New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2011‒05‒30
ten papers chosen by

  1. Nonparametric approach for measuring the productivity change and assessing the water use efficiency in the irrigated areas of Tunisia By Fraj Chemak
  2. A variant of radial measure capable of dealing with negative inputs and outputs in data envelopment analysis By Cheng, Gang; Zervopoulos, Panagiotis; Qian, Zhenhua
  3. Kaldor-Verdoorn’s law and increasing returns to scale: a comparison across developed countries By Ofria, Ferdinando; Millemaci, Emanuele
  4. Wage Adjustment and Productivity Shocks By Carlsson, Mikael; Messina, Julián; Nordström Skans, Oskar
  5. Mergers & Acquisitions in European Banking Higher productivity or better synergy among business lines? By Rym Ayadi; Jean-Philippe Boussemart; Hervé Leleu; Dhafer Saidane
  6. More bits - more bucks? Measuring the impact of broadband internet on firm performance By Bertschek, Irene; Cerquera, Daniel; Klein, Gordon J.
  7. Economic performance under NAFTA : a firm-level analysis of the trade-productivity linkages By De Hoyos, Rafael E.; Iacovone, Leonardo
  8. Examining the Efficiency of the U.S. Courts of Appeals: Pathologies and Prescriptions By Christensen, Robert K.; Szmer, John
  9. Young firms and innovation: a microeconometric analysis By Gabriele Pellegrino; Mariacristina Piva; Marco Vivarelli
  10. Efficiency in Employee-Owned Enterprises: An Econometric Case Study of Mondragon By Arando, Saioa; Gago, Monica; Jones, Derek C.; Kato, Takao

