical progress and labor savings, and enjoy scale economies that have increased over time.
    Keywords: Heterogenous Technologies, Transformation Function, Localized Technical Change, Agricultural and Food Policy, Q12, O33, C35,
    Date: 2011–02–10
  14. By: Sheng, Yu; Zhao, Shiji; Nossal, Katarina
    Abstract: Higher productivity among large farms is often assumed to be a result of increasing returns to scale. However, using farm-level data for the Australian broadacre industry, it was found that constant or mildly decreasing returns to scale is more typical. On examining the monotonic change in marginal input returns as farm operating size increases, it was found that large farms achieve higher productivity through changes in production technology rather than through changes in scale. The results highlight the disparity between âreturns to scaleâ and âreturns to sizeâ in Australian agriculture. They also suggest that improving productivity in smaller farms would depend more on their ability to access advanced technologies than their ability to simply expand. The implications for ongoing structural adjustment in Australian agriculture are discussed.
    Keywords: returns to scale, returns to size, production function, technology progress, structural adjustment, Australian agriculture, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Carlos Pestana Barros; Ade Ibiwoye; Shunsuke Managi
    Abstract: This study analyzes the productivity change in Nigeria’s power sector from 2004-2008, Applying the Malmquist index with the input technological bias. The results show that on average, the Nigerian power sector becomes both more efficient and experience technological improvements. Furthermore, the assumption of Hicks neutral technological change is not suitable and therefore the traditional growth accounting method is not appropriate for analyzing changes in productivity for Nigeria power sector. Policy implications are derived.
    Keywords: Power, Nigeria; productivity, technological change, policy implications.
    Date: 2011–02
  16. By: Barnes, Andrew P; Revoredo-Giha, Cesar; Sauer, Johannes
    Abstract: A regional approach is applied to measure technical efficiencies on dairy farms which employs the deterministic metafrontier approach. We construct six super regions for the UK, i.e. Eastern, Western, Northern England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Data are collected through three different administrative systems, all be it under the same FADN guidance. We find for dairy farming comparative indicators of performance in all three data sets. The stochastic frontier approach is applied to construct 6 regional frontiers and a pooled (UK) dataset for comparison. A likelihood ratio test rejects the null hypothesis that these regions operate under a common frontier which may indicate bias in previous attempts to measure dairying efficiency at the country level. Mean technical efficiencies are high for the period 2005 to 2008, though there is some indication that little technical progress has occurred since decoupling of CAP payments from production in all regions. The metafrontier presents estimates against a common technology and mean scores range from below 0.50 for the English regions and Northern Ireland, 0.52 for Wales and 0.56 for Scotland. This paper promotes the application of the deterministic metafrontier approach for similar sub-country studies.
    Keywords: Stochastic Production Frontiers, Metafrontiers, UK Farm Account Data, Dairy farming., Agricultural and Food Policy, Q12, D24, C23, C51,
    Date: 2011–02–10
  17. By: Davide Castellani; Fabio Pieri
    Abstract: Differences in productivity across regions have been mainly attributed to agglomeration economies, technology and human capital, while almost no evidence has been provided on the role of internationalization. In this paper we build unique measures of outward and inward foreign direct investment (FDI) counts at the NUTS 2 level and we assess the relationship between regional productivity and foreign investments in Europe. Regions with larger outflows of foreign investments show higher productivity growth, but this correlation fades down with the number of investments and eventually becomes negative in regions with very high outward orientation. Inward investments are also positively associated with regional productivity growth, but only above a certain threshold. Results are robust to the introduction of a number of regional characteristics, to the control for endogeneity of foreign investments, and for spatial dependence.
    Keywords: Regional productivity, foreign investments, Europe, spatial econometric models, instrumental variables.
    JEL: C23 F23 O47 O52 R11
    Date: 2011–01–01
  18. By: Chellattan Veettil, Prakashan; Ashok, Arathy; Speelman, Stijn; Buysse, Jeroen; Van Huylenbroeck, Guido
    Abstract: All deviations from the frontier is inefficiency in deterministic DEA (DDEA); thus making the DDEA unable to accommodate the measurement and specification errors. But, most of the production relationships are stochastic in nature with some inputs fixed in the short run. This paper addressed the above two issues by formulating a sub-vector efficiency model in a Stochastic DEA (SDEA) framework to analyze the efficiency of sub vector of inputs. The results illustrate that there is a wide scope for stochastic efficiency analysis. The overall efficiency in SDEA is higher than DDEA under both Constant and Variable Return to Scale frameworks. SDEA revealed that some efficient producers are not sub-vector efficient in our case study. Thus, overall efficiency oriented policy may not be sufficient for optimizing water use. The proposed model has limitations in terms of the degree of stochastic variability and the level of tolerance that the model can accommodate
    Keywords: Stochastic DEA, sub-vector efficiency, chance constrained programming, irrigation water use efficiency, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2011–02–10
  19. By: Vieria, Simon
    Abstract: Changes in net economic returns in a fishery over time can provide some indication of which direction a fisheryâs economic performance is moving. However, without information on the causes of those movements, it is difficult to say if a fishery is moving closer to or further away from a point associated with maximum economic yield. A further complication is that different drivers of profitability can cause profit to move in different directions and at variable magnitudes over time. The key variables that influence a fisheryâs profitability include: prices received for catch; prices paid for inputs (such as crew and fuel); vessel productivity (that is, the ability of each vessel to convert its inputs into outputs or harvested catch); and the fisheryâs stock biomass, with a higher stock biomass allowing catches to be made at lower cost and greater profit. This paper presents an index number profit decomposition analysis of two sectors of the Australian Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery. The analysis presented decomposes and quantifies the relative contribution of each of the above-mentioned drivers to changes in vessel-level profitability over time. More specifically, the results are interpreted to reveal how historical changes in profit have come about as a result of both changes in variables that fishery managers do have some indirect influence over (fish stocks and productivity) and changes in variables that fishery managers do not have control over (output and input prices). It is shown that, for the two sectors assessed, two key factors that have influenced recent profitability changes are: a recently implemented government restructuring package; and previous adjustments to total allowable catch settings for key species.
    Keywords: Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011
  20. By: Verschelde, Marijn; Vandamme, Ellen; DâHaese, Marijke; Rayp, Glenn
    Abstract: We use a nonparametric estimation of the production function to investigate the relation- ship between farm productivity and farming scale in poor smallholder agricultural systems in the north of Burundi. Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a pre- dominant small scale subsistence farming sector. A Kernel regression is used on data of mixed cropping systems to study the determinants of production including different factors that have been identified in literature as missing variables in the testing of the inverse relationship such as soil quality, location and household heterogeneity. Household data on farm activities and crop production was gathered among 640 households in 2007 in two Northern provinces of Burundi. Four production models were specified each with different control variables. For the relatively small farms, we find clear evidence of an inverse relationship. The relatively large farms show a different pattern. Returns to scale are found to be farm scale dependent. Parametric Cobb-Douglass models tend to over-simplify the debate on returns to scale because of not accounting for the different effects of large farms. Other factors that significantly positively affect production include the soil quality and production orientation towards banana or cash crop production. Production seems to be negatively affected by field fragmentation.
    Keywords: inverse relationship, farm size, nonparametric, Burundi, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, D24, O13, Q12, Q18,
    Date: 2011–02–10
  21. By: Alessio, Moro; Rodolfo, Stucchi
    Abstract: We use a Dixit-Stiglitz setting to show that aggregate productivity fluctuations can be generated through changes in the dispersion of firms' productivity. When the elasticity of substitution among goods is larger than one, an increase in the dispersion raises aggregate productivity because firms at the top of the distribution produce most of output. When the elasticity is smaller than one, an increase in the dispersion reduces aggregate productivity because firms at the bottom of the distribution use most of inputs. We use individual firm data from Spanish manufacturing sectors to test the relationship between the dispersion of firms' productivity and aggregate productivity. The estimated coefficients are consistent with the predictions of the model: we find that an increase in the coefficient of variation of firms productivity of 1% increases aggregate productivity by 0.59% in sectors with an elasticity of substitution larger than one while the same increase in the coefficient of variation reduces aggregate productivity by 0.07% in sectors with an elasticity of substitution smaller than one.
    Keywords: Heterogeneous Productivity Shocks; Elasticity of Substitution; Volatility; Aggregate Productivity.