  1. By: Fraj Chemak (Rural Economic Laboratory , National Institute for Agricultural Research of Tunisia)
    Abstract: In order to cope with the water scarcity, Tunisia has to manage efficiently the demand of the economic and social sectors mainly that of the agricultural irrigated activities. Within this context, this investigation aims to analyze the technical efficiency, the water use efficiency and the dynamic of the productivity of the irrigated areas in the Sidi Bouzid region. Farm surveys have been carried out during 2003 and 2007 harvesting years and technology performance has been assessed using Data Envelopment Analysis approach. Malmquist index has been also computed in order to characterize the productivity change. Empirical findings showed that the technical efficiency of the farms has increased by 19% during this period leading to an improvement of the water use efficiency up to 24%. Both, the technical efficiency change as well as the technical change reveal a positive impact on the productivity change. However, in 2007, the water use efficiency was only 79%. Therefore, farmers have to improve further their irrigated practices in order to save more water.
    Keywords: Irrigated Area, Technical Efficiency, Water Use Efficiency, Productivity Change, Data Envelopment Analysis
    JEL: C14 Q12 Q25
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Cheng, Gang; Zervopoulos, Panagiotis; Qian, Zhenhua
    Abstract: Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a linear programming methodology to evaluate the relative technical efficiency for each member of a set of peer decision making units (DMUs) with multiple inputs and multiple outputs. It has been widely used to measure performance in many areas. A weakness of the traditional DEA model is that it cannot deal with negative input or output values. There have been many studies exploring this issue, and various approaches have been proposed. In this paper, we develop a variant of the traditional radial model whereby original values are replaced with absolute values as the basement to quantify the proportion of improvements to reach the frontier. The new radial measure is units invariant and can deal with all cases of the presence of negative data. In addition, the VRM model preserves the property of proportionate improvement of a traditional radial model, and provides the exact same results in the cases that the traditional radial model can deal with. Examples show the advantages of the new approach.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis; Negative data in DEA; Variant of radial measure; Unit invariance
    JEL: C02 C61 C67
    Date: 2011–05–17
  3. By: Ofria, Ferdinando; Millemaci, Emanuele
    Abstract: The object of this study is to investigate the validity of the Kaldor-Verdoorn’s Law in explaining the long run determinants of the labor productivity growth for the manufacturing sector of some developed economies (Western European Countries, Australia, Canada, Japan and United States). We consider the period 1973-2006 using data provided by the European Commission - Economics and Financial Affairs. Our findings suggest that the law is valid for the manufacturing of Italy, US, Belgium and Australia. Capital growth and labor cost growth do not appear relevant in explaining productivity growth. The estimated Verdoorn coefficients are found to be stable throughout the period.
    Keywords: increasing returns; Kaldor-Verdoorn law; productivity growth; manufacturing sector
    JEL: C32 O47 O57
    Date: 2010–10–23
  4. By: Carlsson, Mikael (Sveriges Riksbank); Messina, Julián (World Bank); Nordström Skans, Oskar (IFAU)
    Abstract: We study how workers' wages respond to TFP-driven innovations in firms' labor productivity. Using unique data with highly reliable firm-level output prices and quantities in the manufacturing sector in Sweden, we are able to derive measures of physical (as opposed to revenue) TFP to instrument labor productivity in the wage equations. We find that the reaction of wages to sectoral labor productivity is almost three times larger than the response to pure idiosyncratic (firm-level) shocks, a result which crucially hinges on the use of physical TFP as an instrument. These results are all robust to a number of empirical specifications, including models accounting for selection on both the demand and supply side through worker-firm (match) fixed effects. Further results suggest that technological progress at the firm level has negligible effects on the firm-level composition of employees.
    Keywords: matched employer-employee data, sorting, wage, labor productivity, TFP
    JEL: J31 J23 J33
    Date: 2011–05
  5. By: Rym Ayadi (Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)); Jean-Philippe Boussemart (LEM-CNRS (UMR 8179), IESEG School of Management and University of Lille III); Hervé Leleu (CNRS-LEM (UMR 8179), IESEG School of Management); Dhafer Saidane (LSMRC/SKEMA and EQUIPPE, University of Lille III)
    Keywords: Efficiency, Free Aggregation Hull, Catching-up, Convergence, Mergers & Acquisitions, Banking Industry
    JEL: D24 G21 G34 L25
    Date: 2010–11
  6. By: Bertschek, Irene; Cerquera, Daniel; Klein, Gordon J.
    Abstract: The paper provides empirical evidence for the causal impact of broadband Internet on the economic performance of German firms. Performance is measured in terms of labour productivity and realised process and product innovations. The analysis refers to the early phase of DSL expansion in Germany from 2001 to 2003, when roughly 60 percent of the German firms already used broadband Internet. Identification relies on instrumental variable estimation taking advantage of information on the availability of DSL broadband at the postal code level. The results show that broadband Internet has no impact on firms' labour productivity whereas it exhibits a positive and significant impact on their innovation activity. --
    Keywords: labour productivity,innovation,broadband Internet
    JEL: L23 O31
    Date: 2011
  7. By: De Hoyos, Rafael E.; Iacovone, Leonardo
    Abstract: Did the North American Free Trade Agreement make Mexican firms more productive? If so, through which channels? This paper addresses these questions by deploying an innovative microeconometric approach that disentangles the various channels through which integration with the global markets (via international trade) can affect firm-level productivity. The results show that the North American Free Trade Agreement stimulated the productivity of Mexican plants via: (1) an increase in import competition and (2) a positive effect on access to imported intermediate inputs. However, the impact of trade reforms was not identical for all integrated firms, with fully integrated firms (i.e. firms simultaneously exporting and importing) benefiting more than other integrated firms. Contrary to previous results, once self-selection problems are solved, the analysis finds a rather weak relationship between exports and productivity growth.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Free Trade,Labor Policies,Knowledge for Development,Microfinance
    Date: 2011–05–01
  8. By: Christensen, Robert K.; Szmer, John
    Abstract: Until recently (e.g., Lindquist 2007), few studies have examined the factors that might affect aspects of judicial efficiency, including the time it takes a court to decide a case. In our analysis of a sample o f U.S. Courts of Appeals decisions from 1971-1996, we examine a variety of potential causes of inefficiency, or pathologies, before suggesting a series of prescriptions. 1 Both authors equally contributed to this manuscript. The authors would like to thank Reese Manceaux for his assistance in merging a variety of seemingly incompatible databases, as well as Nicole Arnold for her assistance in collecting data.
    Keywords: judicial efficiency, Courts of Appeals, litigation
    JEL: K41 K19
    Date: 2011–05
  9. By: Gabriele Pellegrino (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Mariacristina Piva (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Marco Vivarelli (DISCE, Università Cattolica)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the determinants of product innovation in young innovative companies (YICs) by looking at in-house and external R&D and at the acquisition of external technology in its embodied and disembodied components. These ‘innovative’ input-output relationships are tested on a sample of 2,713 innovative Italian firms. A sample-selection approach is applied to study both the determinants of product innovation and the factors affecting the intensity of innovation. Results show that in-house R&D is linked to the propensity to introduce product innovation both in mature firms and YICs; however, innovation intensity in the YICs is mainly dependent on embodied technical change from external sources, while in-house R&D does not play a significant role.
    Keywords: R&D; Embodied technological change; Product innovation; New firms; Sample selection
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2010–12
  10. By: Arando, Saioa (Mondragon University); Gago, Monica (Mondragon University); Jones, Derek C. (Hamilton College); Kato, Takao (Colgate University)
    Abstract: We provide the first econometric study of efficiency for a member of the Mondragon group of worker cooperatives. Eroski is a retail distribution chain and, most unusually, there are two distinct types of hypermarkets: (i) cooperatives with significant employee ownership and voice; and (ii) GESPAs with modest employee ownership and limited voice. For supermarkets the chain includes conventional firms with no employee ownership as well. Our key data are a panel of monthly observations from February 2006 through May 2008, a total of 9,800 observations for supermarkets and 2,150 for hypermarkets. By estimating first difference models we find that hypermarket stores with cooperative ownership grow sales significantly faster than GESPA stores. For supermarkets overall we find no significant difference in performance among the three types of stores. However, for a particular segment of the supermarket called SUPERMARKET CITY (a subgroup of small supermarkets for which having "better customer service" employees is particularly important), cooperatives are found to outperform conventional stores. To investigate mechanisms that help explain why cooperatives are better performers we provide additional evidence that takes account of the role of the more extensive opportunities for employee involvement and training, and stronger economic incentives that exist in cooperatives. Finally, while cooperative members are better paid than their peers in comparable firms, individual-level data also show that job satisfaction is actually lower for workers in cooperatives than for GESPA workers. Though this may be a simple reflection of high worker expectation in cooperatives, cooperatives may well be indeed a "high-stress work system." The overall assessment of cooperatives will need to be nuanced.
    Keywords: employee ownership, producer cooperatives, labor managed firm, productive efficiency, Mondragon, shared capitalism
    JEL: J54 D21
    Date: 2011–05

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