    JEL: E32 E30 E13 E20
    Date: 2011–02
  22. By: Redmond, Thomas; Nolan, Elizabeth; Martin, Peter
    Abstract: Intellectual Property Regimes (IPRs) have been justified on the basis that they promote innovation, but it is not always clear that they do so. Empirical studies of IPRs in an Australian context have been limited. Plant variety protection is one form of IPR. The passing of the Australian Plant Breederâs Rights Act of 1994 has been followed by significant commercialisation of the wheat breeding industry. The purpose of this paper is to consider whether this commercialisation has benefited wheat productivity through varietal improvement. We estimate a linear crop production function, using a random effects Hausman Taylor estimator to evaluate differences in genetic contributions to productivity between public and private wheat varieties commercially released in NSW over the period 1992-2009 using crop varietal data. Results from the Hausman Taylor estimator show that private varieties, on average, have outperformed public varieties over the period, suggesting that Plant Breederâs Rights has promoted productive innovation in wheat. However, when we consider the best performing genetics of the varieties, public varieties have, in some years, outperformed privately bred varieties.
    Keywords: genetic change, technical change, innovation, wheat breeding, intellectual property, Crop Production/Industries, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2011
  23. By: Lopolito, Antonio; Giannoccaro, Giacomo; Prosperi, Maurizio
    Abstract: An emerging requirement for the evaluation of the rural development policy is the adoption of an objective method accounting for both material and immaterial achievements, and measuring the performance in order to understand the degree of accomplishment of policy objectives. In this paper we propose a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach capable of dealing with economic and social indicators, to measure the (relative) technical efficiency of a set of Local Action Groups (LAGs) operating within the LEADER programme. An evaluation exercise referred to eight LAGs located in Italy, is provided to demonstrate the effects of the inclusion of social capital indicator in the evaluation of the LAGsâ performances. In particular, the DEA allows to measure the relative efficiency of the LAGs and to identify the causes of the inefficiency. The outcomes of the analysis may represent a valuable information support for periodical policy review and for the enhancement of best practices.
    Keywords: Rural Development, LEADER, social capital, DEA, Agricultural and Food Policy, Q18, R58,
    Date: 2011–02–10
    Abstract: We analyse the in uence of fiscal policy on TFP and per capita output in a panel of OECD countries since 1975. We focus on the effects of government size, government deficits and the composition of taxes and expenditures. Compared to existing studies, our contribu- tion is double. First, we are able to identify both direct and indirect effects of fiscal policy on TFP. The latter stem from the in uence of taxes and expenditures on countries' access to and efficient use of the world stock of technology and knowledge. A second contribution is methodological. The role of the worldwide level of technology introduces a common factor (and therefore cross-sectional dependence) in individual countries' TFP. This common fac- tor is unobserved and most likely non-stationary. The existing empirical literature on fiscal policy and growth largely neglects the econometric complications that may arise from cross- sectionally correlated error terms due to unobserved (and potentially non-stationary) common factors. This leads to inconsistent estimates if the unobserved factors are correlated with the explanatory variables and to a spurious regression problem if they are non-stationary. We appropriately deal with these econometric issues by using the Common Correlated Effects Pooled estimator of Pesaran (2006) and Kapetanios et al. (2006). Our main findings are as follows. Through the direct channel, an overall increase in government size reduces TFP and per capita output. Expenditure shifts in favour of productive purposes have strong and ro- bust positive effects on TFP. Shifts in favour of social transfers reduce TFP. Deficit reduction policies raise TFP if they are financed by expenditure cuts. Through the indirect channel, a rise in the corporate tax rate negatively affects a country's access to the worldwide level of technology whereas education expenditures and human capital formation promote this access.
    Keywords: fiscal policy, total factor productivity, long-run output level, unobserved common factors, panel data
    JEL: C31 C33 E62 O38
    Date: 2011–01
  25. By: Asuyama, Yoko
    Abstract: This paper empirically examines the different comparative advantages of two emerging economic giants, China and India, in relation to the different skill distribution patterns in each country. By utilizing industry export data on China and India from 1983 to 2000, we find that a country with a greater dispersion of skills (i.e., India, especially in the earlier years) has higher exports in industries with shorter production chains, whereas a country with a more equal dispersion of skills (i.e., China, especially in the later years) is found to have higher exports in industries with longer production chains. The causal relationship is fairly robust across different specifications. This empirical evidence supports our assumption that the likely mechanism for these results is the negative impact of low-skilled workers on input quality, which accumulates and becomes larger as the length of production chains and the proportion of low-skilled workers in the economy increase.
    Keywords: China, India, Manufacturing industries, Manufactures, Labor productivity, Labor conditions, International competition, Exports, Comparative advantage, Production chains, Sequential production, Skill distribution
    JEL: F14 F16 J2
    Date: 2011–02
  26. By: Robert Inklaar; J. Christina Wang
    Abstract: The measurement of bank output, a difficult and contentious issue, has become even more important in the aftermath of the devastating financial crisis of recent years. In this paper, we argue that models of banks as processors of information and transactions imply a quantity measure of bank service output based on transaction counts instead of balances of loans and deposits. Compiling new and comparable output measures for the United States and a range of European countries, we show that our counts-based output series exhibit significantly different growth patterns from those of our balances-based output series over the years 1997 to 2009. Since the U.S. official statistics rely on counts while European statistics rely on balances, this implies a potentially considerable bias in the estimate of bank output growth in Europe vis-à-vis that in the United States.
    Keywords: Banks and banking - Customer services
    Date: 2011
  27. By: Harashima, Taiji
    Abstract: Because Hayek’s view goes beyond the Walrasian framework, his descriptive arguments on socialist planned economies are prone to be misunderstood. This paper clarifies Hayek’s arguments by using them as a basis to construct a model of total factor productivity. The model shows that productivity depends substantially on the intelligence of ordinary workers. The model indicates that the essential reason for the reduced productivity of a socialist economy is that, even though human beings are imperfect and do not know everything about the universe, they are able to utilize their intelligence to innovate. Decentralized market economies are far more productive than socialist economies because they intrinsically can fully utilize human beings’ intelligence, but socialist planned economies cannot, in large part because of the imagined perfect central planning bureau that does not exist.
    Keywords: Hayek; Market economy; Socialist planned economy; Total factor productivity; Innovation; Experience curve effect; China
    JEL: P20 J24 P10 D24 O31
    Date: 2011–02–26
  28. By: Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Robert Hierländer; Peter Huber; Anna Iara; Klaus Nowotny; Mary O'Mahony; Fei Peng; Catherine Robinson
    Abstract: The literature on international migration has repeatedly emphasized that the extent and structure of migration has an important impact on the competitiveness of regions and countries. This report provides an overview of the extent and the potential effects of high-skill migration to the EU27. It shows how many high-skilled migrants live in the EU, where these migrants come from, and how the European Union is positioned in the international competition for talent. Second, we examine how high-skilled migrants fare in European labour markets. Finally we address the issue of the effects of high-skill migration on multifactor productivity, gross value added and GDP per capita growth as well as patenting activities at the sectoral and regional levels. We find that - despite substantial heterogeneity among individual EU countries - high-skilled foreign-born are an important source for high-skilled labour in the EU27. There was some evidence that - on average - EU OECD economies (EU) had a lower share of highly qualified migrants than the (arithmetic) average of the (high migration) non-EU OECD economies. However, our results also suggest that this increasing selectivity of immigration regimes is countered by a relatively low qualification structure of short-term migrants in the EU. A second important policy relevant finding of this study is that high-skilled migrants in the EU face a number of challenges when entering the European labour market, that make them distinct from other migrant groups such as less skilled migrants. In particular the high-skilled migrants - in contrast to less skilled migrants - have lower labour market participation rates, higher unemployment rates and lower employment rates than comparable natives and face substantially higher risks of being employed in jobs that do not fit their skill structure. Our analysis regarding the impact of migration and of high-skilled migration in particular on sectoral productivity and gross value added (levels and growth) yielded a number of interesting results though still being preliminary. Particularly interesting was the difference of the impact of the share of migrants in levels and growth specifications, as well as the importance of a break-down by different groups of migrants (from EU and RoW). There was also a relatively robust result of a positive impact of the share of high-skill migrants and of an interactive effect of high-skill migrant share and ICT technology. As regards the analysis of migrants and regional growth and regional technological development (proxied by patents per capita) we found a positive relationship between the share of high-skilled employed persons and of high-skilled migrants and the growth rate of regional GDP per capita.
    Keywords: migration patterns, high-skill migration, job mismatch, productivity effects
    JEL: J61 I21 J11
    Date: 2010–11

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